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 Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)

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PostSubject: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:02 pm

It was rare that her body servants allowed Mya to sleep in. Typically she was woken at the crack of dawn and forced to act as a living doll for nearly an hour before being seen in public. It would take several hours were it not for her dogged insistence on wearing the clothing of Chorys huntsmen. The attire was simple and therefore took little time to don. Her handmaiden, Rose, tried daily to find ways of making Mya look more regal. So far she had only succeeded with the small tiara and that only with the help of the King.

The state of affairs in Chorys had caused the capital city, and in particular the castle, to be in a slight state of chaos lately. Still, she could not remember the last time she had been allowed to sleep in.

For some strange reason, no one had bothered to wake her today. She came slowly out of a dream all on her own, confused at the lack of busy bodies in her chamber. At first she only laid there, not sure if she was actually awake. Slowly she sat up at the edge of her bed and rubbed her heavy eyes. She stood and looked around drowsily.

"Rosey?" She called in a somewhat thick voice. She cleared her throat and tried again as she approached the door leading to the hallway. "Rosey? Where are you?"

She was reaching for the door when it suddenly swung open and struck her hand. She reeled back and before even looking up to see who had rushed in, she inspected her hand. There was a small scratch. It was hardly bleeding but blood was visible. She quickly wrapped her hand in her gown and looked up, a rare look of anger in her eyes. The anger vanished when she saw that it was her father, and it turned to dread when she observed the paleness of his face.

"What is it?" She asked.

"I am so sorry, my dear. It is Rose." His voice was a deep rumble that normally brought her no end of comfort. At the moment she could not stand the sound of it for the terrible news she knew it would bring.

"What of her?"

"There was another attempt to abduct you. Rose caught the intruder herself and attempted to come between the villain and your chamber. He slew her just outside of your room; but not before she dealt him a lethal blow with her small dagger. Both were found outside of your chamber only moments ago."

Mya sunk to the floor and wept quietly. Rose had been with her as long as she could remember. On the very day that her father had mysteriously arrived with her swaddled in a little blanket, Rose had been appointed her handmaiden. Rose was only ten years Mya's elder, so they had developed a bond akin to sisterhood. This was the third attempt by a neighboring kingdom to abduct Mya, but it had by far the most tragic outcome. The first two had not even made it to her chamber before being arrested by the guards.

"Mya," Her father put a tender hand on her head to comfort her. "If I could kill the man again for her, I would. Take comfort that she died bravely and in your defense. There is another matter we must discuss."

"Give me time to grieve, father." She said between quiet sobs.

"I shall. However, this cannot wait. I am petitioning a new guard whose sole purpose will be your protection. My men are, as we speak, gathering a list of the most highly qualified and trusted warriors in the kingdom. I expect to have them assembled within a week. When that time comes, you will not be without them for even a moment. They will surround your chamber at night and follow your every step during the day. I have spoken."

She did not bother to argue, though she hated the idea. When the king, or any king for that matter, ended a command with 'I have spoken', that command became law. Even the king himself had not the power to undo it.

"Your will, father." It was a traditional response, but cordial and cold coming from his own daughter.

He knelt and lifted her chin. "Grieve, child. Take your time and grieve." He left without another word.
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:25 am

Adrian sat alone under an old oak tree that stood miles away from the nearest city. He could tell it was oak tree by the roughness of the bark against his skin. The pattern was like a series of well worn paths left by a dry river bed.  He rubbed a leaf that had fallen beside him between his fingers.  It was limp and withered, probably yellow or orange in color, perhaps a mix of the two. He couldn't really be sure anymore. He was rarely sure of anything these days.

A bird of some kind flew overhead. It's deep croaking call told him it was a raven. The flaps of its wings were to loud to be a crow, and it was flying alone. No doubt it was carrying a message, most likely something to do with the king's troubles he had heard rumor of in the nearby farming village. He paid little mind to their talk. Like the villagers, who would be complacent so long as they could feed their families,  the man who sat atop the throne mattered little to him. He had even less reason to care than them. He could always disappear again if thing got ugly. In truth he couldn't remember his reason for returning to the land of the living in the first place.

Shortly after the serenity the raven had shoed away returned a group of men marched up the hill to chase it off again. Adrian could tell by their footsteps they were not local farmers. There was no distinctive turning sound of a mule cart behind them, and the footsteps were too heavy. These men were wearing armor, and a lot of it at that. Their footsteps were almost perfectly in synch making it hard to say how many there were. He counted at least five.

He grabbed the hilt of his sword but remained seated. By time he confirmed they were heading towards him they were close enough that they could charge him if he attempted to draw his bow. The way he was positioned now he could spring up and attempt a counter if they wished to exchange more than words. He slowly looked around when he heard them stop. He could make out the silhouette of seven men.  They were still too distant to discern what weapons they were carrying or what they were doing with their hands. The one in the center was the first to speak. His tone made it clear he was the representative of the group if not their formal commander. "Adrian Gunnarson of Sugerland. The High King of Chorys calls for your service."

Adrian had no interest in who sold the knowledge of his whereabouts or even what the king sought his services for. As stated earlier, the business of kings meant nothing to him. "And if I refuse?" He shot back with a voice rough and gravely from disuse. It sounded as though he was still coughing out the ashes that settled in his long a decade prior.  In most cases the consequence of defying sovereignty was death, but that was a hollow threat to one forsaken such as him.

"You won't." The courier knight was stern and confident in his reply.

"Really now?" He asked. The man's certainty concerning his compliance amused him a great deal. "Is that a threat?"

"No." Adrian's taunts were beginning to rub the man the wrong was as evident by his increasingly gruff voice. However he faithfully followed the directions his was given by pulling out a small trinket. "It's an offer.  The man had taken several steps closer. Allowing Adrian to see the outline of his hand and something dangling below it on a chain or rope too thin for him to perceive.  The only indication that he was holding anything at all was the small shimmer of autumn sunlight reflected by the charm.

"Where did you get this?"


It had been a hot dry summer that year. Probably the hottest of his eight. He first spotted the necklace at a street vendor who had set up shot alongside dirt path on the outskirts of the city. It was a small metal crafted orchid dangling by a spider spun chain of gold. Or rather it was gold plated. Even in his youth he knew the difference, and a ratty shop in this part of town would never carry something crafted a pure gold. Just like he knew that his beloved's birthday was fast approaching and fake or not this was the most beautiful thing he had any hopes of getting for her. He had to have it.

He found himself sneaking to the stand that the necklace had come from.  Even though he planned on coming by it honestly he felt that a quick stealthy approach was necessary. Shopkeepers did not take well  to his kind. "How much for the necklace?" He shouted with an excitement not yet tempered by age or experience.
The jeweler took a moment to respond. He first needed to recover from the shock of the street rat's sudden appearance, and the even bigger shock of the boy not running off with whatever caught his eye. "Which necklace?" He asked with a raised eyebrow.

"That one," He said pointing high above his bed towards the back. Now the salesman thought he understood why the boy did not simply steal the goods. It was out of his reach, and the shopkeeper intended to keep it that way. He would not be tricked into pulling it down for him.

"Eleven copper pieces."

"Well, I only have six copper pieces," Adrian replied. Thinking how even that little was impressive for one such as him. He was proud of the work that had gone into earning those eight little copper pieces. Many days of hard labor had made his body lean and strong. But he could never earn five more pieces in time. It had taken over a month to earn the meager bit he had.

"Then leave. Eleven pieces, that is the deal."

Adrian just stood there silently at first. Formulating his next course of action. The man was turning to tell him to leave when he blurted out, "What if I trade you something for it."

"What do you have."

"Nothing..." he thought frantically as the man turned away again having lost his interest. "Yet. But I could get something?"

The man stopped and rubbed his chin in contemplation. This boy's persistence was surprising, and strangely admirable. Perhaps an arrangement could made. "I need pelts for purses. You bring me squirrels, I'll give you two copper each yes?"

Adrian muttered under his breath as he did the math on his fingers. "one, two, three….DEAL!" he shouted ecstatically at the end before running off to the nearby woods carelessly bumping into others on the way.

He spent hours that felt like days in the forests without any luck. He had tried everything. He had managed to chase one to a rock face that he swore was a dead end, but it turns out the squirrels are really good climbers. Then he tried sneaking up on one and leaping on it from a tree branch that loomed above it.  It turns out that squirrels have a really good sense of hearing too. Finally he decided to lay a trap for the squirrels, but it turns out that most squirrels are too smart fall for a trap set by an eight year-old, and even the stupid squirrels have no trouble getting out of said trap.

"Oh-oh. This is hopeless," he moaned on the verge of tears. After all his effort he still had no necklace, no squirrels,  and after baiting the traps no lunch. Lunch. His growling stomach made him look up at the sky. Sure enough the sun was high above him.  That meant he was late. "Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap…." he shouted as he ran all the way back to city not stopping until he got to the high garden wall that he scaled every morning.

Not wasting the time to decline properly he thrust his body over the last foot of vine covered stone barrier nearly breaking his legs when hit the ground. After a few steps he was able to stand and walk normally.

"You're late." said a young girl in an elegant gown who was soaking her feet in an artificial pond complete with a miniature waterfall. Her voice was filled not with anger but concern. Adrian could not remember anyone but her who spoke to him in such a way. "You could have hurt yourself." She lectured as she stood up and walked over to him. Even with bare feet she towered over him. After all she was several years older. The gap had grown even larger as of late, and it wouldn't narrow until he hit puberty some years later.  She bent down a little and pulled his face up to take a look at it. One hand held his chin as she licked the thumb of the other. "and Just look at your face. It's all dirty."

He gently pushed her hand away when it made contact with is cheek.  "Doooon't." His refusal sounded more drawn out and whiny than he had originally intended. But how could he, herself proclaimed champion, just stand idly by and let her baby him like that? It was a matter of honor.

"Oh don't make such a fuss." She said pushing her thumb back in his face, forcing him to submit with a contemptuous growl. This just led her to mock him further by sticking her tongue out at him. Deep down she wasn't anymore grown up than he was, and he would argue that she was even less so.

As the day went on the two played and talked as they always did. Most of the events that passed during this time had faded or mixed with memories of similar happy times, but feeling still remained. They were laying side by side in a meadow of flowers in some rarely explored sector of the seemingly endless gardens. Their limbs were outstretched and the tips of their fingers touching.

"You know,  my birthday is coming up in-"

"five days." He cut off.

"Very good," She said as she planted her palms and rose her back of the ground. When she looked down at him he saw that her eyes matched the grass. Or rather the grass matched her eyes that particular day. The grass changed with the season but her eyes always retained their captivating emerald shade. "I"ll be-"

"Twelve." He interrupted once more.

"Wow right again," she said just before reaching over and playfully flicking his nose. Her hand was already gone when he reached the swat it away. "You know if you're going to be my champion you'll have to hone those reflexes squirt," she teased before lightly jabbing him in the ribs with her thumb. This challenge quickly developed into a tickle fight. Which he lost as he usually did in those days. The victor managed to hold of both her giggling and gasping for air to tease once more "How am I supposed to present you to my father when you can't even win a fight with a girl?"

Adrian told himself that he had let her win, but deep down he knew he needed to get stronger. At that age he was naive enough to firmly believe he could one day earn the Earl's approval.

"You know you don't have to get me anything. You just being here is enough," she added as they laid there to fatigued to move. If someone had come at that moment he would have been caught for sure. Looking back it was a miracle that they kept their friendship a secret as long as they did, or perhaps the others knew along and merely allowed her to keep him like one would care for a stray pet.

Upon hearing that he wanted to spring up and object, but he was not brazen enough to do so. It would be foolish to promise a gift when at the moment he had no means of acquiring one of any value. The dilemma had been on his mind all morning, and many mornings before  and he was no closer to a solution. He had considered stealing the necklace but that would never do.  She would never forgive him if he did. A champion, self proclaimed or otherwise, simply could not do anything that would sully his lady's good name.
It was early afternoon when he spotted a potential solution to his problem. Leaning against the wall, about twenty meters from some make shift targets were a set of bows they had played with on a few occasions in the past.  "Lady Anastasia-"

"Just Ana."

"Anna," he continued a little embarrassed. This was not the first time he had been corrected in such a manner. Would you mind if I borrowed one of your exquisitely crafted bows?"

The young noble had developed a keen eye for when the boy was up to something, and now was as clear as any other to her, but as usual she mistook his intentions. "Why? Oh I know! You're still upset that I beat you last time. That's it isn't it."

"That didn't count! The sun was in my eyes!" After enough repetitions Adrian had started to believe his own excuse before presenting it this time.

Anna stood with her arms crossed and an eyebrow raised. "Mhmmm. Just admit that you want to practice so you don't lose quite as bad next time."

Her pompousness annoyed Adrian even if it was in jest, but it covered his real intentions so he decided to accept it. "Fine you caught me."

"Was that so hard?" She reached over and mussed his hair. He claimed to hate it but had time convincing himself, so it was unsurprising that she saw through it too. "Just grab one when you sneak out, but make sure you bring it back tomorrow so no one misses it."

Adrian's face lit up when he gained her permission. "One day will be more than enough."

That day was the first time and the last time Adrian was glad when Anna's servants called her inside early. It gave him a few hours of daylight to try his hand at hunting.
Squirrels were a lot harder to hit than stationary targets, as if they were actively trying to avoid getting shot at, imagine that. It had took the remainder of the evening and first part of the next morning  to get the three he needed, having succeeded more through undying persistence than any measure of skill. Even then he had only managed the bag the fattest and slowest squirrels in the forest.  That was probably a good thing though since it meant more skin for purses. He felt bad for the squirrels he had killed. He tried to rationalize his guilt away by saying he never would have caught them if they weren't so gluttonous which made it okay, but he still felt the need to repent somehow. He decided that he would make up his misdeeds to squirrel kind by bringing fresh nuts and fruits from the royal garden. No one would miss them, most of the plants grown there were left to fall off and rot anyway.

But he had business to attend to before could sneak back into, and later out of Anna's again. He made his way back to the market area. When he reached  the jeweler's stall he slammed his money and his goods on the counter, smiling widely and breathing heavily to catch breath as the merchant brought  down his prize.
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:17 am

Mya dressed herself that day. Her body servants tried to insist upon helping her but she would have none of it. She shooed them away, and eventually just made them leave her chamber. She took her time dressing, and donned her small tiara while choking back sobs. Until today, she had always hated that piece of jewelry. She was a subtle person by nature and the tiara practically screamed royalty, even considering it's simple design. Even so, it was worth more than the entire fortunes of many of the court nobles. Today, however, she found that she prized the tiara above any other possession. Funny, how tragically losing her surrogate sister made her suddenly love what she had otherwise genuinely disliked.

Before leaving her room, she dried her eyes and forced herself to stop crying. No one would expect her to show any measure of stoicism, but despite her distaste for ostentatious clothing, she prided herself on her royal demeanor. She left her room with her chin high and her back straight. She expected no end of condolences today, but each would be met with a sincere but dignified response. Most knew what Rose had meant to Mya; still she would not permit herself to shed so much as a single tear in front of the King's court.

She went about her day and things went quite as expected. The next day and the next were very much the same. She cried when she was alone in her room, and never once shed a tear in the company of others. Except perhaps, her body servants, who were often privy to her personal affairs. They had proven their loyalty and trustworthiness over the years, so she did not try to hard too hide her emotions from them.

The only indication of her suffering in public was the fact that she clung to Candy, her pet rabbit, even more than usual.

After six days, she found that the cutting edge of the grief was beginning to dull. She resisted the urge to feel a pang of guilt. Rose would never stand for any wallowing in self pity over her loss. Mya knew that without a doubt, so she went about her life as she always would have.

It was on that day, upon returning to the castle from a short expedition into the nearby forest, that she was informed that her new guard was expected to arrive the next day. She had to admit that she was almost relieved. Her father had greatly restricted her activities until their arrival. She was allowed to venture no more than one mile from the castle walls, and even then an entire squad of battle ready soldiers was to follow her every move. Not just guards, which also followed her, but soldiers with full battle armor and regalia. This made it nearly impossible to spend any time with the creatures of the wood which she so dearly loved.

She found herself surprisingly curious to see who would be assigned to her from now on. She hoped that they would be experienced woodsmen. Then perhaps she could show off her impressive tracking skill and with her lasso. Perhaps they would eventually become dear friends, as many of her servants and guardsmen were now.

She took a deep breath, feeling the gloom which had followed her for the last week begin to cede.
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:22 pm

Their journey was a long one. He sat in the back of horse drawn cart for days. The changing bird songs told him that six nights had passed from start to finish. During this time they rode through many farms and cities. He knew the cities by the trembling of the wooden wheels as they passed over the cobble stone streets. He knew the farms by the familiar smell of fertilizer and livestock. On the seventh day they stopped outside the capital gate.

Once presented with the king's seal the guards let them pass with their weapons. It was Adrian's first time visiting the city and he immediately hated it. There were too many sounds and too many smells, too many people, and too many animals, whistles, and bells.

They met up with the others just inside the gate. There six men waiting not counting the King's soldiers who were identifiable by their harmonized footsteps. He made seven. The others were rather larger and presumably looked intimidating. He couldn't tell much about them besides one was wearing animal pelts, and another had not bathed in weeks. It mattered little to him. Their scents were quickly lost through the bombardment upon his senses by the surrounding townsfolk, and he himself had not visited a stream or river since he had started this trip.

He followed the tallest of the group closely as not to get separated from the others. Their walk to the castle was mostly silent. Only two others had bothered to approach him and both conversations were kept rather brief.

"What kind of animal did that bow come from?" The first one asked with an underlying tone of fear. Definitely not for whatever rough acts they would be called upon for. Yet somehow he had bluffed his way in with the rest of them.

"What is was doesn't matter. All that matters is what it is, and what it is is dead." Adrian's tone was hostile and vaguely threatening. He was greatly irritated by his surroundings and the whole ordeal he found himself in.

The next one who approached him was boasting about the con he was making on this deal and pressing others for information about their compensation. He was large and boisterous, and clearly only here for the money, although Adrian couldn't really argue that he was any better than this man. "So what are you getting out of all this?" He asked.
Adrian not return this man's attempt at a jovial demeanor. He raised his hand and allowed the flower trinket to dangle just below his wrist. He had twisted the chain around twice to keep it tight. "This," he answered in a manner just barely more considerate than no answer at all.

"Doesn't seem worth much," He said inspecting it closely. The necklace looked cheap when it was newly crafted. The years had made the shimmer fade and the gold plating had rubbed off completely in some places. The clasps had been broken requiring the chain to be knotted together at the ends.

"It's more than enough," He responded before shoving past him.

He had no bag or box to keep the gift in so he hid it on his person until they day came. He had entered into the garden extra early that morning to be the first to give her a present. He knew his time with her would be short as she'd soon be called to a party that he could not be invited to but would certainly watch from a distance.

She turned and looked at him when he crashed down into the garden. "You know one of these you're going to hurt yourself." She chided. He couldn't stand the way she was always looking after him, it was supposed to be the other way around, but he ignored it this time.

He sprung up to his feet and dusted himself off before she reached him. "Happy birthday Anna! I got something for you. Close your eyes."

"Oh you didn't have to-"

"Close your eyes."

"Fine, but you didn't have to be so pushy."

"No peaking." Once convinced that her eyes were really closed Adrian got up on his toes and fastened the necklace around her neck. He almost fell over it took him so long to get it on right. The way his fingers were shaking made it even more difficult. "There! Open" She looked down at the flower charm and inspected it closely between her fingers. As she did so Adrian's eyes shifted towards his feet which now shuffled back and forth. He knew that it was practically worthless, valued at less than a fraction of anything in her family's palace. For a brief moment he hated himself for even bothering to try. "It was all I could afford."

"It's beautiful. I'll cherish it forever." Now for your present. Close your eyes."

"But it's not my birth-"

"Close your eyes." She commanded. It was a champions duty to honor all commands of his lady so he quickly obeyed. He waited a few moments clueless as to what this present was supposed to be. She didn't ask him to stick his hands out or anything, leaving the young boy rather puzzled. Soon he felt something soft press up against his cheek. He had no clue what at first. When he realized what was happening he felt his face flush with heat. He couldn't believe it. It was the best present ever. When she finally withdrew his lips he pressed his hand up against his cheek imagining the warmth of her touch radiating through it. He would not wash that cheek again until their first real kiss some years later.


Adrian heard the gates creak and chains rattling as they rolled around the Portcullis. There party had arrived.
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:48 am

She could not eat much, lately. Thankfully it was not due to her grief, which had subsided to a dull ache, but instead due to excitement. She had begun to warm up to the idea of having a personal guard. Given her own choice, she would prefer to continue on as things had always been; having a rotating guard of three men that had to be within hearing distance of the whistle she wore around her neck. That allowed her a modicum of privacy while still keeping her relatively safe. Still, she was no fool and she understood that her life and freedom were in great danger. Old friends had become new enemies and old enemies now bent all their considerable will on her capture. She had chosen to simply accept the reality of her situation, at least for the time being.

She sat in the antechamber leading into one of the smaller banquet halls, nibbling on a small morsel but sharing most of it with Candy. Her new guard was assembling there in the hall. Her father had insisted that she meet them all at once. He was of an opinion that a royal should not develop personal relationships with their help, though he did little to prevent her from doing just that. Still, when he could make some small effort without being deliberately intrusive, like making her meet the men as a group rather than individually, he did.

She petted Candy nervously and could not seem to stop bouncing her knee. She was both excited and nervous. Her young mind was swimming with daydreams of sly woodsman and young handsome swordsmen. She imagined spending long days in the forest, talking about their adventures and singing together. Perhaps there would be a bard among them!

She knew she was being childish, and that they would likely be seasoned soldiers with unkempt beards and scowling faces. Still, she enjoyed the fantasy while it lasted. It was a welcome change from picturing Rosey's smiling face.

Finally she could stand it no more. She stood and attempted to creep to the door leading to the banquet hall. Just as she was reaching for the door she heard a deep voice behind her.

"I might have known."

She spun to see her father standing there looking playfully smug.

"Little miscreant that you are. I should have placed a guard on you to guard the  guards against you."

"You are being silly, father. I was only going to take a peek." She smiled wryly and sat back down.

"You shall have to wait. Perhaps you should not get your hopes up in any case, dear one. These are seasoned veterans and not likely to enjoy the company of a privileged youth. Even one quite so beautiful as yourself." His words were spoken softly but she could detect the genuine concern  in his voice. She was given to childish fancies and he did not want to see her disappointed.

"I understand, dear father. I promise to withhold any further expectation until I meet them." She smiled the smile that she knew would quickly melt his heart.

He smiled back. She could see the beaming pride in his eyes, always thinly veiling the fear he held for her... or possibly of her.

"You may go in and meet them." He said and led her into the room.
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:03 pm

Adrian turned his head slightly as the wooden double doors creaked open. Everything seemed to creak in this ancient stone establishment. Some more loudly than others.
He had taken his spot closest to the doors as to get as close of a glimpse as he could of his new charge, even.  Her footsteps were light and close together. He almost missed her outline completely as her head was below his normal line of sight.  No one had bothered to him the princess was a child. He wondered if the others were similarly surprised.
He heard the others shift their wait as the king and his daughter passed. Each one bowing down in a brief procession.

"Get up!"
Adrian stumbled to his feet as Anastasia pushed him backwards forcefully, baffled by her anger towards him. He was taller than her now, but her sudden aggression was still enough to strike fear into him. He still didn't understand what he had done wrong. She seemed so delighted and calm when the crowd was watching them just moments before.

"I never want to see you on your knees again. You will stand on your feet like a man."

Adrian was taken aback by this uncharacteristic outburst.  Something had come over her that he could not comprehend "I don't understa-"

"You are my champion now. That means you will carry yourself with pride."Tears were beginning to well up her eyes as she continued to shout at him. Her voice began to quiver. He now understood that this matter meant a great deal to her. "You will not submit. No man will hold himself above you, and you will not bow. Whether he be a duke, a king, or a god, no matter what the consequence."


That had been his first spoken promise to Anna, and the only one he had kept. Even covered in scars in bandages his honor was something that could not be shaken from him.There he stood, the only guard daring to do so in the presence of the king, entirely indifferent to anything he may say or do in return.
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:08 am

Mya straightened her back and lifted her chin as she entered the room. She always hoped that her kind eyes would counteract the haughty posture. She certainly did not want to give anyone the impression that she felt superior to them. She did not. She simply believed that people deserved a princess who took pride in her position and her kingdom. She wanted to display the dignity that she believed came from every patriotic citizens. In any case, she allowed a slight smile to touch her lips so that they would not get the wrong impression.

The first person she saw was the man standing closest to the door. She stopped in her tracks and stared at him wide eyed. Despite the fact that she was sometimes prone to childish whimsy, she was not typically childish in her behavior, especially in public. Still, she stood there like an adolescent, staring unabashedly. It was not shock or disgust that caused her to stare, but pity. Upon seeing the man's ruined face and in particular his foggy eyes, Mya was immediately moved with a great swell of compassion. It felt like a long time to her, but she had only actually stopped for about two seconds. She quickly recovered and greeted the man cordially. Then she made a quick pass around the room, as was expected, greeting each of them.

She quickly moved back to the disfigured man.

"Good day, sir. Who may I have the pleasure of addressing?"

Her father cleared his throat behind her and she turned with a raised eyebrow.

"They are here as protection, Mya. Not companions."

"And should I not be acquainted with the men into whose hands my very life shall be entrusted?" That shut him down quickly. A father's heart is putty in the hands of his daughter, even if that father is a mighty king.

"He didn't even bow..." The king mumbled under his breath. The royal family was known for their philosophy on subservient leadership, and therefore made little fuss when protocol like bowing was not strictly adhered to. Basically, it was encouraged and appreciated but not absolutely required. At least not in informal situations.

She ignored her father and turned back to the scarred man with a smile.

"Please, tell me your name, sir."

(Sorry its short, did it on my phone)
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:06 am

Sometimes a meeting is so much more, something special. This was one such occasion.

He looked down at her from high above, perfectly camouflaged among the great oak that stood in the center of the palace garden. He stood their captivated by her essence. He stared tirelessly committing every detail to memory. The light golden blonde shade of her hair reminded him of the dried wheat on the grindstone. The number of freckles that dotted her cheeks and the position of each one. most of all he liked her eyes the best, but they were closed at the moment, as if she were sleeping. The only signs of movement from her was the steady rise and fall of her chest, and the rolling of a small leaf between her fingers, a tick they would come to share as time passed .

Suddenly her eyes opened and she tilted her head back further. It seemed as though her eyes were piercing straight into his, but that was impossible, or so he thought. "You can come out now." Adrian froze in fear after the initial shock nearly made him stumble out of the tree. "I know you've been watching me the last three days."

It had in fact been five days, but Adrian wasn't about to tell her that. He wasn't about to tell her anything. He was at a loss of words for the moment. While he stood petrified she slowly rose to her feet, brushing a loose strand of hair away from her face as she did so. She sighed in frustration at his cowardice, but it should have been expected. He was just a kid after all. "Don't worry," she cooed. "None of the adults are paying attention. None of them ever pay attention." The sudden shift in her tone made Adrian start to climb down, his fear replaced by sympathy. Her face immediately lit up when his feet touched the ground, and before he knew it she grabbed hold of his hand. "That's better. Now, can you tell me your name?"


"Adrian. Adrian Gunnarson."
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:56 pm

The king grumbled something under his breath again but Mya ignored him. Adrian's already cloudy eyes seemed to look far off for a moment, then snap back before he introduced himself. She gave a small curtsy and said, "It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Sir. I am Mya, Princess of Chorys."

She did not wait for an answer but quickly moved from one guard to another, introducing herself. Always her eyes wandered back to the strange disfigured man. Something about him made her very uneasy. That, when mixed with the great swell of compassion that she felt for him, was an almost nauseating feeling.

One man, a great giant from her eyes, held a smug and knowing smile as he introduced himself. "Augustus Fareweather, Majesty. I look forward to a profitable time with you."

Strange choice of words, she thought. "Mutually beneficial, I hope." Was all she said, giving him a leery look before moving to the next man. The king was too busy grumbling about Mya's insistence on meeting each guard individually to even notice the strange towering man. Mya quickly forgot it as she finished her introductions.

"I suppose we will be spending a great deal of time together from now on. Please, feel free to be as informal as prudence allows and ignore the more rigid formalities that apply to addressing a princess. I only ask that you refrain from physical contact with me, except in cases where it is required for my protection, and that you do not allow the familiarity to leak over into your exchanges with other members of the court. Of course you should feel free to be as formal as you are comfortable with." She shrugged and looked around again. "Are there any woodsmen here? I spend a great deal of time in the woods and I would be delighted if anyone shared my interest..."

The day was getting on and she would be retiring to bed soon. She decided any further questions could wait until tomorrow. She awaited an answer before intending to head to her chambers.
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:42 pm

"Let's runaway. Just runaway and never look back. We could go somewhere no one would ever find us."

The girl's hopefulness made it difficult for him to remain silent, though he decided it best to keep the details to himself for the time being. Her father's words made it evident that she knew little of those here to protect her, and Adrian would be content if it were to remain that way.  "I called the wilderness my home for many years in the past," he said with neither pride nor remorse.
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:12 am

"Lovely." Was all she said. The man said little and in her experience that usually indicated a lack of desire to converse. That was fine by her, at least for now, she was tired and wanted only to get to the comfort of her bed.

She gave quick but polite curtsy and left the room without another word. She assumed they would follow but it was not her responsibility to concern herself with their affairs. Her father bid her a good night and went about his kingly business in another direction.

Soon she was changed and in bed. By the time she had reached her room she had been too tired to even bother with tidiness. She had tossed her clothes and equipment on the floor near her bed and hung her precious tiara on the headboard.

She had not seen her new guards since leaving the hall, but she had heard them discussing shifts outside of her door. Before she had time to consider them, she was fast asleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:14 am

Adrian followed the princess back to her chambers with the rest of the group. The walk was a long and silent one. The castle was simply immense, truly fitting for the most powerful man in the land. Unfortunately the sheer vastness of the building made securing it that much harder.

Adrian took a solitary tour of the grounds after locating Mya’s bedroom. His first shift was not set to begin until dawn. As he stayed away from the sleeping child he took care to note his location relative to hers by counting steps doorways and intersections. He needed to ensure that he would face no difficulties in finding his way back to her in the event of an emergency.

He questioned all who would speak with him. The more he heard the more he began to suspect foul play. Logic dictated that there must be someone on the inside working to endanger the princess. He knew from experience that anyone who could that far into the castle without assistance from within should have had no trouble either sneaking by or disposing of a meager handmaiden. The failed assailant must have been an amature, which meant that he could not have been working alone to have made it as far as he did. He brought this to the King, who quickly dismissed him as paranoid, but Adrian knew that paranoid and wrong were not synonymous.

He made several stops that night to arrange for his client’s safety. The smell of food led him to the kitchen where he confronted the head chef. His message was short and simple. “Anyone who prepares food or drink for the princess will sample it themselves for her to witness. Those who refuse will be hung for treason by the King’s decree.” He had not actually acquired the King’s input on the matter, but he felt that no one would question him on it.

Shortly after this exchange Adrian found himself being stopped by the King’s advisor, who was quick to identify himself as such before heckling him. “I must say I do find it quite odd that the king would hire a man convicted of regicide to protect his only daughter. Is it possible he doesn’t know? And more importantly, would you be interested in a repeat performance?” With his final question the advisor’s tone subtly changed from an accusing tone to an inquisitive one. Adrian found it quite….unsettling. The truth of the matter was that Adrian had not in fact committed regicide. The man he killed had been the king’s hand, not the king himself. That detail however, was inconsequential. “I’m only kidding of course.” the advisor added on hesitantly in response to Adrian’s silence.

He took a step towards the man, placing his mouth uncomfortably close to the advisor’s ear. He spoke slowly in a low intimidating tone surrounded by an air of arrogance. “It is not wise for a man in your position to make jokes like that.”

Completely unphased the advisor calmly replied. “Nor is it wise for a man in your position to threaten a member of the king’s court.”

“Fair enough,” Adrain ended before continue down the hall towards the courtyard. He kept walking until he reached the outermost wall. It was a longer journey than he had imagined. Anyone who tried to storm the castle from here would surely be shot down long before reaching the main building. Although the excessive shrubbery would allow one to take a less direct approach. He would have the groundskeepers remove them in morning, surely to the distaste of the “woodsman” of a princess. Adrian patted the wall down and found plenty of footholds. It took him a mere eight seconds to scale the wall. He could have done it even faster if he still had full use of his eyes. The wall was much too short, and sitting on top of it he decided much too thin as well. He felt around at the top for a loose stone. Eventually he found one and tossed it down. As expected is rustled the branches of a bush or small tree down below. It was no good to have shrubbery on that side of the barricade either. That would have to be dug up as well.

He heard continued rustling down below. At first he thought it may had been a rabbit or other small rodent, but the noise was too loud and too drawn out. Someone was below him. His head darted back and forth looking for further signs of movement. Then he saw a set of lights on the horizon. They glowed orange and red against the night sky, and they were growing larger, no not larger, merely closer. Fire arrows. He tumbled backwards just in time to avoid the embers that jumped as the arrows collided with the stone wall. “Sound the alarm!” He shouted to all who would listen as he rushed back to his princess’s side.
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:45 pm

Mya had no trouble falling asleep; but it was not ten minutes before a nightmare about Rosey woke her up again. After that she could not seem to do much more than doze. She had experienced too many nights like this after Rosey's death; although it had been a few days since the last one. She had thought that her grief was finally beginning to subside. She certainly felt better during the day. Her appetite had returned a little and she was more interested in the things she usually enjoyed. She supposed that she was expecting too much by thinking she would simply get over the loss of someone that had been so close to her. Rose was technically a servant, but Mya had always considered her to be as close as a sister.

After another twenty minutes or so of rolling around and counting sheep, she finally gave up on sleep for the moment. She sat up and pulled on her pants but stayed in her sleeping gown. She picked up her gear and stood in the middle of her room. She actually had no idea what she was planning to do. She was certainly not going to step out of her room without getting dressed. She would have loved to go out into the woods for a stroll on the trails, but even if she somehow convinced her guards, her father would not even consider it. She knew better than to even try. Besides, she did not want to act foolish and childish by taking unnecessary risks in a time like this. She tried to be a selfless person, but she was wise enough to know that her protection was about more than her own personal safety. If an enemy captured her, it could mean the end of everything she loved.

She stood in the middle of her room and played with her lasso. She was an expert with the simple tool. She had once managed to snatch up a squirrel as it darted past her. She admitted that this was partially due to luck, but she was still proud of that moment.

She was still aimlessly throwing her lasso around the room when she heard the sound of distant voices shouting. A few moments later the warning bell rang out. She stood there, frozen with panic. What was she supposed to do? Should she stay in here or run out to her guards? She stayed in her room for a minute but then she could not stand it anymore. She had to know what was happening.

She crossed the room to her door, forgetting that she was still in her nightgown. As she reach for the door, it began to open. It opened slowly and one of her new guards crept in, apparently not realizing that she was awake and standing in front of him. He was easing into the room but watching the hall.

When he finally looked in and saw her standing there, he looked surprised. "P-princess..." He stammered. Mya took a wary step back. Then she took two more when she noticed the dagger in his hand. "The castle is under attack. I am here to protect you."

"With a dagger? You have a sword at your side..." He stepped in and quietly closed the door. His mouth spread into an ugly smile. "I was really hoping to have a little more time with you before... well, you know. Probably better not to take any chances though." She had always thought that their enemies would be more interested in capturing her than killing her. She supposed they had decided that if they could not have her, no one would.

He stepped forward and tried to grab her arm, simultaneously thrusting the dagger at her chest. Mya was no fighter, but she had a natural ability that gave her astonishing reflexes when she was in danger. She easily sidestepped his hand and smacked the dagger away. He had not expected the quick response and he stumbled forward, dropping the dagger. He was a seasoned warrior though and she was only a young princess. He recovered so quickly that even with her ability she had no time to react.

He turned and backhanded her. She spun and hit the floor hard. Before she could even look up, he was on her. His hands were at her throat and they clamped down. It felt like iron crushing her entire neck. She struggled and clawed at his face but it was all in vain. She was going to die and she knew it...
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PostSubject: Re: Somniatis (Drumdrumalicious xUmbra)   Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:50 pm

He darted back a ways and returned fire over wall when he heard people pulling themselves over the top. As the arrow left his bow it split into an entire volley of arrows, several of which found their way in the group of men unfortunate enough to the first to scale the wall.

Fearing that the invaders were just a distraction, and the real threat was surely inside the castle already he left in a dead sprint to the princess's chambers, leaving the second wave of invaders to the tower guards. There was probably a faster way there, but he had to retrace his steps to avoid getting lost. He was not yet familiar with the castle grounds, and a mistake would be too costly to risk.

When he finally arrived he realized he was too late. A crowd of soldiers stood around the doorway. When he pushed his way through the entrance of the room he could make out two blurred figures on the floor. One of which wasn't breathing.
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