The Throne of Quel'Ather

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The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Danry on Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:43 pm

The sun glistened off the surface of the water, shimmering like a diamond in the dying light. Isancyl was barely above the surface, her eyes the only thing topside. No one, nothing, was around so she had no fears of being seen, she just liked to watch the sun move across the sky, sinking below the horizon. Sometimes she even got up early enough to see it rise. It wasn't uncommon for her to rise above, but she was incredibly cautious. History had taught her that no good came from breaking the rules; bending them, however, didn't seem to do any harm.

The young mermaid stayed there until the sun had disappeared, darkness falling over the water like a veil. Even though the sun made the water shine, the moon and stars made it glow in an ethereal light. It was just as magnificent. Not staying out too much longer, she slipped back under the waves and dive deep down into the sea. She couldn't be late for dinner, afterall. Mother said there was an important announcement to make, something exciting.

~*~

"Isancyl, try to be reasonable." Her mother chided, a frown on her lips.

"I am, but.. it's too soon." Isancyl sighed, pulling a comb through her hair.

"You've known about this, dear. Things are changing, it's time." Mother swam up behind her and brushed the hair from around her neck.

"But I don't want to be married. How could you do this to me? I don't know him, or what he's like. What if I hate him?" Isancyl stared at her mother in the reflection of her mirror.

The woman chuckled. "You might enjoy his company. Your father and I-"

"Yes, I know. Arranged. Grew to love. You told me this story when you broke the horrid news I had to marry a guy I've never met." Isancyl rolled her eyes, sighing deeply. "I'm going for a swim."

Without waiting for a reply, she left, taking off into the night. She wasn't worried about getting lost, or being unable to see. She had grown up in those waters and knew them better than anything. Of course she was acting like a child, no one wanted to marry someone they just met, or... haven't met. Of course she knew that she had to, and she was going to, but what if was some old washed up fish? Sighing, she broke the surface and pulled herself up on some rocks, pulling her hair out of her face, ringing the seawater out.

The night air was cool on her damp skin, but she didn't mind. It wasn't an easy transition from sea to air as far as breathing went, but at least she didn't suffocate like some did; it was really just the shock of it that kept most of her kin in the deep. The water was still and quiet, nothing out for as far as the eye could see, the surface looking like glass, perfectly reflecting the darkened sky. It was there that she did as she always did. She sang.

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Machine Man on Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:20 pm

"You can't just will away my future like it belongs to you. You know that right?"

"Oh hush," Brees' mother scolded, a stern look on her face. They had been arguing for over half an hour by that point, and neither one of them was willing to give the other an inch. Not a single, solitary one. She had already struck a bargain with the neighboring kingdom. The deal was sealed, but her son didn't see it that way. New information popped up all the time. Situations were as fluid as the water in which they lived.

"No! I will not be silent while you make my decisions for me. I am not a child." Brees scrunched his brow together, his tail flicking hard behind him, creating waves in the water, preceded by a flurry of bubbles.

"You will do this!" His mother belted angrily, finally having heard enough from her petulant child. "You will do this and save our kingdoms from falling to war! Now get ready to go!"

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Danry on Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:53 am

When Isancyl returned to her room that night, she was not surprised to see her father sitting on the edge of her bed. Of course she was close to her mother, but she was even closer with her father. He heard her come in and turned to face her, eyebrows raised a slight smile on his lips.

"I was wondering when you would return." He spoke softly to his daughter, but she knew that there would be a 'talk' coming.

"I was considering running away and joining a pod of whales." Isancyl commented with a smile of her own.

"I am glad you did not, I've heard your whale speak and it.. could use some fine tuning." The two of them shared a laugh, and she sat herself down next to her father. "I realize this is not ideal for you, but it must be done."

"Why? Why must I sacrifice my happiness?" The young mermaid sighed, flicking her tail lightly.

"You are a royal, sometimes we must sacrifice our own happiness for the lives of others. Had we not agreed many lives of our people, and theirs, would have fallen to a bloody war that could have been avoided." He turned his daughters face to look at his own. His gaze was soft, but he spoke sternly. "You will marry him. You may find happiness down the line, you may come to love him. Even if you do not it is your duty to protect your people in any way, even if it comes with a price."

"Yes, Father." She frowned deeply, but allowed him to pull her into a side hug.

"Rest now, he will be arriving within the next few days. Take this time to get used to the changes that are coming." With those words, he kissed her forehead and left, making sure to close the door behind him.

After he was gone, Isancyl flopped back on her bed and flicked her tail angrily. "Get used to it. Make sacrifices. This is utter slag."

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Machine Man on Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:26 am

Brees left the kingdom of his birth, a fanfare having been thrown in his honor. The people lauded him as a hero, the one that would save them from their own selves. True, they could have won a war and taken its resources to secure their lasting place in the sea, but to do so would cost them greatly. The arrangement made perfect sense, but Brees never suspected that it would be him who would make the sacrifice. He would be staying in the house of his betrothed, whom he knew next to nothing about. Would he ever see his home again? Would his eyes rest on the palace in which he was born and raised?

The trip was not terribly long. Brees was flanked on all sides by the royal guard. He was dressed in ceremonial battle armor, similar to what he would have worn in war, but polished to gleam and reflect any light that touched it. He wore the colors of his country, a mixture of shining silver and brilliant red. His face bore three thick vertical lines in red to match his outfit, and his helmet's tassel occasionally tickled his back, the long strands of hair fanning out behind him.

They reached the border and were joined by an even-larger escort. The house of Quel'Ather was a common name on the tongues of Brees' his people, but the name was as far as that knowledge went. He had no idea where the name came from, or if it was even tied to the current regime. It was one of a million questions he'd have once he had time to sit down and ask.

Finally they reached the palace gates. Brees removed his helmet and tucked it under his arm as they waited to be admitted inside. His old life had officially come to an end. It was time for the next chapter to begin.

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Danry on Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:54 am

The day had come. He had arrived, waiting at the palace gates to be admitted inside to meet his future bride. The guards were quick to allow them passage, after confirming they were who they said, and it had begun. Isancyl watched the procession from her room window, but being high up in thestructure, details were blurred. She could not tell what her future husband looked like, and it unnerved her.

A knock at her door drew her attention away from the ensemble before her, and she knew it was time. The royal family would meet him as one unit, welcoming him into their home, dressed in their formal colors of blue and gold. The young mermaid knew that she must leave her troubles behind, but they followed her stubbornly forward as she took her seat to the left of her father, her mother sitting close on his right. Another throne had been set up, empty, a place for him to sit, a gesture of welcoming, to show they already considered him one of their own.

Before the entourage entered the throne room, the king gently grabbed Isancyls hand and gave it a soft squeeze, hoping that it came off as reassuring. It did, but it did not mask the dread she was feeling, welling up in her chest, as worries fluttered about her mind, making her heart race. Finally, after several moments of anticipation, the doors swung open, and her heart dropped, though she maintained a passive expression.

They set her up with a shark, a predator. He was young and admittedly gorgeous, swimming forward while surrounded by guards, looking rather calm. Isancyl hoped that she looked as calm and regal, instead of anxious or troubled.

The king straightened and smiled, opening his arms wide as a welcome. "We are honored to welcome you to Quel'Ather, I trust your journey was not too terrible."

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Machine Man on Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:07 pm

Brees floated through the halls, observing his surroundings, particularly the opulence of the decorations inside the palace. Quel'Ather was clearly a wealthy city, much more wealthy than his homeland of Errin'Borr. His people lived a more modest lifestyle, including the royalty. That didn't mean the two houses were considered unequal, but it did show that there was a marked difference in the availability of resources.

When he was ushered into the throne room, Brees swam forward and gave the bow traditional to his people. Normal matters of diplomacy were typically handled differently. He would have used the salute of Quel'Ather rather than his own. This, however, was no normal circumstance, so he decided to put his best foot forward.

"The honor is mine, your Majesty," he said, his head coming back up to normal level. "My journey was uneventful, thank you. Your royal escort took me by surprise, but a welcome one indeed." Brees' face was extremely calm, given the circumstances. He was very good at looking disinterested, or bored, or completely dead to the world when he needed to. That day, he wore a face of respect but showed no other emotions. Why should he? He was about to become a husband to a woman he had never met.

Speaking of his bride-to-be, his eyes fell upon the princess, and it almost cracked through his stony facade. The tresses of her hair fell gracefully around her perfectly proportional face. She was quite beautiful, especially for an Ather. Most of his people preferred to take warrior women as wives, but her small frame gave her an aura of grace that was lost on the Borr.

"Princess Isancyl, I am honored to meet you as well." He bowed again, this time more slowly, thoughtfully. If he was going to be married against his will, he would at least try to be a good and thoughtful husband. Perhaps something would build between them in time, but even he could see the distrust in her eyes. His predator appearance must have made her very nervous.

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Danry on Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:35 pm

The dialogue between her father and husband to be was lost on the Princess. She was studying him, the way he moved, the lack of expression, how he spoke. There was nothing she knew of this man other than his name, and she was determined to learn as much as she could. Of course they were to be married and she would learn in time, but patience was not a virtue, it was a pain.

As he directed his gaze to her, she felt her cheeks grow warm, but managed a small smile, squashing her embarrassment. What was there even to be embarrassed about? He was only looking at her.

"It is truly a pleasure," She said with a bow of her own. Hopefully he saw her as dignified and graceful, with no hint of the anxiety that was making her dizzy. Isancyl turned her gaze to her father then her mother before drifting back to Brees. It was clear that they expected her to do something, but what? Approaching him slowly, she was able to study him more closely; the details on his tail, his fins, the way his hair fell around his face, the deep color of his eyes.

"Why don't you show him around? Take him to where he will be staying." Her mother suggested gently, seeing the struggle in her daughters eyes. At her questioning look, however, she continued. "Your chambers."

Isancyl whipped around, her eyes wide, brow furrowed. "My-? Wh-?"

"No, no. Yours. As in together. You are betrothed, no sense in delaying it. It will be good for you two to get accustomed to each other." Isancyl swore she could see something in her gaze, but there was no indication in her tone. Why was she so insistent that she accept this arrangement so easily?

The Princess opened her mouth to say something smart, but a quick glance at her father shut her up quickly. "Yes, of course, Mother."

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Machine Man on Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:59 pm

The light conversation continued between father and future son-in-law for a few minutes. Then the queen suggested a tour. At first, Brees was not surprised at all by the suggestion. It made sense that he knew the home in which he would be staying. But there was no insinuating the sleeping arrangements. Isancyl's mother was very direct when she indicated that they would be sleeping in the same room starting immediately.

Isancyl protested, briefly, but thought better about pressing the issue further. Brees was just as uncomfortable, and for the first time since he had arrived, the look on his face matched the feeling in his gut. How could they be expected to be... together... when they had only just met. He briefly considered a direct protest, but decided instead on a more subtle tactic.

"Your Grace honors me, but I would not want to impose upon your family. If this is for my sake alone, please know that I do not expect you to challenge any of your traditions simply for my accord. A tour would be lovely, and I would ask for nothing more. It is, however, your decision, Queen Mother." It wasn't a lie; he genuinely did not want to impose. But he also knew when to push back and when to accept fate.

He turned to Isancyl and bowed again, offering her his arm. "By your leave, your Majesty..."

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Danry on Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:40 pm

The Queen considered his words, her smile still very polite. "Have your tour, and we can revisit the other arrangements afterwards."

Isancyl stared at Brees for a moment almost flabbergasted that he spoke against it so calmly and that her mother reconsidered. Well, maybe not reconsidered but at least didn't push it further. Without waiting for her mother to change her mind, Isancyl took his arm and turned towards the door. "Shall we?"

It was easy to hide her nerves at first, but now with her arm looped in his, giving him a tour of her home, she felt a new wave of uneasiness washing over her. It only eased up once the door closed behind them, and even then it wasn't much. Could he see through her? Was he aware of her anxiety and unease?

Isancyl waited until they were a little further from the throne room before she let herself relax a little. There were no guards to accompany them, and any staff knew better than to follow them or spy, so they were completely alone.

"I feel I must apologize, Mother is... she can be a little overbearing. She means well..." Isancyl averted her gaze, trying not to seem awkward around him. She'd never given a tour of her home before. Did he have questions, did he want to know the history, what if she bored him? All she wanted to do was escape that situation, she'd joked with her father about running away and she was almost considering it as a possibility.

"If you have any questions about, well anything, don't hesitate to ask, I imagine you must be curious." Beginning the tour wasn't so bad, though she felt awkward and nervous still.

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Machine Man on Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:16 pm

Brees was no fool. He knew exactly what the queen meant when she said they'd discuss it later. That meant 'I have already made up my mind but you can accept it later.' He swam away, following Isancyl back through the hallways. He gazed at the works of art, the sculptures and architecture with keen interest, as it had always been a hobby of his.

"Don't worry about it. All parents seem to be this way," he replied to her apology, remembering how insistent his mother had been on the way to his new home. He didn't bring it up to her again, choosing instead to keep the mood light rather than delving into the deep dark recesses of familial habits. Brees asked questions as they toured the palace and the area around it, genuinely interested in its design. He also asked questions about Isancyl herself, but nothing too prodding. He didn't want to close her off on the first day.

"Does it bother you that you are to be joined with someone like me? It's very rare that sharks are paired with anything other than another shark. The fear is always very high."

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Danry on Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:44 pm


The tour itself went smoothly, Isancyl answered any questions he had to the best of her ability, even going so far as to show him the library in case he wanted to expand his knowledge of his new home. The questions about herself didn't bother her too much, and she even asked some of her own about him as they continued around the palace. Staff would bow as they passed, though their gazes lingered, and she knew that whispers would follow, but that was their hangup. Rumors and whispers followed royals, no need to get worked up over what might be said behind their fins.

When he asked about being paired with him, she stopped, her gaze drifting out a nearby window. It was true that seeing him for the first time, what he was, had brought her anxiety, but it wasn't as if she hated it. Or him. After considering her answer for a moment she replied.

"I am not bothered, no. It caught me off guard when you came in, but I honestly don't know what I was expecting. I was given no information about you other than your name. Initially there was some anxiety, but not fear." Isancyl tried not to show the anxiety she spoke of, remaining as passive and calm as she could. But it was still there, still knotting her chest. "Mustn't it bother you? From what I've read your people prefer... well, warriors and I.. I am not a warrior."

Would he want her to become more like what he was used to? He may resent her for being the reason he had to leave his home; being paired with someone so weak, and small would surely cause him to dislike her.

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Machine Man on Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:36 pm

"Normally, yes. We prefer our women to be warriors." Brees was somewhat disappointed by how dainty his bride-to-be was, but she possessed other very attractive traits. "But there is something to be said for smaller women. Your physique may not be suited for battle, it is well suited for other things." His face, though passive, gave a hint of humor, his eyes focused on her.

Isancyl was a very lovely creature, with just the right amount of curve in just the right places. She was not displeasing to look at, and by the sound of her voice, she used her mind much more effectively than many of the women in his own kingdom. The way her hair floated around him reminded him of sea grass, reaching out to catch the small creatures that floated nearby.

"It's also true that sharks are typically aggressive, but you needn't worry. We may not be the biggest creatures in the sea, but we are very protective of our own. I will keep you safe."

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Danry on Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:03 pm

Hearing him agree with what she said had made a new feeling arise within her. He was used to warrior women, and he even pointed out how small she was. Could he be displeased with her? It made her worry. Clearly she was not who, or what, he wanted, should she even bother trying?

She did note the humor in his tone, though she wasn't sure why her cheeks turned pink, and she felt she need avoid his eyes. Why, again, did she find herself embarrassed when he looked at her? Nervously she tucked a piece of hair behind her ear, her eyes drifting back to look at him.

"Not to.. change the subject, but we have some time before the party, would you like to see more of the kingdom? Outside the walls, I mean." Isancyl didn't like being alone with him inside the walls of the palace, it felt as if they were being watched, and it wasn't only by the staff. She felt claustrophobic, and just wanted to swim in the open water. Maybe she could show him some of her favorite places. It wasn't as if there were rules or restrictions; he could go where he pleased, when he pleased, as long as he remained within the kingdom. They weren't going to deny him a trip to his home if he wanted to visit, but that had to be approved.

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Machine Man on Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:13 pm

"Yes. That would be nice," Ezra said cordially. He wasn't terribly enthusiastic about anything, really, but there was some genuine interest in his voice. The architecture was very well sculpted, so he could only imagine what beauties existed in the wilds beyond their walls. If they were given a bit more freedom to just exhale and relax without feeling spied upon, it was worth the swim. "Lead on."

Ezra followed Isancyl out of the palace, 'flying' through the water with all haste. He had no trouble keeping up, but he could tell that his bride-to-be was no inexperienced with fleeing the city's prying eyes and finding her own little piece of solitude in which to collect her thoughts. Once they were away from the servants and soldiers their pace slowed until they swam rather lazily.

"You have a beautiful kingdom, Isancyl. I can see what it is so treasured."

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Re: The Throne of Quel'Ather

Post by Danry on Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:02 pm

Isancyl smiled as they swam lazily through the water. Being outside the walls made it easier to breathe, a suffocating heaviness lifted from her chest. Looking at the surrounding sea, she appreciated it's beauty, and turned to him, moving backwards slowly.

"It's pretty to look at, but we wouldn't stand a chance in a war." Perhaps she ought not to have told him that, as he could just leave and go back home and launch a war on them and take her kingdom by force. Maybe he should do that; neither of them wanted to marry the other, though a war would devastate their country, and it wouldn't look nearly as pretty. "I come here a lot, outside the walls, there are many places to hide away and be yourself without the watchful eyes of the royale.

"Anything in particular you'd like to see?"

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