collapse

Welcome to the Worlds of Katherine Kurtz

Welcome to Rhemuth Castle!

KK Chat is at 7pm Eastern on Sundays, except on the first Sunday of the month, when it is at 5pm Eastern to accommodate fans in the UK and Europe.

Come join us in chat! And Happy reading!

Pin yourself on the member map.

Author Topic: Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29  (Read 3495 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Evie

  • Administrator
  • Prince/Princess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1958
  • Karma: 28
  • Gender: Female
  • Sister Evie--Servant of Saint Camber
    • The Mini-Deryni Chronicles
  • Favorite Book: High Deryni or The King's Justice (can't decide)
  • Favorite Character: President of the Duncan McLain Fanbabe Society
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« on: July 27, 2010, 10:01:51 pm »
Chapter Twenty-Nine



   Sophie de Varnay sat in her favorite alcove in the Royal Library, hiding behind a book.  The winter snows had begun to give way to spring rains, and the Duke of Corwyn's household was making preparations to return to Coroth.  The previous evening, Contessa Constanza had announced her intention to join them, and then take a ship from there to the Court of Andelon, where she would present Celsie to Sofiana to discuss her future training.  Sophie had been invited to go along as well.

   It was the decision that Sophie had known she would have to make, yet now that it was finally here, she still didn't know what answer to give the Contessa.  Constanza's household meant security for her now, not to mention friendship and—in a sense—family.  She had family here in Rhemuth too, of course, but with Stefan and Lisette still in the fledgling stage of their marriage, Sophie didn't wish to intrude too much upon their privacy.

   And then there was Seisyll.

   Seisyll loved her, he said, and she thought perhaps she felt the same way about him, but she wasn't certain.  If this new feeling was love, it was certainly not like the warm and steady affection she had held for her father, nor even like the fond affinity she shared with her brother, but some new and uncharted territory that both excited and terrified her.  Seisyll might be funny at times and serious at others, sometimes comforting, sometimes teasing, sometimes mystifying, sometimes even exasperating.  Whatever he was, though, Seisyll was not safe.  Not to Sophie's heart, at least, although as an honorable suitor he'd been careful to observe the proprieties.  Well, mostly....

   Sophie wanted safety and security.  At least she thought she did.  Though lately, she'd begun to wonder if maybe she needed something more instead.  Someone to balance her, to draw her out and widen her horizons.  Someone more like Seisyll.

   She caught a movement out of the corner of her eye and turned slightly.  A raven-haired man came out of a curtained alcove she'd not noticed earlier, set into the wall that had once contained shelves of books she'd helped Father Nivard and Bishop Duncan move before the Christmas holidays.  She supposed it was the new garderobe that the Bishop had once mentioned that the workmen would be putting in.

   The man turned towards her slightly, and Sophie realized with a start that it was the King.  He stood as if waiting for something or someone, and after just a moment longer, another person emerged from the curtained niche.   This time it was Father Nivard.

   Odd, Sophie mused.  Maybe they were inspecting the new construction.

   The curtain stirred again.  This time Bishop Duncan stepped out.  

   All three of them?  Sophie stifled a giggle.  Sweet Jesú, how big is that garderobe?

   As if sensing her presence, the Bishop suddenly looked directly at her.  Seeing her astonished expression, he broke into a laugh.
  
   Kelson gave a rueful sigh.  “Hello, Lady Sophie.  Sorry if we startled you.  We didn't realize you were there.  Let me guess; you're probably wondering if there's some strange new entertainment in Rhemuth you've never heard of before now—how many men can be stuffed into a garderobe?”

   Sophie laughed.  “That did seem rather odd.”

   Duncan glanced at the King.  A brief, wordless exchange appeared to take place for a few seconds, and then the bishop looked back at Sophie.  “Would you like to come in and see?”

   The lady's eyes widened.  “The garderobe?” she squeaked incredulously.

   Father Nivard fell against the wall, tears streaming down his face as he shook with mirth.  Kelson attempted to keep his own composure, but after a moment a laugh burst from him as well.  Only Duncan managed to stifle his laughter enough to answer her.

   “It's not just a garderobe, sweeting.  That's only a cover.  Come see what's beyond it.”

#

   “Oh, my....”  Sophie looked around at the secret annex shelves in awe.  She ran a finger reverently over the spine of one book.  “Heaven must look a lot like this, only bigger.”  She looked up at Bishop Duncan, her face alight.  “There's so much knowledge here!”

   “Yes,” he said with a gentle smile, his eyes drifting across to Father Nivard, who returned his gaze with a similar look of understanding.  “You'll understand, though, I hope, why this needs to remain a secret?”

   “Yes,” she said a trifle wistfully, “but thank you for showing it to me.”

   “I'm going to need to set a few controls in your mind, Sophie,” Kelson said.  “Don't worry,” he added at her slightly alarmed look, “it's just to protect the security of this annex.  And, for that matter, to protect you, now that you know about it.  Also, since you're not fully trained yet, I can't permit you free access to this room, though perhaps you'll be able to have that in time.  For now, though, you can only come through the entrance if you're accompanied by one of us.  Or Morgan,” he added as an afterthought.

   “I understand, Sire. Thank you.”

   “Oh, and you won't be able to tell Seisyll just yet either. Literally won't be able to.”  Kelson grinned as he began to set the controls in Sophie's mind.  “Let's keep this a secret from my Man of Secrets for the time being, shall we?”

#

   The King left, taking Duncan with him.  Sophie sat in a window seat in the secret Annex,  her feet tucked under her, next to Father Nivard.

   “So, what brings our favorite bookworm back to the Library today?” he asked.  “You haven't been by in a while.”

   Sophie sighed.  “I know.  I've been kept busy lately, what with Seisyll visiting daily, and getting to know Lisette better, and now helping Celsie and Constanza pack to go to Andelon.”

   “Ah.  Just Celsie and your guardian?  Or will you be leaving with them as well?”

   Her eyes suddenly shimmered with tears.  “I don't know.  They want me to go with them, but I don't really want to.  I want to stay here, but if I do, I'll have to move in with Stefan and Lisette, and I'd hate to intrude.  Or....”  She traced a pattern on the seat cushion with her fingertip.  “I could marry Seisyll.  He's offered.”

   Father Nivard nodded.  “And do you want to marry Seisyll?”

   “Yes...sometimes.”  

   “You don't sound too sure.  Do you love him?”

   She looked up at him pleadingly.  “I think so, but how do I know if it's really love?”

   The priest smiled in sympathy.  “You realize I might not be the best person to ask that question?” he teased.

   Sophie laughed.  “Well, I know at least you've never married!”  A thoughtful expression crossed her face.  “Have you ever been in love, though?”

   Father Nivard shrugged.  “There have been people whom I've loved, and some I've had strong feelings of affection for, but I've not been in love, exactly.  More like...'in extreme like.'”  He glanced at her with a faint smile.

   “Oh.”  She stifled her curiosity, not wanting him to think she wished to pry.

   The priest laced his fingers in front of him with a thoughtful look of his own.  “Then again, I also believe there's a difference between attraction and love.  A lot of people confuse the two, I think.  There are quite a few people I find attractive—sometimes in terms of personality, sometimes in physical appearance, sometimes just in whatever mysterious sense that people sometimes find an affinity with each other and are drawn together.  And sometimes...how can I put this?” He chuckled.  “Sometimes, shall we say, just on a more...visceral level.  And of course, sometimes being attracted to someone can be a problem for any man, but especially for a priest.  Depends on the level and kind of attraction, of course, and how one chooses to act on it.  But still, that's not exactly the same thing as love.  More like...a precursor, I suppose, if one allows it to be.”

   “So, you think love is something more, then?”

   Father Nivard smiled.  “Yes.  I think it becomes genuine love when an act of the will—the decision to make a full commitment to the other person—becomes involved.  Or at the very least, real love grows from that.  It's the attitude, not just the emotion.  Though hopefully, within that commitment, the emotion will grow and flourish.”  He glanced at Sophie.  “Attraction tends to want primarily for itself.  True love also wants what's best for the other.  But in most cases, I think it starts out with attraction, at least on some level.  Real love needs time to grow and careful nurturing before it reaches full bloom.  And, of course, it needs fertile ground to grow in.”

   Sophie smiled.  “I thought you said you weren't the best person to ask?”

   The priest grinned back.  “Well, that doesn't mean I don't have any opinions on the matter.  But really, Duncan's the one you ought to be asking, not me. I'm not the widower with a son.”

   She blushed.  “I know.  But I feel more comfortable asking you.”

   John Nivard laughed.  “Yes, I imagine so.”  He gave her a knowing grin.  “I had the worst case of hero worship too when I first met Duncan McLain.  You're hardly alone in that.”

#

   Seisyll was waiting for Sophie in the outer corridor when she returned to her apartment.  “Have you been down in the Royal Library with Boy-Priest and Heart-Throb again?  I've brought you the first blossoms of spring,” he told her, handing her an armful of flowers.

   She laughed as she took the bouquet from him.  “Stop calling them that!  And you're soaked!  What in the world...?”

   “Yes, you can thank Kelson for that, sending me out in this weather.  I was just on my way up to my apartment for a hot bath and a change of clothes.”  He grinned.  “I don't suppose you'd like to come help me with that?”

   “No!”  She laughed, turning pink and quickly glancing around to make sure no one else was in earshot.

   “No?  Too bad; you look quite warm.  Not to mention dry.  I don't suppose I could talk you into a hug?”

   “Not while you're still dripping.”  Sophie slipped past him with a giggle and dashed into her apartment entrance, firmly shutting the door behind her.

#

   Sophie's suitor returned an hour later, dry and much more comfortable looking.  “So, have you found it yet?” he asked Sophie once she'd let him into her apartment.

   “Found what yet?” she asked, puzzled.

   He glanced over at the vase of flowers on the sideboard.  “Your surprise.”  His blue-violet eyes sparkled with mischief.

   “There's a surprise?  Well...no...I didn't think to look for one....”

   Seisyll chuckled.  “I figured you wouldn't.”  He tilted his head at the bouquet.  “Go take a closer look.”

   She did so, peering intently at the arrangement as a whole at first.  When that failed to reveal any hints, she moved closer, examining each flower until, peering inside one small bud, she saw something and gasped.

   “Sounds like you found something,” Seisyll said with a smile.

   Wordlessly, Sophie unfolded the tightly furled blossom and withdrew a ring.  Seisyll crossed the room, taking her hand in his and gazing into her eyes.

   “Sophie, please say you'll stay.  If you still need more time, then we can consider this a betrothal ring, but if you're willing, I'd rather wed sooner than later.”  He pulled her close.  “I love you, Sophie.  Will you stay with me?”

   “Seisyll, I....”  The moment of decision had come; she could put it off no longer.  But what should she say?

   Love is an act of the will....

   Sophie swallowed and took the giant leap of faith.

   “I love you, Seisyll.  And, yes, I will.”


Chapter 30: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=574.0
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 03:48:23 pm by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Alkari

  • Donor
  • Duke/Duchess
  • ****
  • Posts: 696
  • Karma: 6
  • Gender: Female
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2010, 10:23:17 pm »
Awwwwww.  *cue big happy sigh*   Very nice job indeed, and an excellent discussion of love vs mere attraction.

And LOL at the guardrobe, and the serious Duncan Hero Worship from both Sophie and Father Nivard.   Nivard of course is now indelibly titled as "Boy-Priest and Heart-Throb"  :)

Offline Evie

  • Administrator
  • Prince/Princess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1958
  • Karma: 28
  • Gender: Female
  • Sister Evie--Servant of Saint Camber
    • The Mini-Deryni Chronicles
  • Favorite Book: High Deryni or The King's Justice (can't decide)
  • Favorite Character: President of the Duncan McLain Fanbabe Society
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 10:25:50 pm »
LOL!  No, no.  Nivard is "Boy-Priest"; Duncan is "Heart-Throb."  Tummy-flutters, you know.  Seisyll's never going to let her live that down.   :D

And yeah, I'd forgotten how starry-eyed Nivard was over meeting Duncan for the first time until I listened to that section of QFSC again this week.  Serious hero worship!  And even funnier when you consider Nivard was Denis Arilan's recruit and his chaplain at the time, and Arilan had just finished chewing Duncan out for going public with his Deryniness just a few chapters before....  ;D
« Last Edit: July 27, 2010, 10:29:37 pm by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Elkhound

  • Prince/Princess
  • **
  • Posts: 1077
  • Karma: 8
  • Gender: Male
  • Favorite Book: The King's Justice
  • Favorite Character: Denis Arilan
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 10:49:57 pm »
"Another one bites the dust!  Another one bites the dust!"

Offline Evie

  • Administrator
  • Prince/Princess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1958
  • Karma: 28
  • Gender: Female
  • Sister Evie--Servant of Saint Camber
    • The Mini-Deryni Chronicles
  • Favorite Book: High Deryni or The King's Justice (can't decide)
  • Favorite Character: President of the Duncan McLain Fanbabe Society
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2010, 10:56:29 pm »
"Another one bites the dust!  Another one bites the dust!"
* Evie thwacks Elkhound with a rolled up newspaper....   ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Alkari

  • Donor
  • Duke/Duchess
  • ****
  • Posts: 696
  • Karma: 6
  • Gender: Female
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 11:20:37 pm »
"Four weddings and a funeral?"     Hmmm - we're still short one wedding  :D

Offline Evie

  • Administrator
  • Prince/Princess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1958
  • Karma: 28
  • Gender: Female
  • Sister Evie--Servant of Saint Camber
    • The Mini-Deryni Chronicles
  • Favorite Book: High Deryni or The King's Justice (can't decide)
  • Favorite Character: President of the Duncan McLain Fanbabe Society
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2010, 11:42:56 pm »
Yes, well, blame KK.  The absence of a bride for Derry until after KKB means I can't very well marry him off for another two years.

Then again, once Celsie gets back from Andelon, the poor man's not going to know what hit him.  But you'll have to wait until the next story for that, I think.   :D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Elkhound

  • Prince/Princess
  • **
  • Posts: 1077
  • Karma: 8
  • Gender: Male
  • Favorite Book: The King's Justice
  • Favorite Character: Denis Arilan
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2010, 11:56:50 pm »
"Another one bites the dust!  Another one bites the dust!"
* Evie thwacks Elkhound with a rolled up newspaper....   ;D

Hey, I seem to be the only rooster in this henhouse.  Let me crow a little!

Offline Evie

  • Administrator
  • Prince/Princess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1958
  • Karma: 28
  • Gender: Female
  • Sister Evie--Servant of Saint Camber
    • The Mini-Deryni Chronicles
  • Favorite Book: High Deryni or The King's Justice (can't decide)
  • Favorite Character: President of the Duncan McLain Fanbabe Society
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2010, 12:32:19 am »
"Another one bites the dust!  Another one bites the dust!"
* Evie thwacks Elkhound with a rolled up newspaper....   ;D

Hey, I seem to be the only rooster in this henhouse.  Let me crow a little!

Actually, just for that, you probably deserve an award for valor.   :D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline kirienne

  • Knight/Dame
  • ***
  • Posts: 75
  • Karma: 4
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2010, 12:44:28 am »
Huzzah, another wedding :-) I nearly choked on my iced tea when I read "Boy-Priest, and Heart Throb -- I loved the description..
Another lovely chapter you've given us, Thank you!

Offline Evie

  • Administrator
  • Prince/Princess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1958
  • Karma: 28
  • Gender: Female
  • Sister Evie--Servant of Saint Camber
    • The Mini-Deryni Chronicles
  • Favorite Book: High Deryni or The King's Justice (can't decide)
  • Favorite Character: President of the Duncan McLain Fanbabe Society
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2010, 02:07:29 pm »


Lisette, I think, only make the eyes golden-amber and the hair a shade darker.



This one would need to be age-progressed a bit to give him some graying, especially at the temples, and a few more lines to the face, but this is close to Sir Ranulf, Sophie's late father.



And this would be his son, Sir Stefan.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 02:29:15 pm by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Elkhound

  • Prince/Princess
  • **
  • Posts: 1077
  • Karma: 8
  • Gender: Male
  • Favorite Book: The King's Justice
  • Favorite Character: Denis Arilan
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2010, 07:53:04 pm »
Ok.  I'd pictured both men as having slightly more angular features--stronger jawlines, more defined cheekbones.  But not too far off from what I imagined.

Offline Evie

  • Administrator
  • Prince/Princess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1958
  • Karma: 28
  • Gender: Female
  • Sister Evie--Servant of Saint Camber
    • The Mini-Deryni Chronicles
  • Favorite Book: High Deryni or The King's Justice (can't decide)
  • Favorite Character: President of the Duncan McLain Fanbabe Society
Maidens of Mayhem Chapter 29
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2010, 10:44:40 pm »
Ok.  I'd pictured both men as having slightly more angular features--stronger jawlines, more defined cheekbones.  But not too far off from what I imagined.

You're probably picturing them a bit closer to what I actually envision in my mind then. One problem with Morphthing, besides the fact that you're limited to morphing faces from their database or ones that you upload, is that the more men's faces you morph together, the more likely it is that more angular features will end up getting smoothed out by the morphing process.  Either that, or if you deliberately try to morph in a face with more angular features towards the end, you have to be careful to pick an actor who isn't very recognizable, or else you end up with just a slightly blurred version of Insert-Very-Recognizable-Face-Here.  So for the most part, the character pictures that I post aren't exactly  the people I see in my head when I write, but they're just the closest approximation I've been able to come up with given Morphthing's limitations.

That said, both Ranulf and Stefan do have slightly more angular features in my mind, though Ranulf does more so than Stefan, since Stefan is only 22.  My mind's Jass tends to be a bit more rough-hewn than the pic I've posted here before (still quite young, but unless he's at Rhemuth and trying to look his courtliest best for some special occasion like Twelfth Night, chances are he's more likely to have a few day's growth of beard, especially after a week's ride to Porgonnedd), Celsie's hair is even more golden blonde, Sophie's hazel eyes have more green around the perimeter and golden starbursts towards the center, etc.

And I pretty much give up on trying to recreate John Nivard using Morphthing! 
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

 

* User Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

* Recent Posts

Registration and PM frustrations by Bifph
[Today at 01:26:42 pm]


Ghosts of the Past by Bynw
[Today at 09:26:09 am]


Re: Evie's daughter's mystery allergy by judywward
[Today at 08:23:15 am]


Re: Evie's daughter's mystery allergy by DesertRose
[Today at 08:09:27 am]


Re: Evie's daughter's mystery allergy by MidnightBlue
[Today at 07:33:48 am]

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 54
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 1
  • Dot Users Online:

* Top Poster

Evie Evie
1958 Posts
Elkhound
1077 Posts
Alkari
696 Posts
DesertRose DesertRose
664 Posts
Laurna Laurna
583 Posts

* Most Karma

Evie Evie
Karma: 28
DesertRose DesertRose
Karma: 19
Jerusha Jerusha
Karma: 17
revanne revanne
Karma: 12
Laurna Laurna
Karma: 11

* Online Time

TheDeryni TheDeryni
115d 20h 24m
Evie Evie
105d 13h 4m
DesertRose DesertRose
93d 19h 45m
AnnieUK AnnieUK
53d 22h 35m
Alkari
32d 18h 16m

* Forum Staff

Bynw admin Bynw
Administrator
TheDeryni admin TheDeryni
Administrator
DesertRose admin DesertRose
Administrator
Evie admin Evie
Administrator
Shiral gmod Shiral
Zipper Sister
Unicorn636 gmod Unicorn636
Zipper Sister
Laurna gmod Laurna
Donor
EvilEd gmod EvilEd
Global Moderator
revanne gmod revanne
Donor
KK gmod KK
Our Queen
gmod Alkari
Donor
AnnieUK gmod AnnieUK
Donor
Jerusha gmod Jerusha
Donor

* Board Stats

  • stats Total Members: 620
  • stats Total Posts: 16666
  • stats Total Topics: 1920
  • stats Total Categories: 12
  • stats Total Boards: 126
  • stats Most Online: 181

* Calendar

November 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 [21] 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30

No calendar events were found.