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July 20, 2024, 09:13:52 PM
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#21
Hmm, I note another gorgeous man in a cassock

#22
Oh yes, the new scene answers those specific doubts a reader might have regarding this lovely, dysfunctional family. :)
#23
And as you can see, I figured out how to move the thread to the correct board, so hopefully that will make finding it easier.
#24
Evie's FanFic / MOVED: Pawns and Queens--A 15t...
Last post by Evie - July 22, 2024, 01:57:50 PM
This topic has been moved to Pawns and Queens main sub-board.

#25
This post will receive updates as new characters appear in the story. (If I forget, remind me! I have pics of at least most of the main characters.) Certain portraits may also change later in the story as those characters evolve.
#26
The House of Haldane


King Uthyr III of Gwynedd--late King of Gwynedd


Queen Soraya di Fianna, Queen Mother of Gwynedd, Dowager queen to King Uthyr


King Cinhil II--King of Gwynedd as of 15 December 1463


Queen Alixa of Joux--Cinhil's consort


Prince Nicholas ("Colin"), Duke of Carthmoor


Queen Miranda Haldane von Horthy, eldest daughter to Uthyr and Soraya, Queen of Orsal and Tralia


Prince Camber, aka Father Camber


Princess Richeldis Haldane


Princess Elisa Haldane

The Northwodes


Lady Melisande ("Mellie") de Northwode, daughter to the late Sir Edward Northwode, former ward of King Uthyr, longtime paramour of Prince Nicholas


Balian de Northwode--son to Prince Nicholas and Lady Melisande


Anneke de Northwode--eldest daughter to Prince Nicholas and Lady Melisande


Emmeline ("Emmie") de Northwode--younger daughter to Prince Nicholas and Lady Melisande

The House of Vastouni


Mikhail, King of Andelon and Sultan of the Bhuttayriah


Queen Noora, born a Nabila of Nur Hallaj, Queen to King Mikhail of Andelon and Sultana of the Bhuttayriah


Princess Catalina, Princess Royal of Andelon and Sultana of the Bhuttayriah

Three additional princesses (Esmeralda, Leonor, Isabella) and the Heir to Andelon (Reyhan) not pictured.
#27
What a story you have set up. Tears and laughter in the first chapter. Thank you.
#28
Forgotten Shadows / Re: Forgotten Shadows
Last post by Marc_du_Temple - July 22, 2024, 11:48:12 AM
((Made in collaboration with Revanne and Nezz!))

The five had just finished breaking their fast of ham and porridge when Airich approached Edwin. "Master Scholar," he said, "I have been thinking—"

"Are you sure that's wise?" Edwin asked. His talk with Elspeth had left him significantly buoyed, and Airich's use of that title gave him the nerve to make this jest.

"Ha!" Airich grinned, accepting this bit of deprecating humor. "I myself have but a passing acquaintance with wisdom, which is why I have come to you for your thoughts.

"We three have been tasked with some investigative work. While I doubt we are in much danger, I can't ignore the fact that the people we are looking for are vicious and cruel. Whether they meant to kill young Alfie or not, they are killers, and they will not want to be brought to justice. So we should all be on our guard and take proper precautions."

Airich waved a hand toward Bede, who was just coming to join them. "Bede is a soldier and wears a leather jerkin, which will provide some protection." He struck his own chest with a fist. "I am also a fighting man, and I will keep my mail on. But a scholar does not usually require such armor. So I thought perhaps you might wear this to protect yourself while we are out."

He held out his cream-colored shirt with the exquisitely stitched pattern at the color and cuffs. Edwin didn't need to touch it to know that it was his shirt with the protective magics embroidered into it.

Edwin wondered for one heart-stopping moment if Elspeth had shared his fear and this was a sop to a coward. Then he took himself firmly to task - he had known both the lady and Sir Airich for only a few days but it was enough to know that neither was capable of such behaviour. But this shirt had been embroidered with faith and love with the hope of protection for the one who wore it.

Edwin put out his hand to touch the shirt, instinctively checking to see that there were no ink stains on his fingers, and gently stroked the embroidery. He extended his fledgling Deryni senses and could feel that there was a sense of strong protective love. To his horror he felt his mouth begin to twitch with emotion as he thought of his own mother who had so often put herself between him and trouble. Biting the inside of his lip, he looked at Airich and asked, all sense of levity or pretence gone, "But this was made for you, to ensure your protection. How can it be fitting that you give it to a stranger, and a commoner at that."

"A man doesn't need noble blood to have a great heart," Airich said. "It would be easy for you to lock yourself in your room or return to your father's home in safety. You have chosen neither, but you put yourself in some danger with this venture. You are telling the Willimites that you are a friend to Deryni by your actions. That means a great deal to me."

As if realizing he was speaking too personally, Airich then shrugged his shoulders and brought up his own wall of levity. "Besides, if you stay alive longer, it helps me stay alive longer. I'm very self-serving that way."

Edwin knew that to continue to refuse would be churlish and foolish. And maybe also ungrateful; maybe this was one answer to his prayer that morning for courage. He stood and bowed formally to Airich. "I accept with gratitude then, My Lord. My thanks to you and whichever gracious lady I owe the loan of this protection to."

Then catching Airich's somewhat embarrassed look at such formality he too took refuge in levity. "Maybe I should have washed more thoroughly this morning, to pay such a garment due honour." Then without any more protest he shrugged off his cotte and began to unlace the neck of his own plain, though fine linen, shirt.

Inspired by the outfitting going on, Bede addressed Edwin, "Do you have a weapon, aside from your burliness and wits?"

Edwin fiddled with his cuffs and did his best to think of a neutral answer for the renegade. He forced himself not to reach for the dagger which had hung at his belt until a week or so ago. He had prized that dagger and been all sorts of a fool to offer it up as a forfeit, but he was not about to let a Mearan know that. He then shuffled through his pouches until he produced a scribe's well-worn knife, like a sliver of iron. "I have this."

Bede shook his head. "That will hardly do if the Willimites get a hold of you." He raised a hand, begging calm and stillness from the wary student, as he unsheathed his dirk with his other hand. Then he flipped his grip to offer the handle to him. "A real Mearan blade. The kind made for stony men and beloved women. We have to start trusting each other, and that means you too. Let me hold on to that for you for the day. I doubt anyone will be so quick to cross you with this on your belt."

Edwin gave it a moment's thought before accepting the trade. "Do be careful, Bede," he warned. "That knife is a gift from my father." He frowned at the feeling of the weightier blade, which made the one he had lost seem like a child's toy but decided he could get used to it. ((Edwin tests Bede's knife 2d6 3 + 3))

"So is mine," Bede said nostalgically.

Airich spoke, then. "If either of you has gloves, you should keep them on. The Willimites use a compound called merasha to neutralize Deryni, and while merasha by itself has no effect on humans, I do know that alchemists have mixed it with other substances that might affect a Human. People looking to incapacitate a Deryni have been known to dip nails or splinters in merasha and leave them where an unsuspecting person might prick a finger."

Bede flexed his gloves and nodded appreciatively.

Airich dropped a hand on the shoulders of the other men. "Good sirs, let us see what this day holds for us. God willing, we can help stop the Willimites terror before anyone else gets hurt."

*****

The three rode through the city and met the guardsman at the West Gate at the appointed time. They were led outside the city wall and a little beyond, to where Robert had been found the day before. It was at a little clearing just off the side of the road. Unfortunately, other travelers had walked and rested here, and any clues about who might have left him here had been obliterated long since.

"No respect for a tragedy, these people," Bede muttered. ((Bede ... looks for evidence 1d6 4)) He had so wanted to find a sign of some kind to work with.

Edwin cleared his throat and shared what he knew. "Mistress Elspeth and I have reason to believe a windmill is a part of this."

The others looked at him quizzically. Bede asked, "What gives you that idea, man?"

In answer, Edwin revealed a roll of parchment with some kind of design on it. "We found this on poor Robert."

((Bede and Airch see that it's a windmill. 1 is Bede, 2 is Airich for first. 1d2 2)) "Ah," said Airich. "Very well, then. We have a direction." Thus did he whistle for their guide's attention.

Seeing the anticipation on all of their faces, the guardsman chuckled. "If this is a proposal for another wager, Archer, I know better after watching Horace lose his shirt."

Bede shook his head. "Not this time, man. The knight will give you a full explanation of our needs."

Expectantly, the guard turned in his saddle toward Airich, who looked quite mythic upon his horse. Airich simply requested, "Please, lead us to the windmill, sir."

"Of course, sir," the guard nodded and bid them follow.

"Our thanks, good sir," Airich nodded and led the others as they fell into a train with Bede immediately after him and Edwin trailing behind.

With the morning sun at their backs, it looks as if they were climbing the shadows themselves on those hills, with the birds and the stags flying before them and the crunch of leaves under their hooves. A strange, resolute bunch they were in those forgotten woods. It was Edwin who broke the silence. "Bede, you did not tell me you were a betting man."

"I bet on everything, or didn't you notice?"

Edwin chewed on that and probed further. "What's a bet you've won? Aside from the one premised on ditching an ugly shirt."

What indeed did he have to show for venture after venture after venture? Scars? Discarded names? Faces only fate could return to his sight? Bede came precariously close to losing his focus as a rider then, but the snorting of his Winnie broke his melancholy reverie. He stroked her corded old neck appreciatively. "In the war, during the Ratharkin Campaign, we set camp early one day. 'We' including the Archer family, the footsoldiers of Valerian, and some of his loyal knights. For a certain interpretation of that word. Oaths are an especially serious thing where I am from, but I digress. Everyone except the knights and their lackeys were without a horse to spare, but ye know what? I wanted more. I am light on my feet and yet proud of it, but these feet need preservation, sometimes. So, I happen upon a knight with a particularly efficient-looking bow. And a horse all his own. Not a young foal, or a sturdy pony, or a mighty destrier, but a good, walnut courser. I already had a bow, and still do, so I bet my wages for that particular campaign against his horse. The knight was the kind of old that is desperate for diversion, instead of resigned to nothingness. A bet against a common bowman was diversion enough. Pity for him he could'na aim as true with a bow as he could with a sword, right, Winnie?" and he kissed the back of her head.

"I would do the same," Airich stated approvingly from up ahead. "A horse deserves a master who respects him."

Edwin felt true levity and camaraderie with the Mearan, for a brief moment. "I did do much the same! I won the horse between my knees with my lucky dice."

Bede had to look back and marvel at the keeper of his knife. "A game of dice? There's the mettle that pinned me to a door, Edwin! Remember your conquests fondly when we must charge!" and he laughed loud enough to reverberate through the woods, waking the owls in their trees, but he laughed with Edwin.
#29
Quote from: Nezz on July 22, 2024, 11:08:41 AM
Quote from: Evie on July 22, 2024, 09:23:44 AMNow that I finally figured out how to create a sub-board for the story itself, would it be handier to have this map and thread in the same sub-board as the story chapters, or keep it in this separate section along with my "Suggested Reading Order" thread?  Or six of one and half a dozen of the other? Just let me know. I probably need to embark upon the grand adventure of learning how to move an existing thread anyway, since I've long since forgotten such dark mysteries.
Is there a way to keep the map in the same folder as the story chapters, but pin it to the top for easy access?

I know it can be moved. I'm less sure if it can be pinned, but I can ask. If two posts can be pinned, I'm thinking a Dramatis Personae thread with images, names, and brief descriptions would also be helpful.
#30
Quote from: Evie on July 22, 2024, 09:23:44 AMNow that I finally figured out how to create a sub-board for the story itself, would it be handier to have this map and thread in the same sub-board as the story chapters, or keep it in this separate section along with my "Suggested Reading Order" thread?  Or six of one and half a dozen of the other? Just let me know. I probably need to embark upon the grand adventure of learning how to move an existing thread anyway, since I've long since forgotten such dark mysteries.
Is there a way to keep the map in the same folder as the story chapters, but pin it to the top for easy access?