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Old 01-05-2019, 05:38 AM
maxi maxi is offline
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(Sorry this took a little bit! I've been a bit busy, but here I am!!)



Saelia didn’t wish to admit it, but although she considered her homeland venomous for the people that inhabited its shores and territories, the sight of it all in the early mornings was glorious.

As she awoke from a slumber where she’d slept intermittently, yet the duration of which was elongated by her pounding and recently deceased headache, she allowed the gold light of the sun to gild her body into a silhouette. The breeze was gentle on her skin and, as she rose from the bed stretching and yawning, Saelia blinked the sleep from her eyes. The day was young and there was much to do as the aristocratic daughter of a lord, but she’d thankfully planned it all out for the day. Everything set in stone, as it should be and as it was.

As if she’d been summoned by the gods of wind and air, Saelia almost glided over to the balcony to overlook the kingdom which had delivered her so many troubles and nightmares. However, the nation of Golgaroch was something of a myth to realms beyond Kinshirrin, and for this she was forever grateful to have her place in it, a purpose, a sense of needed belonging. She glanced at what the morning wrought upon the kingdom, and its sight was the same type of glory she’d witnessed countless days before this one. Saelia took in a deep breath of the cold air, something that she’d always admired about her homeland and kept deep in the crevices of her rough-worn heart.

The clouds in the sky were few, but those that slumbered churned and roiled in the distance like cats out to play in the high grasses. The sun, its rays golden and refined, streamed beams of light through them, illuminating the clouds in a majestic manner, so unlike the petty court intrigue she’d been chained to last night. Upon the glorious kingdom beneath its bulk, the clouds’ filtered sunlight marched its rays through the streets, turns, alleys, inns and villages. Between these roads, people skittered like insectoid creatures across the land, always having something to do and always knowing their purpose in their wonderfully built nation, so long in its history. A woman was selling fish to a small peasant boy, who scowled at her for the price before scurrying off. A man chanted what he’d been selling, carriages—royal and common alike—strode through the streets, beholding the vision that the ancient First King of Golgaroch had been hoping to steer towards for the far future. Everyone knew the story: he hoped for greatness, prosperity and a land of peace. The latter, they were still working towards, but the others… All of it was contained within this radiant nation.

The horizon bloomed with capitals and castles and parapets rising into the clouds like some celestial city. Saelia’s thoughts trailed to the Eastern Kingdom of Aldsea as her vision mirrored it. What were they planning for the Struggle and who were they sending up for the fight to the death, as one would have it? Were there already rumours sprouting like flowers as to who the competitor might be? Who was sponsoring it? What were their affinities? Thoughts of far greater evils, and even greater threats, prompted gooseflesh to rise on her skin like hackles. She shivered at these dark times ahead, considering the possibility of a full-scale war that she knew hadn’t been in its fruition for at least a thousand years.

“Saelia,” a familiar voice called from behind, intermingling with the sound of the door creaking open on its hinges, ancient and worn. “Your father requests your presence in the Grand Hall. He says it is of utmost importance.”

Of course he did. She rolled her eyes to the grandiose sight of the heralding kingdom before twirling around with a flurry of action to meet the eager eyes of her maid, Joleen.

Joleen’s eyes crinkled. “Your beauty is unparalleled, as it should be, milady.”

Saelia felt another eye roll emerging, but she willed it down deep within herself and exhaled. “I shall be at his beck and call in a moment, Joleen. Just let me get my outfit ready for the large day ahead of me.” Curt, abrupt words, but all the same, they were effective—and that was what mattered most in Golgaroch.

“Of course, milady,” Joleen replied, smile uptilting her lips. “Oh, by the way, Karter—the stable hand—mentioned last night to me that he’d seen me talking with him the other night. He wants the both of you to have a quick talk in the library whenever you are possibly free.”

Saelia put on a face of feigned contemplation before answering with: “I’ll have to check when my duties call me to be available. But once I do so, I’d happily spend some time with Karter after the generosity he shows me as of late.” That comment was not feigned, for Karter was truly one of the only things holding her sanity together. She sighed, the thought of talking to him once more soothing her bones and warming her right down to her steely nerve.

“Well, then, I’ll report back to your father and tell him he shall be seeing you in an hour, let’s say.” Joleen gave Saelia a small smile, one tinged with secrets and lies encrypted within that damned expression, before closing the door and leaving the gargantuan bedchambers of the Princess of Golgaroch.

Truly, the word struck her, sent a pang of darkness within her chest. Princess—she felt nothing of the sort. A princess was supposed to administer balls and weddings, take part in both and be the host of both. A princess was supposed to lead her kingdom into victory, if not by battle then through political manoeuvrings clever enough that they deserved to be played on a chessboard. A princess was a figure of determination, royalty and dauntlessness, none of which had been instilled within Saelia since the day she was birthed from her mother’s womb.

Suddenly, memories sprang through her mind of her mother, the woman she’d never wished to plant thoughts into her mind of. And yet, here she stood, facing her bedroom door some steps away from it, the only thing separating her from escape being either the balcony or the bed. Her mother, likely scattered to the winds as a dusting of ash or joining some ravaging nation in its wars, was an exile. After some time, Valya, the Lost Lady of Golgaroch, had decided that her royalty and her family was too much to handle. Stress had boiled her veins and ire had sparked a fire in her chest, so much so that the night after a grand ball, Valya’s disappearance became the next stringent scatter of whispers in the kingdom.

Saelia remembered it all, and remembered none of it.

As a small child, eyes still young to this cruel world, she watched as her mother’s disappearance sent the kingdom into ultimate uproar. The Collegium was banned for some years, rumours of a rebellion had rose like flames and—most threatening of all—the Western Wastelands had rumbled, a sound that would always echo into the hearts of the believers, like Saelia.

It was the believers that were scared the most, frightened down to the white of their brittle bones.

“Today,” she whispered to herself against the warmth of the sun limning her back, “I will attend my father’s presence. I will train. I will meet Karter in the library. I will decide how to win the Struggle.”
But what was after that? What life was there after victory and glory? Once victory had been restored in a kingdom, what did you do, knowing there was nothing else that could be done?

Saelia willed saccharine emotions into her, casting that affinity like a crone-witch’s spell, but the push and pull of it was too strong. As many times as she’d trained for it, she could not revert that affinity onto her own self, her own soul. That was the one thing she couldn’t avoid.

Perhaps, if she could, she’d feel more positive about the perilous situation she’d trapped herself in.
__________________
What a wonderful caricature of intimacy
Raindrops on roses and
Girls in white dresses and
Sleeping with roaches and
Taking best guesses
At the shade of the sheets and
Before all the stains
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