Am I the king of nothing at all? #Sanya
With: Francesca(Exiting), Malia(?), James(?), open
Where: The Merchant's Square, Merchant's Quarter, King's City
When: Sunset, Tuesday, March 11th, 872 RoK
This wasn't right.
Not in the offended-noble-is-tired-of-wasting-her-time way. No, Sanya had a knot in the pit of her stomach because, for the second time in so few days, someone who was usually prompt, reliable, and meticulous wasn't being any of those things. She knew the Royal Scholar mostly by reputation, but also through a few interactions since she'd started studying at the Queen's College. He was not the sort of man who delayed or ran late.
Sanya gently petted Moswen, who laid curled in her lap as she sat in the chair her servants had set out for her in the noble seating area. The four leaders of the duchies had their own designated areas closest to the raise dais where the announcement would be made. Spaces of honor, with a little extra room for servants and food and other little comforts befitting their station. Elliot sat with the Green Duke, leaving Sarnai and her baby in the section designated for the Royal Family, also a place of honor.
Sanya felt like she could only wait for so long.
Apparently longer than Duchess Francesca of the West, though. Francesca's patience ran out when with the daylight. It was no wonder, as her golden gown did not cover her shoulder at all, that she complained about the cold.
"This is not good enough," Francesca griped, when her servant brought a cloak in royal blue that was also likely made for style and not for warmth. Ordering the same servant to make suitable arrangements nearby, she bid the rest of Eventyr's leadership farewell with a characteristic snottiness. "I will return when the General and Scholar decide to grace us with their presence."
Sanya shook her head at the display.
It could be worth gathering a little more information, though. Sanya sent one of her servants to check in on the staging, then stood. Moswen gave a little mrawrl in protest when Sanya lifted her familiar from her lap. She might as well stretch her legs and mingle with the remaining dukes and duchesses.
She moved toward Malia, finding her most generally level-headed and reasonable of the other nobles of her stature. Moswen moved with her, weaving around her walking feet with the sort of intricate steps that only a cat could manage so effectively. Sanya was dressed warmly in several layers of dark cream fabric, but she was wearing sandals again. Maybe she'd live to regret that as the sun angled toward setting and night brought cold out with it.
"Duchess North," she said in greeting. "Strange that the Royal General and Scholar have kept us waiting this long, isn't it?"
Francesca: *whines and leaves*
Sarnai: "I'm fine, Rebecca," "Just need to move a bit with him." *exits*
For all of the anxiety nagging at the edges of Malia's mind, she remained the picture of calm, even when her fellow high-ranking nobles began to get restless and depart. Francesca made herself so obnoxious that no one could miss her; and all were grateful the young mother took the child away before he began to cry. Sometimes, Malia mused on the potential powerful connections she could make if she were willing to have a baby here… but she was never convinced.
The thought briefly brought her mind to Jordan back in New York. How long had she been gone, this time, in Earth days? Had she missed a visit from him? Malia tucked the thought away for later - today, the day a new monarch would be announced, was not to day to worry about the dwindling life on the other side of a fairy circle.
Sanya: "Duchess North," "Strange that the Royal General and Scholar have kept us waiting this long, isn't it?"
Malia glanced up from the words on her page. She had two books in her lap - one familiar, leather-bound one that she always carried, but that was tucked safely beneath a black cover with gold lettering "On the Efficacy of Iron Palisades Against Zombies," the Royal General Gonzalo's latest work.
The warnings that her prophetic book offered were only increasing in urgency. Now, the text appeared as fragmented sentences spaced straight down the page, but the words were incoherent. Now, there were mentions of hunger and thirst and she wondered if perhaps a famine was on its way… although that did not add up to the urgency implied in the short phrases. The more she stared at the words, the more stressed she became, and thus even less likely to interpret them correctly. So, periodically, she rested her mind with the other. General Gonzalo was not exactly a gifted writer, but his military strategy was legendary and she enjoyed the insights of his recollections.
"It is quite concerning," Malia agreed, and glanced in James' direction. He knew well of her worries and her warnings, but she tried to keep her tone conversational so as not to alarm the young southerner, nor the child prince within earshot. "Is it possible the Royal General and Scholar were intercepted on their way?"
The Green Duke sat with his nephew the prince, clad in his strange armor with a huge emerald cloak. He and the boy had been discussing the suit and the sword that accompanied it for most of the last hour. Elliot was a well mannered child considering what he had been through recently. And with the disappearance of his sister, whom was assumed dead,and the definite deaths of his parents it was natural that the boy sought out his closest relatives....
James frowned sharply when Francesca left, although it was probably for the best. His nephew however was concerned when the Royal Consort took leave to settle his half brother. He was not the type of man to deal with a restless young prince, and the tardiness of the Royal General and Scholar was beginning to raise concern. Considering the King's death and the attempt on the prince....? Castile leaned over to speak to a captain of the royal guard to seek out what the delay was.
Raising from his seat he guided the boy with a large hand on his shoulder toward the duchesses. "My prince...nephew..." James corrected himself when the boy looked up at him with a furrowed brow. "The Duchess Malia Von Oehsen of the Northern realm..." the Duke continued the introduction although Elliot probably had been introduced to her at some point in his young life. And Castile himself seemed to admire her heavy gown, especially the color. "...And Lady Sanya Nimr, daughter of the Southern Duchy and the realm's representative..." The boy stared up at them and gave a polite nod of his head.
"...Crown Prince Elliot Paxton". James let the boy stand half engulfed by his green robe with a hand on the scabbard of his sword, and one at the junction of the lad's shoulders. "I commend you on the defense of Headmaster Von Essen, Lady Nimr...." the Green Duke continued, as unfortunate as it was to find little information from the man or even his nephew about the attempt assassination. It was frustrating, Castile was not renown for his patience and these events tried what little he had.
Elliot looked up at the adults and asked in a hushed tone, "Uncle, will it be much longer?" James fingers curled slightly against the boy's back, leave it to a child to express what they were all thinking. Impatience seemed to be a family trait they shared, his mouth curled slightly into a smile when the lad squatted to pet Sanya's cat. He almost laughed at it actually. "Three representatives of the kingdom and we play second fiddle to a feline" he mused.
Of everything that Sanya had experienced thus far in this long afternoon wait, the most surprising thing of all suddenly shifted from how tardy the Royal Scholar and General were to the Green Duke's laughter. She didn't generally think of him as someone capable of that amount of mirth or excitement over anything much, but there he was, while Elliot petted Moswen and Moswen accepted the human contact with an air of dignity that some members of nobility would have a hard time of replicating.
"I wish the defense had not been necessary, if I'm being entirely honest," Sanya said. "The young crown prince should be safe from such threats. It's unfortunate--"
Her words were cut off with a sudden sound of herald's trumpets, piped across the square. She looked up to see an unfamiliar herald bound onto the stage playing that trumpet, with the Royal General's banner in clear display.
She looked quickly around them, something prickling down her spine. She noticed the soldiers eating meat pies. This wasn't unusual in and of itself--soldiers and guards had a tendency to keep well-fed but not overstuffed, especially on long duty shifts, when they had access to food. But also there was also suddenly a large wagon pulled up in the nearest wide thoroughfare that led into the square. It reminded her of the sort that would be used sometimes to bring a large load of prisoners to or from the city.
The sun was fully down now, the sky that twilight blaze fading out into dark blue dotted with stars. Maybe the prickle down her spine was just the chill in the air, but...
The Royal General himself bounded off the front of the wagon. She didn't recognize him until he cast back the hood of the cloak he'd been wearing and strode forward onto the stage that had been readied for him and the Scholar to make their announcement. The Scholar was nowhere to be seen, but the General was recognizable for the sword he wore at his hip, the emblem of the Royal General emblazoned on the back of his cloak. And, for those who were close enough to him, of course the missing two fingers from his left hand, the lost ear half-concealed by his grey-streaked dark brown hair.
"Lords and Ladies of Eventyr," he bellowed. "Men, women, and children! You have come to hear a pronouncement, and I have come to deliver it--and so much more."
Sanya leaned close to Malia and James, shifting her weight slightly, standing a bit straighter, her voice soft as she whispered to them. "He looks paler than I recall. I think something is wrong." Emphasis on the word wrong.
Sarnai's guards--the ones who'd been eating the meat pies, were looking a little bit ill, like they might start retching right there where they stood.
"You look to the Royal Family and us, their most honored and faithful servants, for guidance and direction. You cling to the shadows of times past, when Royal figures brought clarity and direction in times of darkness. I stand before you today to declare that the only monarch that will rule from this day forth in all of Eventyr is Death."
He swung his arms wide, and two cloaked figures standing by the wagon he'd leaped from moved to throw its doors wide. The people nearest the wagon immediately started screaming as figures emerged from it and lunged at them. The figures that came from the wagon moved in odd, jerky, stumbling lunges. And they groaned.
The stench hit suddenly, sickeningly heavy. The stench of death, rot, and decay. The stench of...
"Zombies," Sanya said, her tone disbelieving. Her eyes, her nose, her ears all confirmed it, but her mind didn't want to. A zombie plague here, in the city, would be devastating. It couldn't be...
But on the stage, General Mathias Gonzago laughed as the screams rippled outward and the crowd within the square began to churn...