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A Heart Full of Stars {A Medieval Story} Chapter 44 out now! 8/10/20

Comments

  • _sims_Yimi_sims_Yimi Posts: 852 Member
    Finally caught up! I love your story, it's very unique, and I love how it takes place in the past!
    I have to side with Gloria here. Danger or no danger, Midshore promised she wouldn't break into Gloria's head, and she blatantly broke that promise. She didn't even apologize for her actions. And Aubade definitely seems to know more about the whole thing than he's letting on, what with his reaction to the name "Seneca".
    One thing I'm wondering about, from Anwyn's generation. Before Liam came back, Romeo acted like Gloria's father for multiple years. Yet when Liam came back, he immediately took over as Gloria's dad, and Romeo just... faded away from the family picture. I don't believe that he didn't develop fatherly feelings during that time. I know he found his own love around when Liam came back, but was Romeo really okay with just being removed from Gloria's life like that?
  • TaraIris94TaraIris94 Posts: 533 Member
    icmnfrsh wrote: »
    I'm starting to wonder if Aubade has any hidden agendas. There could be a reason why he'd want Gloria to avoid those dreams...
    My thoughts exactly!
    Aubade's reaction to what Gloria has told him just makes me more suspicious. I really can't wait to find out if my suspicions are correct. Midshore should have apologized, I feel that Gloria may have overreacted a bit but that's all part of being a teenager :D, I sure was dramatic at that age at least. I definitely wouldn't want someone poking around in my head. I hope they will have a chance to talk about it in a calm way and hopefully Midshore and Everstar will be able to help Gloria with the dreams.

    Also., @Irishsong best of luck to you with your sleeping! I'm glad you were able to get this chapter out and as always I look forward to the next one!
  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    _sims_Yimi wrote: »
    Finally caught up! I love your story, it's very unique, and I love how it takes place in the past!
    I have to side with Gloria here. Danger or no danger, Midshore promised she wouldn't break into Gloria's head, and she blatantly broke that promise. She didn't even apologize for her actions. And Aubade definitely seems to know more about the whole thing than he's letting on, what with his reaction to the name "Seneca".
    One thing I'm wondering about, from Anwyn's generation. Before Liam came back, Romeo acted like Gloria's father for multiple years. Yet when Liam came back, he immediately took over as Gloria's dad, and Romeo just... faded away from the family picture. I don't believe that he didn't develop fatherly feelings during that time. I know he found his own love around when Liam came back, but was Romeo really okay with just being removed from Gloria's life like that?
    Yeah, that's a good point. Trust and consent are huge things when acting as an authority figure towards kids and teens. And I think Romeo was just phased out from the story
    TaraIris94 wrote: »
    icmnfrsh wrote: »
    I'm starting to wonder if Aubade has any hidden agendas. There could be a reason why he'd want Gloria to avoid those dreams...
    My thoughts exactly!
    Aubade's reaction to what Gloria has told him just makes me more suspicious. I really can't wait to find out if my suspicions are correct. Midshore should have apologized, I feel that Gloria may have overreacted a bit but that's all part of being a teenager :D, I sure was dramatic at that age at least. I definitely wouldn't want someone poking around in my head. I hope they will have a chance to talk about it in a calm way and hopefully Midshore and Everstar will be able to help Gloria with the dreams.

    Also., Irishsong best of luck to you with your sleeping! I'm glad you were able to get this chapter out and as always I look forward to the next one!
    Yeah, from the beginning I was wondering if Blake/Aubade was really genuine, and for a while it seemed like it, but this whole episode brought a more sinister light to him. And hopefully the adult spellcasters can deal with Gloria more delicately. Teens go through a lot, and the grownups need to show that they're allies and not adversaries to the whole process

    I like how this is starting to spark some discussion among us readers. :D This is fun.

    And yeah, my sleeping habits these past few months have been messed up. I would really love to have a sense of rhythm back in my life.
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    Oooo, I was so happy to see you guys had posted when I checked this this morning!

    @_sims_Yimi Romeo's story arc came to an end. I haven't really been thinking about him, but I think I'll give him a bit of a cameo in the next few chapters just to show him some love ;)

    You guys are pretty in agreement about how Midshore shouldn't have been poking around in Gloria's head, but she's not used to boundaries. There aren't many people on the islands who would mind her (or even know if she did) peaking in their mind. She's one of the Islands' protectors, and with that type of power comes a bit of corruption and the belief that she knows what's right.

    Gloria's power kinda scares her. As I've written in the past, most spellcasters get their power from an outside source, Gloria seems to get hers from herself. Obviously the spirits restored Anwyn and Gloria, but they haven't taken credit for giving her powers. That and Gloria's hands are becoming orange, not blue/green like Midshore and Everstar's. Her tattoos haven't changed from white. The Spirits' power is blue/green. But if you remember when Anwyn was restored the light turned golden...?

    So Midshore is weary of Gloria and wants to know everything. She wants to know why the boy has aged, why Gloria dreams of him when her power is the strongest, and what he signifies. She doesn't like that Gloria is hiding something like this and while Gloria doesn't feel like she's concealing it because it wasn't important in the first place, Midshore thinks that it important.

    That leads us to the impass. Midshore wants to be the best guardian she can and thus is over stepping her boundaries to make sure that things are going well and believes that these dreams are important, but can't know about them without intruding on Gloria's privacy.
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    I definitely agree that it's Midshore's duty to keep everyone and Gloria safe using her powers, but she just needs to work on her approach. Teenagers can be difficult and they themselves go through a lot of stuff (especially someone like Gloria), so a brute force approach would only alienate Gloria. I get the impression that Midshore isn't used to dealing with younger folk, which is why she acted that way, even if it's in Gloria's best interest.
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
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    Chapter 39

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    “It’s odd to see Gloria growing up so quickly.” Romeo commented as the trio layed out under the stars. The reliable rhythm of the waves lapped at the sand, and something that at some point they had all realized that they had stopped hearing. It had been nearly 16 years since they had arrived at the Islands, and after a while they had blended into the community and found peace.

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    “I know, I can hardly look at her without feeling like she should stop growing. Like I can have Midshore put a charm on her to stop her aging.” laughed Anwyn. “I can only imagine what it will be like when the twins are eventually that age. Then I’ll really feel old.”

    “At the rate the twins are growing, they’ll never be that age.” grumbled Liam. “I just want them to be able to clean themselves. Six people in the family, and only two males. I have three daughters, Romeo! Three of them!”

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    “I can’t complain, I have two sons.” Romeo smiled. “Lily loves them too. They rough-house together, build things, learn together. I’m telling you, I’ve never been happier. More at peace.” he turned his head to look at Anwyn. “I’m sorry I live on the other cluster, I would have loved to send my boys to your school. It just would take too long to journey there every week. It took so long for us to build our family, to have them leave for long periods would break our hearts.”

    “I know.” Anwyn smiled, and patted his hand. “We’re just happy that you could come and visit us for a few days. I’m sorry that we don’t have a spare room right now; we just added Gloria’s loft and that really showed us how old we’re feeling! I was worried Liam would fall off the ladder and hurt himself. And the heavy lifting- We’ll hire someone next time.”

    “That’s ok, I’ll just sneak in and borrow a room from the Sisters. I’m sure Midshore already knows I’m here.”

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    They lay there in silence for a while. The sky sparkled with the light from distant suns and systems, their dance unimaginable to most. The vastness of the sky almost made Anwyn feel like she would fall into it if she let go of the ground, so she decided to stop looking. She closed her eyes and felt the pull of gravity on her, the soft grit of sand on her skin and feet, and she focused on her breathing.

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    A baby’s cry cracked out from the house, and Anwyn stood up from the ground. It was her turn to solve whatever problem the twins were encountering, and Liam mouthed ‘thankyou’ as she walked past.

    Liam and Romeo looked up at the stars, and he was reminded of the journey to the coast they had taken, looking up at the stars every night through the trees. There were less trees here, and they were shaped differently, but if you could find a particularly firm patch of ground and an old and sturdy tree, you could almost imagine you were back on the mainland. As terrible as it had been, and the fact that he had been locked up in a dungeon for months and then been on the run for years, he still missed the markets, the buildings, and some of the people.

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    “How has Gloria been doing? She was asleep by the time I arrived, I didn’t want to bother her.” Romeo asked.

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    Liam huffed. “She’s been doing as well as any girl her age could hope. She has a pretty serious boyfriend, though she doesn’t want to put a label on it. They’re… pretty serious.” Liam repeated.

    “You… didn’t walk in on them, did you?” Romeo asked, concerned for his best friend and goddaughter.

    “Creator, no!” Liam barked out a laugh. “It’s just, she hasn’t been considering anyone else, he fawns over her, and from what Anwyn says about him from what she sees at school is that he’s always around her. When he comes to see her, they walk around holding hands around the bigger island. We’ve seen him kiss her goodnight. It’s all very sweet, but she’s not sold on it yet. I’m not sure why she’s hesitating, he seems like a catch. At least, to the rest of the community. His host family loves him.”

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    “You don’t seem very set on it.” Romeo observed.

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    Liam took a second to collect his thoughts. “I- He reminds me of someone. Something. And The dreams I had before I met him were strange. I was back in the dungeon, then the king said he was going to send someone, and then here’s this guy. I could be making connections where there are none, and I don’t want to tell Gloria that what she’s doing is wrong either. I have no proof of anything.”

    “You’re her dad, surely you can tell her what you think.” Romeo inquired.

    “You obviously don’t have any daughters. Gloria goes to the beat of her own drum, and while that can be a good thing and I’m happy she’s independent, it can be like trying to untie a very delicate knot when advising her. She had a falling out with Midshore last week after Midhsore told her that she knew what was best.”

    “Midshore can be a bit of a controlling personality, what happened?” Romeo asked.

    “Midhsore was poking around in Gloria’s mind during training. Midshore is convinced that she’s having special dreams and Gloria is furious that she went looking in her mind. I really don’t want to get that involved in it, I just want them to make it right between each other.”

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    “Sounds like a headache,” Romeo rolled his eyes. “Women fight over the smallest of things.”

    “I remember us fighting about some things that felt pretty big.” Liam looked at his friend and smiled, happy to have him near for the time at hand.

    ~*~

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    “Is your hair tidy? Is that your best shirt? My dear, I’ll have to make you a better shirt. Krista deserves better. She’s the Marquess’s daughter, you know. We need her to like you.” barnabus’s wife fluttered around Seneca, making sure he looked presentable.

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    “The matching is arranged, I’m not sure why she needs to like me. It has nothing to do with either of us.” he grumbled.

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    “Oh, but everyone likes to see a happy young couple. You and Krista are going to be a very public couple, should things go the right way. You want people to have faith in you, and part of that comes from having people think you’re in control of your life. Everyone knows that marriages are arranged all the time, but they like to think that your love is spontaneous.”

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    “It’s a lie.” he looked at himself in the mirror. He wasn’t in the mood to meet his future wife, but he also didn’t want to disappoint the careful work of his mother. It had taken many letters and more than two years of negotiating to arrange the match, and it still wasn’t certain. The Marquess couldn’t travel all the way to the settlement and not gather suspicion, but his daughter disguised as a peasant to get across the border would work perfectly.

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    “Of course, the marriage will only happen after the plan is successful, so don’t like her too much, you hear?” she nudged Seneca and he restrained himself from growling. He really wasn’t in the mood. Two days ago he had dreamed of the swirling world and she still hadn’t been there. She hadn’t been there for months. His questions still went unanswered. Who was she? Where did she go when he didn’t dream of her? Why were those dreams always so strong and why did he always feel sick afterwards? He told himself that he should stop concerning himself with it, but how can you stop thinking about something that had an impact on your life once a month?

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    “I hear she’s quite the lady.” clucked Barnabus’s wife.

    “I don’t really care about any of that.”

    “Well, don’t tell her that. Women want to be flattered. Wooed! Be kind to her.” she finished up what she was doing and stood next to him.

    “I feel like no one ever taught me how to be good at this.” he said, starting to feel the sprouts of self doubt.

    “Don’t worry, no one starts out good at anything. You'll be no different. No matter how much your mother thinks that you’ll be the one to pull all of her plans into place, you’re not perfect. No one is.”

    “That’s not very encouraging.” he looked at her sideways.

    “Well, you’re not Henry, are you?” she patted his shoulder and walked out of the room.

    Seneca looked at his polished self in the mirror and had to mentally hold his arm in place so that he didn’t ruffle his hair. He never had it slicked back like this, and he wasn’t one for special dress.

    Instead, he turned and walked out of his room and walked down to the main floor. His mother was getting papers sorted, there was a lot to talk about with the Marquess’s daughter and her entourage. Deals to be solidified, reinforcements to be allocated, money to be transfered, promises to be made.

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    “Seneca! Lady Krista and her group will be here any moment, wait outside and greet them. Stand tall!” his mother ordered firmly as she searched for a certain paper. A table and chairs had been collected outside as that was where there was room. The inside of the house was cramped and as much as Barnabus’s wife tried to keep it clean, she also didn’t want to disturb Seneca’s mother who was never a tidy person.

    Seneca walked out the door and straightened his shirt. The Marquee had been an ally of his mother’s since before he was born, and there were still a few high ranking members of society who were willing to aid her. With the political unrest among the king and the Church, it was getting easier to really support for her cause, but they still had to meet in secret. If their movement was uncovered now, it would ruin everything that had been put into place since Seneca was born.

    The sound of horses was heard getting closer and soon the carriages were brought around. Barnabus directed them on where to go, and the people inside stepped out.

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    Lady Krista was visually stunning. Her hair was quite blonde, her posture straight as a freshly cut board, and her dress was clean. Her whole body seemed to be clean, from her face to her shoes. When was the last time Seneca was that clean?

    “I assume you’re Seneca? Seneca Galant?” she asked him directly.

    “Yes, that is me.” he half stammered. He wasn’t prepared to be the target of her attention, he had been surprised by her beauty.

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    “I wish to speak with your mother. Then I shall speak with you. Please show the way.” Creator, she’s as bossy as my mother, he thought. I hope she lightens up.

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    We saw a bit more of Seneca's mother, and got a bit of banter between the trio. Are you not entertained? Are you satisfied? Have I wet your palette for more? There are several clues in this chapter, let's see if you can find them :wink:
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    So Romeo lives a bit farther. That explains why he doesn't show up very often. :D

    And "Galant". I've heard that name before. I need to look back and see who had that name...

    It's the King. It was pointed out that the King became infertile after, so could Seneca be a relative of his? An adopted son? Hmm

    I'm looking back at the first page and Lady Malice's last name is Blake, and her son has light blonde hair. :o I wonder if it's a trap...

    It seems like danger surrounds Gloria wherever she goes.
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    edited June 27
    @icmnfrsh Someone did their research! I'm very proud of your dedication. You truly deserve sn awesome point.

    Any leads on Seneca's mother? It was a hot topic last chapter.
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    I'm still drawing a blank on his mother. This is just a shot in the dark, but maybe it's Briella?
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    edited June 27
    I'm not confirming or denying anything. You may notice my choice in words saying I'm proud of your dedication, but not that you're correct :wink:.

    What I will say is that colors are a big hint with this character. Ch37 showed us what she looks like every day, Ch39 shows us that she is trying to portray her past role.
    Post edited by Irishsong on
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  • TaraIris94TaraIris94 Posts: 533 Member
    my main guess on Seneca's mom has been Briella for a while now. But now that Seneca's last name was revealed I'm stumped again. He has to be related to the king somehow, whether by blood or not. I'm still trying to put all the pieces together. With my luck all my theories will be completely wrong :D

    I do have a couple other guesses however. My runner up guess is Malene- I can't remember if we ever learned her son's name. I just feel like we shouldn't forget about him but who knows haha.

    This is probably the most wrong guess but maybe its Melinda? I thought it could have been her but then I saw the way Seneca's mom was dressed in the most recent chapter so now I think it would be safe to rule her out?

    Looks like it's time to go read past chapters again :smiley:
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    @TaraIris94 Melina has bright red hair. Would be a stretch for it to be her. And she came back to the islands with the Cupshires and the Lord's daughter.
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  • TaraIris94TaraIris94 Posts: 533 Member
    edited June 29
    Irishsong wrote: »
    @TaraIris94 Melina has bright red hair. Would be a stretch for it to be her. And she came back to the islands with the Cupshires and the Lord's daughter.

    Thanks for the reminder- I must have forgotten that she came to the island. I knew it was unlikely it could have been her but I didn't want to rule anyone out for sure lol.
    Post edited by TaraIris94 on
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    edited June 30
    There are so many things I want to tell you guys about the plot, and about inspirations I have, about so many, many things! But I love your reactions far too much to give anything away.

    What I will say is that I'm happy I named the story A Heart Full of Stars. So much of this second generation is inspired by cosmic things. Star wars, a ton of songs about stars and loving them, things like that.
    Post edited by Irishsong on
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    Yeah, I'm liking it so far too! I enjoy having a little bit of mystery in the story and how it's all being revealed bit by bit. The introduction of mysticism and cosmic stuff really spiced things up after the political machinations surrounding Anwyn in the first part
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    edited July 6
    Sorry for lack of a chapter last week, I had too many other projects to work on. That's the problem with having so many hobbies, I have a hard time focusing on any one of them.

    Such as, I have masks to make for the pandemic, I have a house to build on Minecraft, I want to practice the ukulele, I have a sweater I'm over half done with but not finished knitting, and the list goes on.

    I have been thinking about the plot of AHFoS and I've been coming up with twists and turns, figuring out why characters I want to be in a scene together in the future would be in the same place, things like that. I can never forget this story, so don't worry about it disappearing, I just run out of hours in the day. I'm also working more hours at work because I was promoted to being a manager! It's so much more stressful...

    Edit: Also! We've arrived at chapter 40, is there any thing you'd like to see? Funny poses for characters? The king in his underwear? Romeo and Liam fawning over Lily and Anwyn? Futuristic pic of the cast? Let me know. I want to thank my readers for following me this long.
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    Yeah, I understand wanting to try out many things. I've been the same for the past 10 years. There's so much to do, and not enough time and energy/willpower

    I'd like to see the king in his underwear :D
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    Yay! I wrote the chapter!

    I'm giggling to myself because I'm writing the characters that we're confused about as openly as I can without saying their names or titles, but in the new chapter I put in one line that may reveal a character. There are three characters I'm alluding at this chapter, and I'm hoping that the one after this one will be able to pick up a bit more. Fingers crossed.
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  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
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    Chapter 40

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    Gloria came down from her room as breakfast was being set on the table when she saw Romeo helping set the table. He felt incongruous in the setting, sticking out like a flash of lightning in a dark sky. Seeing him lit up her spirit with a buoyancy she hadn’t felt in some time.

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    “Pops!” she shouted, making everyone jump, as she ran to him, giving him a big hug. “When did you get in?”

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    He squeezed her with his strong arms. “Last night, munchkin. You were already asleep. I didn’t want to wake you up. Well, part of me did, but the better part of me thought that I wouldn’t want to see the ogre you become when you’re tired…”

    She dug her thumbs into his ribs under his arms making him recoil and laugh. “I am not an ogre!”

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    “Hey, I saw you as a baby. Total ogre baby as soon as the sun went down, I swear. Your wailing could be considered art in their culture, I’m sure.” he continued setting the table.

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    “I’m sure my parents have already told you, but I’ve been seeing a guy. Maybe you could meet him today.” Gloria buzzed.

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    “Of course we told him, what else do we have to gossip about?” Anwyn asked as she stirred something in the kitchen.

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    “That doesn’t mean that you should break the news before I can!” she countered and then turned back to Romeo. “He’s coming by today sometime in the afternoon.”

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    “Does he have a name or do you come up with a new one everytime you see him?” Romeo joked.

    Gloria smiled, something she hadn’t felt herself do in a while. “His name is Aubade. He came from the mainland a few months ago and we’ve been seeing each other since.”

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    “Oo, a mainland guy. Are you sure you’re ok with someone like that? People from the mainland can carry some baggage.”

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    “He’s gone through the ceremony, hence the name. It means ‘Song at dawn’. He’s working hard to recover from his past life, and I think he’s doing a great job. You can hardly tell.” Gloria informed him.

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    Liam shifted his shoulders unconsciously, moving the shirt on his back. Romeo noticed and raised an eyebrow to Gloria. “Well, maybe I’d like to meet him. He must be a gentleman if he’s won the affection of my Goddaughter.”

    “You’re going to like him. He’s incredibly hard to not like.” Gloria grinned and they all sat down to eat.

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    Robin looked at Romeo with suspicion. “Who are you? I don’t think we’ve ever met before…”

    ~*~

    The group was sitting out on the patio when Aubade arrived.

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    “But can you remember the way that Mrs. Frogwater always looked like she was going to cook one of us alive? I can’t believe we made it out of there alive!” Romeo laughed.

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    “She actually did take a bite of me once, and me telling Liam to watch himself when he went out at night was actually how we met!” Anwyn laughed, holding her stomach from laughing so hard. “I don’t know what she was, but she was the reason I have Gloria and not-” she stopped abruptly as Aubade walked up to the group. It wasn’t encouraged to talk about the past, and stories like this were more personal than ones that you share amongst guests.

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    “Aubade!” Anwyn greeted, and Gloria came rushing out of the house. “It’s good to see you! Would you like anything to drink?”

    “No thankyou.” he replied graciously. “I’m just here to gather Gloria.”

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    “What are you youngins planning on doing?” Romeo asked. He studied Aubade’s face and tried to control his posture, which made him feel more like a statue than he already did. Liam was right, there was something incredibly familiar about him. A part of him felt that he immediately knew who he was, and another part didn’t want to consider the idea.

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    “We’re going to play our instruments a bit. Gloria plays the violin really well, and I’ve decided that I’d like to learn the guitar.” he smiled at Gloria.

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    She smiled back at him. “Aubade, this is my godfather, Romeo. He’s been a part of the family since before we came to the Islands. He helped raise me before my father was able to join us here.”

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    “Is that so.” he reached out his hand and shook hands with Romeo. “I’m sure that he gave you the support your family needed. You seem to only have happy memories.”

    “Let me tell you, young man, don’t get any funny ideas. Some girls have one protective father, this one has two.” Romeo lightheartedly warned.

    “She’s safe with me, you have my promise.” With that, the young couple turned and walked down to the shore and got into his boat to sail to the larger island where they could have some privacy.

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    “I know what you’re talking about, he seems familiar. Liam, do you think-”

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    “No, it’s impossible. What would he be doing here? As a refugee? I mean, the time lines up, but… “ Liam trailed off, not sure how to finish that sentence.

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    “What are the two of you talking about?” Anwyn asked, confused.

    “Aubade. He looks like one of the Duchess’s family.” Liam said.

    “How could you think that? The Duchess had black hair. Aubade’s hair couldn't be lighter.”

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    “But his nose, his pale blue eyes. All he’s missing is a beauty mark and he’d be a copy of his mother.” Romeo said. “Believe me, I was infatuated with Briella for long enough to have her face burned into my memory. She had a medium skin tone and dark hair. And I hear she had a sister who had light hair and skin.”

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    “It can’t be coincidence. We have to warn Gloria about-” Liam started.

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    “No! I won’t hear of it. Gloria would be crushed, we’d have to tell her about how we ran from the king and then we may as well tell her all of it.” Anwyn turned to Liam, “Like how you weren't’ here when she was little because the king had you in his dungeon and within a shred of your life? Or that you-” she turned to Romeo, “were so infatuated with a loose woman that you told her that Liam and I were having an affair behind the king’s back which was then told to the Duchess? Or that I slept with the tyrant of the nation so that my family wouldn’t be harmed? Or that the king thinks that Gloria is his daughter? Where would the two of you like to start? Because as far as I see it, Aubade hasn’t done anything wrong and it’s just a suspicion that he is that person. I’m not willing to let down our carefully built walls just because a boy shows up.”

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    The two men looked down at their hands, embarrassed. Anwyn continued: “We have all made choices we regret. None of us want the past to resurface. For now we have peace, we don’t need to change that. Gloria is safe, and we have a whole community of people here to help us keep each other safe.”

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    “Whew, we can’t let my parents know we did that.” Gloria said as she tumbled out of a bush.

    “Agreed.” Aubade giggled.

    ~*~

    Krista was in the house with Seneca’s mother for a few minutes, greeting her. She seemed like she would get along well with Seneca’s mother; her actions felt calculated and methodical. At least, from the few words she had said to him. How many had it been? He started trying to count them to pass the time.

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    Krista came out of the house as he was trying to count them, and she quietly observed him as he did so. “I hope that expression isn’t an often occurrence on your face.” she said.

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    Seneca’s face split back to normal in an instant and he bowed to her. “My lady, I’m sorry I hadn’t noticed your approach.”

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    “Please, you don't need to bow to me. From what I’ve been told, it should really be the other way around, if it’s true.” she eased.

    “Well, I can’t very easily bend backwards.” he laughed and he saw her smile at the silly joke. “My heritage is true, from what I’ve been told. I guess only my mother could know, but I hear I look vaguely like my father. Whether that’s a blessing or a curse is anyone’s guess.”

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    “Your mother’s word is enough for many people in the capital. Just having seen your father a few months ago and now seeing your face I can say that the resemblance is there. If I look hard enough, I can see it. Your nose is strong like his, but your skin is darker. I suppose you’ve been in the sun more frequently than him. Come, let us walk. I would very much like to stretch my legs.”

    Seneca motioned to the direction they should walk and they started off at a relaxed pace. “How much support is there for my mother’s plans in the capitol?”

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    “A good portion. It’s hard to know who we can trust and who would go to the king with the information so it’s difficult to recruit. But when brought up in conversation as a discussion about 60% of people are in support of the rumors of your mother’s movement. People see the king as having lost his mind after losing his second wife and unborn child. Rumor is that he spoke to a dying witch who the Church had found and extracted the knowledge that the child lives, though I’m not sure how the witch could possibly know that.”

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    Krista breathed in a sigh of awe as she saw the ocean. It was so much cleaner here than it was in the capitol, and the breeze only smelled bad half the time.

    “Witches are 🌺🌺🌺🌺 creatures, they should all be killed. Or exiled.” Seneca shared.

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    “Speaking of exile, you call the plan ‘your mother’s plan’. Why don’t you say ‘the plan’, or ‘our plan’?” she asked.

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    “Because it’s always been her plan. I’m just a piece of it. I’m the piece that she has to claim what she was promised, the one thing that entitles her to her title.” He wanted to say so much more, but it wouldn’t be proper to say it to a stranger. How he was a thing in his mother’s eyes, an object. A deadly weapon to be practiced with, polished, paraded, and lent. He wasn’t her son, he was a bargaining chip. Both of his parents were terrible at parenting; one was overbearing, one didn’t know he existed.

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    “You’re an important piece of this. It revolves around you. Without you, none of this would be possible.” Krista assured.

    “I hear that everyday of my life.” he mumbled.

    The fog of the who these characters is fading away, can you see who they are yet? I'm hoping that next chapter will have more movement.

    As promised, a present for my readers who keep me going:


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  • VanPelt81VanPelt81 Posts: 2,554 Member
    Based on his posture, the King looks like he's about to pee in his panties in the photos in the spoilers above. :D
  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    Robin looked at Romeo with suspicion. “Who are you? I don’t think we’ve ever met before…”
    I like how this is an acknowledgement that Romeo has been absent long enough that he hasn't even met Robin :joy:

    Oh my. Gloria went from "touching hands is inappropriate" to some frisky fun.

    “Witches are 🌺🌺🌺🌺 creatures, they should all be killed. Or exiled.” Seneca shared.
    Well, considering who Gloria is...

    Hmm...so Seneca's family is plotting to overthrow the king. Could he be the son of a nobleman we've previously seen?
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    That picture of the king has me all hot and bothered. Mostly bothered
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    I'm hoping to have a new chapter out tomorrow sometime.
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  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
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    Chapter 41

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    Midshore had felt Gloria's anger melting away over the past week, and knew that she would be coming back to her soon.

    Everstar had given her enough grief about her behavior with Gloria, and she did feel bad about what she had done. She didn't want to hurt Gloria's feelings, but a young mind is often hard to ration with. Didn't Gloria see how odd it was that she had these dreams? That she had no source of power?

    The two priestesses had come to an agreement about Gloria. Midshore wouldn't enter her mind unless she was invited, and she wouldn't bring it up. As far as the matter was concerned, she would act as if the option wasn't there. And if Gloria was projecting, she would sever the connection and walk away from it.

    In return, it was Everstar's turn to have a child.

    ~*~

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    The nights before, during, and after a full moon were the windows of time that Gloria would have the possibility to have the dream. The night of the full moon she was usually practicing her abilities, but the other nights she had to come up with an excuse to not sleep at night and catch naps during the day. It was brutal on her mind, but if she never had a dream again she could live with that.

    She liked to spend the night with Aubade or Mabel and Mara. They were understanding, but her parents were not. Gloria hadn't told them about the dreams and they were confused by her strange sleeping habits. She also tried to play violin on the larger island where she wouldn't disturb anyone in the refugee hole that had once held the family when they had arrived to the Islands, but it had been empty for over a decade with only the occasional refugee to come and need the space. Gloria had fixed it up, dusting the area and finding some spare furniture to make sure the place was habitable. She brought canned food to stock the shelves with for when she got hungry or if refugees needed food. Mostly, the food was for her and Aubade when he came by.

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    Aubade. She had thought about his proposal often, finding peace when she didn't think about it, and anxiety when she did. She wasn't ready for that sort of commitment. But what was she waiting for? A better man wasn't going to come along. He was beautiful, showed that they would have a life full of interesting conversations and adventures, and he was fully dedicated to her. It wouldn’t surprise her if he became another teacher for another cluster of Islands with all of his knowledge and teaching.

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    But something held her back. She couldn’t name it, no matter how hard she looked and reflected. She tried to analyse why she wasn’t in love with him the way he was with her, and she just couldn’t for the life of her find out why. Was it her parents’ reaction? They weren’t head over heels for him, but then most parents weren’t about their child showing that they were growing in that department, looking for adult fun times and flying the nest.

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    It was a large step, one she wasn’t ready to do. She felt so young, should she get tied down now? Which brought her back to wondering if not Aubade, who?

    She had decided to go to practice tonight. It made her feel better to stretch her abilities and she felt better knowing that she could lean on the more experienced spellcasters.

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    The two women were waiting for her, and she took her spot at her stool. They folded into a seated position to start on their meditation. Gloria knew that Midshore would try to not read her mind, but she sent out peaceful thought towards her, wanting her to know that she had put the incident behind her. They could be friends again.

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    While no one could see, Midshore smiled, knowing that she had been forgiven.

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    ~*~

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    Blake heard a knock on his door. It was a shack, really, just a glorified shack, but it held all that he needed.

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    He opened the door to find a verging on elderly councilwoman. She smoothed her hands on her skirt as if her palms were sweating.

    “Aubade!” she greeted. “I’m happy you’re home. I have news for you: a new refugee has named you as one of their contacts that may be here on the Islands. His name is Ruffus, do you know him?”

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    Blake’s heart skipped. “Rufus!” he had rehearsed this in his head: what he would say when he was called for. “Of course! He was one of my childhood friends, when can I see him?” he asked.

    “As soon as you like,” she smiled wide. She loved to see people be reunited. It was the best part of her job.

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    “Let me just get my shoes on and I’ll be right with you!” he urged, shoving his feet into sandals and hurrying out the door. He followed her to the round room of the council building where most reunions were held.

    His ribcage shook as he imagined what could have happened in three long years since he’d been away. How was his mother? What state was the nation in? Did he bring letters?

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    “Here he is.” the councilwoman beamed as she opened the door. Rufus stood off to the side of the room, biting his nails. Blake remembered he didn’t like to sail, so the journey must have been tough for him. Still, it must have been worth it to come all this way.

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    There was no one else in the room, and the council woman smiled as Aubade hugged Rufus. She closed the door behind her, wanting to give them as much space as they wanted and to not interrupt on the feelings they were going to have.

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    As soon as Blake hear the door close, he pulled away from Rufus. They had never been the affectionate type. In fact, Blake hardly knew Rufus. He had gone to school with him and other well-off kids, but he hadn’t been close.

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    “Good heavens, why were you sent to this Islands? Getting here is the pits.” joked Rufus. “The views are amazing though, and the women! Have you seen what they wear? It’s a third of the clothing that the mainland women wear!”

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    “I know! It’s been hard to get used to it, it’s distracting! But quite enjoyable to observe.” Blake gave a guilty grin.

    “Blake, I have news, and you may not like it.” Rufus started.

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    ~*~

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    Gloria stormed into his room looking furious and confused.

    “Why are you leaving? Since when do people leave here?” she demanded.

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    “I’ve received word that my father is declining, and I need to see him before he dies.” Aubade said as he packed up his sparse belongings.

    “Can’t he just come here? We have healers here, we could give him a better life-”

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    “He can’t come here!” Aubade shouted abruptly. Gloria flinched.

    “He can’t come here,” he repeated. “Because he is… He’d never leave the mainland. He loves it too much. So I have to go to him.”

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    “That’s insane, how would you even get there? Boats don’t go that way.” she tried to rationalize.

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    “Over the years there’s become a bit of a surplus of boats, in case you hadn’t noticed. I talked to the boatmaster and he sold me one for cheap. I leave tomorrow morning.”

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    “What about us? What am I supposed to do?” Gloria chest felt heavy with the thought of him leaving her. They had been together for three years, three whole years of seasons, harvests, dances, anniversaries. All of that was dissolving before her eyes.

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    “What us?!” he turned to her, frustration in the lines of his shoulders. “I asked you to dedicate yourself to me three years ago! You haven’t pledged yourself, you haven’t even said you love me! For three years! I have been here to support you, to spend odd times with you, to help you in every way I can and you won’t promise yourself to me? I can’t stay,”

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    He turned back around and Gloria felt like she could cry. She walked up to him slowly, and she tried to wrap her arms around him, but he shook her off. She persisted though, and she inserted herself between him and his bed where he was packing and embraced him.

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    “Aubade, how do you not know? I- I love you.” she took a deep breath. “I can’t live without you. Please, don’t go. I need you here, with me.”

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    “I must go.” he said, drawing away from her. “But you can come with me.”

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    She looked at him with the most puzzlement he had ever seen, as if he had not two but three heads. “But my family? My brother and sisters? My grandmother? All of my cousins? I- I don't know that I can leave them.”

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    “We could come back, one day. Perhaps a year from now, maybe two. You’ll see them again.” he shifted his weight on his feet. “Gloria, every refugee who comes here is looking for a better life, they all take life into their own hands. We can do the same. I have to go, and you can make the choice to come with me. You can take control of your destiny and live while you’re young. Come with me, let my father see the woman I have chosen to be the vessel of my love, and then we can return home. You can meet my mother, I know she’d love to meet you. You’d get the true princess treatment from the family, I assure you. Foods you’ve never fathomed, silks from across the sea for sheets.

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    “Come with me, Gloria, please. I can’t live without you either, and without you by my side I am half a man. My love, my neverending joy, please, come with me.” he whispered, so close to Gloria.

    She looked up into his eyes. The thought of her leaving the only home she’d ever known was intimidating, but she was hardly unprepared. She had been hypothosising with Aubade for a while about her moving in with him now that she was old enough to be considered an adult. And as he said, she would be back in a year or two, and then she would be home forever.

    “Yes.” she breathed, hardly believing her mouth had formed the words.

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    “Really?!” he seemed surprised. “Oh my Creator, thankyou!” he picked her up and twirled her around the room.


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    Dear Mom and Dad, Robin, Lana, and Skye

    I have gone with Aubade to the mainland. His father is dying and he wants to see him again before he dies. I couldn’t part from him, so I have decided to go with him. Aubade thinks that we should be able to return in a year or two, so I will be counting the days until I can see you again.

    I want you to know that it was the hardest thing I have ever done, leaving home, and without so much as a goodbye. But if I had said goodbye, I wouldn’t have lost all my courage to go. As it is, I can hardly leave without feeling that it’s the wrong choice.

    Know that I will love each and every one of you everyday I breathe.

    -Gloria

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  • _sims_Yimi_sims_Yimi Posts: 852 Member
    Chapter 41
    I like that Midshore had decided to respect Gloria's privacy. It's so easy to abuse your position/power against someone younger, especially if you think you know best and want to do what's right for them. Plus, Everstar was right! Giving Gloria space eventually made her come back to them of her own accord.

    Oh, no. She left with him. That's not good. Gloria has no idea what she's walking into. And that comment from Rufus about Aubade/Blake being sent there is very, very ominous. Gah, what's going to happen now?!
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