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

Comments

  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    Uh oh. I guess that was the plan all along.
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    Thanks guys, for your comments. Things are certainly being put into motion. Plots are thickening like pudding in a refrigerator. What's going to happen? it's going to be awesome!

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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    We're about at recreational pool levels now, lol
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    Ugh, I'm trying to learn to make poses, but it's feeling like too much effort for me. While it would be nice to be able to make poses that fit the story exactly rather than relying on others, I don't feel like learning another software program...
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    Yeah, 3D modeling and rigging are pretty tough
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • Jendowoz0612Jendowoz0612 Posts: 8,058 Member
    edited July 19
    @irishsong have you seen JoanneBernice's poses. She makes poses for her stories and she covers just about everything a story would need. See them here. Joanne Bernice Poses

    I have just created and launched an In-game scenario competition called "Caught on Candid Camera" which involves taking shots in-game that match a scenario. I write stories also and getting tips on how to take some great candid shots in-game can be helpful. It is here if anyone would like to take a look. Caught on Candid Camera
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    @irishsong have you seen JoanneBernice's poses. She makes poses for her stories and she covers just about everything a story would need. See them here. Joanne Bernice Poses

    I have just created and launched an In-game scenario competition called "Caught on Candid Camera" which involves taking shots in-game that match a scenario. I write stories also and getting tips on how to take some great candid shots in-game can be helpful. It is here if anyone would like to take a look. Caught on Candid Camera

    I was just looking at those poses today but didn't find anything I particularly need. I have a few of the sets already.

    I feel like I have enough experience taking pictures in-game already, so thanks for the insight.
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  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    I took the time a few days ago to write down a plot map so I know where things are going and I can try and work towards them ad get them down on paper. Sometimes, when I'm not writing, I come up with little explanations as to why something will happen. I'm very much a "This is something I want to happen, and this thing! and this thing!", but I have trouble connecting those dots sometimes. So I think that writing them down will help me remember them so I can write a bit more focused. Fingers crossed!
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  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    Alrighty, I think I have a new chapter written up! Now I need to find the time to take pictures!
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  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
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    Chapter 42

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    He felt jittery. He had been practicing, making sure that his foot work was good, that his hands were where they were supposed to be, and that he could deflect effectively. He had become pretty good at sword fighting, but was he as good as Henry?

    Henry was the gold standard. He seemed to be able to do anything without even trying. He could start a fire from logs he found on the forest floor, he could dip his fishing hook into the water and pull out a fish immediately. He could lift heavy stones on his own without help, and he could always beat Seneca in a sword match.

    But today was the day. He would beat him, while Krista was there to see it.

    Over the three years, he had seen Lady Krista three times, about once a year. They had been biding their time, gathering favor in the secret conversations held behind closed doors. Soon they would be making their move and mobilize their forces. Within the year, and after 19 years of waiting to get her revenge, his mother would finally be able to claim her rightful title. Or rather, Seneca would.

    He felt better about fighting Henry today for one simple reason, and it wasn’t all the practice he had been putting in; Henry had a cold. He was sneezing and looked tired, but he could still hold a sword, and he had promised to fight Seneca once Krista got there.

    Even though Seneca had only seen Krista three times in the last three years, he still had corresponded with her through letters, and he had a pretty sizable crush on her. In the least, he had respect for her. She thought like a diplomat and politician, knowing just the words to say to make people agree with her. She balanced secrets and open truth very well, and Seneca hoped that he would be able to tell if she were saying what he wanted to hear or if she was telling him the truth. She was to be his wife, after all. They shouldn’t hide too much from each other, especially if they were going to go far.

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    Henry lumbered over, sniffling as he did so. His shoulders drooped, and Seneca could almost feel the ache coming off of him. “Are we ready? As much as I’d like to say I can do this all day, I’m not feeling the best…”

    “Perfect Henry not feeling his best?” Seneca mocked. “I thought you were impervious. I thought you would lose to a girl before you lost to a cold.”

    “It’s very hard to fight something as invisible as a cold, but maybe you should ask your mom about invisible things. She can’t seem to see you.” Henry threw back. Normally he wouldn’t stoop to Seneca’s level of insults, but he hurt all over and just wanted to go home and sleep.

    “I guess I’ll lose to you before I lose to a girl,” he continued. “But that begs the question, who’s better? A girl or you?”

    Seneca could take his insults. Barnabus had jeered him for the majority of his life, as had his peers and teachers. Seneca just used it all as fuel for his anger and motivation. One day, they wouldn’t be able to tell him what to do. They’d have to listen to him, and if they didn’t they would be worse than exiled or executed.

    If they got that far.

    “We can’t fight yet, Krista isn’t here. And if I were to beat you and she wasn’t here, I wouldn’t get the credit I deserve.” Seneca explained.

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    “Look, why don’t you summon me when she gets here. Then it may be more of a fair fight, and I won’t feel like spilling my breakfast on the ground.”

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    Seneca looked him over. A small bit (small, mind you), felt bad for him. He knew all too well how nausea and a pounding headache could make you feel less than your best. If he didn’t want to show that he could marr the perfect reputation of Henry so badly, he would feel even more pity and postpone the duel inevitably until he was at his best. But opportunities like this didn’t come around very often. Perfect Henry had a nearly perfect immune system.

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    “Fine, I’ll send for you when she arrives. Don’t- die or anything.” he shooed Henry away, turning his back. It was getting late in the afternoon, hopefully Krista would be arriving soon. This far from the capital, it was hard to predict the travel times. She could run late, or if she had good weather she could be early.

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    She certainly wasn’t early.

    ~*~

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    After five days of sailing, Gloria, Aubade, and Rufus touched the other shore. Aubade looked like he was going to jump out of his skin from excitement, while Gloria shivered. It was colder in the Mainland than on the Islands. She had heard from other refugees about the temperature, but she hadn’t realized that it would be autumn when they arrived. The air felt frigid.

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    Rufus and Aubade hadn’t talked much while she had been awake, besides chatting about people that seemed to have little consequence that they both knew. But she had heard them whispering when they thought she was asleep, things she couldn’t hear but they obviously didn’t want to tell her. The further she had gotten from the Islands the worse she had felt. What the heck was she doing? She didn’t know anything about the Mainland. It wasn't taught in school as the Mainland was seen as something far away that was dangerous but couldn’t hurt the Islands. It was reminisced about once in a while in small groups, but her parents hadn’t told her about nearly anything. Not the people, not the customs, not the mannerisms. Sure, once in a while her mom would say things like “We never used to do it that way,” or “That wouldn’t fly…”

    So here she was, standing on a cold beach, the sky was overcast, and she felt very much like a stranger in a strange land.

    “Angus! Marco! We’ve arrived!” Aubade shouted out. Gloria looked at him, startled that he had made such a loud noise on a deserted beach. If the scarce clips she had figured out from what he had told her years ago and what she had been able to pick up from the hushed conversations he and Rufus had held, the Church was at active war with the king and his supporters. If it was found out that they sided with the king, they could be captured or killed. Who knew what extremes the war had come to?

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    Two male figures came out of the brush. They seemed strong and dirty. Gloria would have guessed they were soldiers.

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    They jogged over to the trio. “Your return has been long awaited, Blake.” the one with the darker shirt said.

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    “I’ve been gone for three years, I’m happy to be home. How long until we reach the capitol?” Aubade asked, not wasting time on pleasantries. This struck Gloria as odd. This isn’t how you greet a long parted friend. With her, Aubade was warm and affectionate, but with the people he had previously known he was calculated.

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    “About three weeks. The patrols are increasingly frequent, so we’ll have to get some cover quickly before we’re seen.” the lighter shirt man answered.

    “Very good, let’s go. No reason to wait.” Aubade picked up his bag, prepared to follow them.

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    The darker shirted man hesitated. “Who is she?” he asked Aubade. Gloria stiffened, but Aubade seemed unfazed.

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    “She’s my love. The reason for my being.” he said. The response was given so casually that Gloria was shocked. She didn’t see the recognition in the other men’s faces at his response, as if they were expecting that answer.

    Aubade started walking without the two newcomers, and they quickened their step to keep up. Gloria was suprised at how solid the ground was. The ground of the Islands was all made of sand, and her legs were used to the ground shifting, but here the ground stayed still. The trees cast long shadows and their closeness felt odd to her. The trees on the Island weren’t that thickly populated.

    They hurried towards the brush, hoping they wouldn’t be seen and attacked.

    ~*~

    Three days had passed since Krista was supposed to have arrived, and Seneca was growing restless. The last thing the movement needed was to lose a supporter, and his future wife. Why wasn’t she here? Had she been stopped? The patrols around this area were in their support, she wouldn’t have been stopped. But what if she was stopped before she made it into their borders? What if she was in trouble?

    The possibilities kept Seneca up at night, try as he will to sleep. No one said anything about her absence, and they didn’t seem bothered, though he couldn’t imagine that they didn’t notice and hold some anxiety.

    His mother was busy organizing plans for their first invasion, sending and receiving new information to her contacts. She hadn’t slept in days, only closing her eyes when she couldn’t keep standing anymore. A part of him knew he should be worried for her health, but the soldier in him knew not to ask questions and just follow orders. He didn’t want to be shouted at again about how he didn’t know better than his mother or Barnabus, and to have his ears boxed again. Best just to avoid them both when they were busy.

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    “I need to go and look for her,” Seneca said quietly while pondering at the foot of Henry’s bed while he dozed.

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    “What?” Henry asked, tilting up his head.

    “I need to after her. To make sure she’s ok.” Seneca said clearer. “What if she was captured? We should ensure her safety.”

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    “Your safety is more important than hers. I’m sure she can take care of herself.” he grumbled as he set his head back down.

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    “But she knows too much to fall into enemy hands! What if she gives up our position? What if they hurt her?” Seneca imagined someone maring that beautiful skin of hers and he felt sick.

    “I’m sure she’d kill herself before it was an issue. She’s a smart cookie. Stop worrying.” Henry kicked the footboard of his bed, and Seneca was sure he meant to kick him but couldn’t reach.

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    “I have to make sure she’s safe.” Seneca stood up, staring at nothing as if he hadn’t made his mind up fully.

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    “Listen, loverboy,” Henry looked like he would be sick if he sat up, but he did anyway. “You can’t go after her, you’re too important. Have someone else do it. You’re needed here. Heck, I’ll do it if it means you stay here where it’s safe.”

    “You can’t go, you look like you’d make it a mile and fall over and take a nap, if not fall over and die.” Seneca protested. “Relax, I’ll be gone for a few days, nothing extreme.”

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    “I can’t let you go alone.” Seneca opened his mouth to protest, but Henry’s face was set. Seneca changed his attitude to aloof as if he couldn’t care either way.

    “Fine, but I hope you don’t slow me down. You… pull yourself together, I’ll get some provisions from the kitchen.”

    Yes! A new chapter! Hopefully next chapter will be even MORE exciting! And- andandandandand! I plan on revealing at least one identity, possibly more!

    And yes, Henry is based on Henry Cavil.
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    No wonder Henry was such a snacc

    I wonder if Liam and Anwyn (or Romeo) are doing anything to get Gloria back. Maybe she can handle herself if she ever gets in trouble, with her magic and whatnot.
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    @icmnfrsh

    Anwyn, Liam, and Romeo are still going to have a large part in what happens. Thankyou for reminding me about that plot line :sweat_smile:. I had thought it out, but then I got so involved withe Gloria's plot line that I forgot about that one.

    I know I said that next chapter may include the reveal of one or two identities, but now I'm not sure :sweat_smile:. I think I have to chop the idea in two, or make it really long. Which one would you guys prefer?
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    Chopping it into two sounds good for pacing purposes. Plus on your end, it does feel satisfying to release more often.

    I dunno, I'm just biased towards frequent shorter releases. :D
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • TaraIris94TaraIris94 Posts: 533 Member
    icmnfrsh wrote: »
    Chopping it into two sounds good for pacing purposes. Plus on your end, it does feel satisfying to release more often.

    I dunno, I'm just biased towards frequent shorter releases. :D

    I agree!
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    Heheh, I said short, right :sweat_smile:? It's 8 pages long... But it has a lot of action, and I need to make sets of it and make sure that characters are the right age, and yada yada. Good stuff, I swear!
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  • AphoticLeeAphoticLee Posts: 1,196 Member
    Agreed, separating it into 2 would give you more time to release more in shorter bursts. I know me personally as long as the end scene leaves one anticipating what's next it keeps me coming back for more.
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  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    I just reread the chapter, and I'm really looking forward to posting it! I have a good chunk of time off tomorrow, I'm hoping I'll be able to post it.

    Fingers crossed!
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  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
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    Chapter 43

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    “What do you mean we can’t go after her?!” Anwyn shouted at the council.

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    “Mrs. Reed, it’s one of our strongest rules that people don’t leave the Islands. Our secrets are too valuable and we are too vulnerable to allow our exact location to slip into the wrong hands. Yes, our spellcasters do their best, but they would not be able to hold off a fleet of ships if they would come and try to conquer us.” the man spoke.

    “I’m sure we don’t need to remind you of how the king of the Mainland himself circled us for weeks before we had to tell him to leave. If he brought back more ships- we don’t have enough spellcasters to hold a defense!” the younger woman said frustratedly. “And now that your daughter has left we are down one.”

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    “That’s exactly why we have to go after them!” Anwyn urged. “Aubade is the son of a duchess who is the king’s strongest supporter. If we let them get too far away, he will tell the king that I am still alive and then he will send that fleet of ships you’re worried about. The king thinks that Gloria is his daughter, and I don’t want to think about what he would do to make her accept that she is his heir. Not to mention that from what we’ve heard about the Mainland over the past few years, they’re in a civil war. What if the Church captures her and finds out that she is the believed heir? They will kill her for sure!” Anwyn wished she had a table to slam her fist down on.

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    “Those are good points, but you’re forgetting a few details. Mrs. Reed, For one, you are a mother to three other children, all of which need you at home. And you are a teacher to numerous other children as well. Your loss on the community would be too great, even if we allowed anyone to leave the Islands.” The other man spoke up.

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    Anwyn couldn’t come up with any more counter arguments. Liam stepped up. “Aubade has shown that he is highly intelligent, very charismatic, and knowing that he has gone with Gloria to the Mainland means that he is dangerous. Is anyone going to go after him to minimize the information he could spread about us? About the Islands?”

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    “We haven't had anyone leave the Islands for generations, so the verdict is unclear. We’re not ready to make a judgment yet.” The younger woman spoke again.

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    Anwyn looked at the head councilwoman. She seemed shook. Having been looking into the distance, she blinked and looked at Anwyn. “Mrs. Reed, I am so sorry for your loss. I apologize if my actions may have encouraged the chain of events. But we can’t allow you to chase after your daughter.” she looked at her hands. “Not if it means that your other three children would be left without a mother, father, or be left orphans.”

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    Anwyn felt fury building up in her, and she let out a screech and turned and ran from the room. Liam bowed politely, then walked after her slowly.

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    He found her on the beach, staring at the horizon, sand clenched in her fist. Her jaw was set, her eyes were stealy and her frame was so sharp that a shark teeth were no comparison.

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    “There was a time when I was afraid of the sea, of living so close to it. I felt like we would be found and taken, or-” she choked on the word she meant to say, and decided that she didn’t need to say it. “Over the years, I became more at peace. I felt safe. You returned and we raised our family in bliss. I never thought that the king would be clever enough to send just one person to take Gloria from me. I wasn’t ready for that.”

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    She turned to her husband. “I’m going to go after her if it kills me. I cannot let my baby fall into the hands of that monster. I cannot let her be a puppet for the rest of that foul thing’s life. I’m going to go after her, and no council will stop me.”

    “We better get everyone together then. There are plans that have to be made. I just hope you can still fit into those clothes.”

    ~*~

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    Gloria hadn’t been able to release her pent up energy, and it was starting to wear on her. She would go to reach for something in her pack and her fingers would spark against some of the objects. Sometimes she would feel jolts going up and down her arms like painful spasms, but there was nothing she could do. She still hadn’t told Aubade that she had these abilities after all these years, and there were three other men besides him that also didn’t know. Aubade had spent 3 years among a few spellcaster, but who knew how these men would act if they saw she was one?

    So she kept it hidden. She also tried to keep her arms and hands hidden so that they didn’t see her tattoos and the orange tint that had grown over the years. It was rather simple to do, as long as she wore gloves, and in the chilly temperature no one asked why she never parted from them.

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    “How is the king?” Aubade asked as they walked. “I heard he was in poor health?”

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    “Reports say he’s gaining strength while he rests at the palace, but he still is in rough shape. He’s up there in age, as you know. He could have several years left, but he could also go by winter’s end. It can be hard to tell.” Marco analyzed.

    “And my mother?” Aubade asked.

    “She’s planning things the way she always has. Having parties to sway more of the lords and elites to join them in subduing any rebellion that may face the king, taxing the population to fund the war. She seems content to always be one step ahead of everyone else.” Angus listed.

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    “Careful, Angus, you sound like you have a crush on the Duchess.” Rufus teased. “You wouldn’t want Blake to beat you into next week, would you? I’m sure he would.”

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    “Don’t be childish; I could go down to the capitol and find any bar wench I liked. I’m not after the Duchess.” Rufus and Marco cat-called him, laughing. Angus continued, “I’m simply in awe of how she can balance everything. She has ties in every group, every room. She strikes fear without raising a hand, but also makes you want to follow her with her charm. It’s a great skill.”

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    “She certainly has her ways.” Aubade agreed.

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    “I thought your mother was a kind woman… That’s what you told me? Firm but kind?” Gloria piped up.

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    “I’m not sure we’re talking about the same person,” Angus scoffed.

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    “No, she’s kind if you do what she says. Or if you have something she wants. Otherwise she’s a bit of a harpie.” Rufus smiled.

    Aubade turned to him, staring daggers, but he didn’t say anything, as if he were waiting for Rufus to continue, to give him a reason to throw a punch.

    Gloria put a hand on his arm. “Aubade, is this true?” she asked.

    The other men looked a bit confused, but she didn't notice. She was too focused looking at him.

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    “No. My mother is firm, but she’ll love you. She’ll be so kind you won’t miss your own mother.” he assured, face turning soft as he looked at her.

    “Ok, it’s been a few days, and I still don’t know why she calls you Aubade. What’s up with that?” Angus asked pointedly.

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    “It’s his name.” Gloria said plainly. “He had the Rebirth ceremony where you cut yourself from the past you knew and become a new person. It’s his new given name, Aubade. Why do you let them call you Blake, it’s not your name anymore?”

    He looked anxious, as if he had wished to silence her with every word she spoke. “It was a long time ago, I-”

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    “You did what?” laughed Rufus. “You cut yourself from the past life you had? You reformed yourself? Goodness, boy, what did you get up to on those Islands? Should I be surprised you haven’t plaited your hair like a barbarian?”

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    “It was a different life, and if you insult me again, I will-” he stopped himself. What he was going to say would have alarmed Gloria, so he reigned it in. “do something you will regret. So put an end to this discussion.”

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    “What does, if I may, what does Aubade mean?” asked Marco.

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    “It means ‘song at dawn’.” Gloria filled in, and Rufus and Angus couldn't help but snicker.

    ~*~

    They set up camp about 30 paces from a river for the night, and Gloria went with Aubade down to the river to wash up from the day’s walk and to fill their flasks. The company doesn't let anyone go anywhere alone since Angus says that there are still patrols in the area.

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    “Aubade, earlier today, why didn’t you tell them that you’re a different person now? You’re no longer Blake, you’re Aubade of the Islands.”

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    He sat on a rock for a moment, and he took a breath. “To them, I am Blake, the son of a Duchess. They don’t know me the way you do, they know me as I was before. We’re not here for very long, I don’t think it will pay to make them change their minds on who I am. We’re here for such a short time, I may as well let them remember me as how I was and not battle to change their minds. It will all be better when we see my father.”

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    “‘Not battle to change their minds?’” exclaimed Gloria. “Aubade, it’s who you are! Make them know who you are to obey it. You have some sort of authority over them, make them follow your rules!”

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    “No!” he shouted back at her, making her flinch. “We will do as I say. I have decided that they may call me Blake, and you should do the same. It is my name here, it’s who I am. On the Islands I can afford to be Aubade, but here if I’m not Blake I am no one! I need my position to get any respect. Do you understand?” he asked firmly.

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    She stared at her, alarm on her face. “Why are you talking to me like this?”

    “Finish up, I’m done.” he turned his back to her, throwing on his shirt again and walking back to the camp. Gloria’s knees shook, and she missed home even more than she did before.

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    She returned back to camp in her shift and sat down across from Blake with the fire between them. Rufus and Angus went down to the river next, and Marco didn’t say anything while Blake and Gloria said nothing to each other. He had heard Blake shout, and while he didn’t want to tell the couple how to deal with their problems, he didn’t want them to draw attention from the possible patrols. As it was, it was a risk having the fire lit.

    Once Rufus and Angus returned, Angus went down with Marco. They returned shortly after, and they sat down on some rocks they had rolled over to the fire.

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    “Have any of you noticed, but the young miss here doesn’t look like the king that much?” Rufus asked. Aubade looked daggers at him. If they broke the veil of their plans, who knew how Gloria would react.

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    “I’ve thought of that too. I mean, she has none of his features. And red hair, where did she get that?” Marco asked.

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    “Her grandfather has reddish hair. I met him a few times.” Blake said through barred teeth. “Not she needs to look like the king.”

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    “I got my red hair from my father.” Gloria looked at Blake confused. There was no way he had forgotten that her father had the same red hair. It was how she looked like him, otherwise she looked just like her mother.

    Rufus snorted. “Yeah, ok.”

    “I’m sorry, but why would I look like the king? And you’ve never even met my father, you can hardly argue that I didn’t get my red hair from him.” Gloria squinted at him.

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    “Oh, I’ve personally met your father,” he looked at the group in a ‘this girl, right?’ way.

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    They heard a rustling in the woods beyond the range of the light, and they all went silent, holding their breath and listening.

    When they heard nothing else, Angus said “Must have been a dear. They run around at night sometimes.”

    “We should turn the fire over, we don’t want any attention.” Gloria stood and bent to turn over the fire with the nearby shovel, when a bolt shot out of her hand and into the fire, making it flare.

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    The company, including Blake, jumped from their places in surprise. “What the creator was that?” one of them muttered.

    A sudden clang of armor was heard and in the near distance, and faster than seemed possible there were five figures in white armor cornering them against the rock face they had made their camp against.

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    The central figure sauntered up to the group, all of which were unprepared to fight and thus not holding their swords.

    “A witch amongst men? Am I witnessing a cult meeting?” a man’s voice came from the figure and his tone was dripping with a sneer. “Tell me, what do we do with witches?” he asked one of the other figures with him.

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    “We put them on trial, and if found guilty, they’re executed.” one of the other figures said. It was hard to tell who had said it, they all had helmets on.

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    Blake went to shield Gloria. “It was a simple flare of the fire, she’s not a witch. I swear, she goes by the teachings of the creator, prays every hour, I swear it!”

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    “Silence boy! You do yourself no service to beg. It makes you weak.” The man took off his helmet. A wrinkled man with a pointy nose wore a grin of malice. “We overheard that this is the king’s heir, returned after many years away. I happen to have been acquainted with the king and his bride. If this is indeed her daughter, this is vengeance served. Tied up the men!” he ordered the other knights.

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    At sword point, they had their wrists bound behind their back. Gloria was plucked from behind Blake and brought over to Sir Rhayde.

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    “You’ve got it all wrong! We aren’t who you think we are at all! We’re on a pilgrimage to the coast, we wanted to see the holy ruins or the old temple!” Blake pleaded, looking more frantic the further Gloria was away from him.

    “Young man, your lies will not sway me.” he turned towards Blake, giving him his full attention. “Though, please, I love to hear how creative you can be, you poet. What you don’t realize, is that I know exactly who your mother is. Your family is at the heart of this war, and I’m aware that this-” he jabbed a finger towards Gloria, ‘- is the piece to the puzzle that you’ve been looking for. Your blessed king thinks that as soon as he has an heir that everything is going to fall into place, and that the war will solve itself. Well, what if I take away that piece?”

    Blake’s eyes went wide. “No! If she were a witch, she deserves a trial, with a defence and a jury!”

    Sir Rhayde pretended to look around him. “I don’t see any of her peers, but you know, I do see a senior Templar!” he pointed at himself. “And I just saw a witch shoot a bolt of fire into a campfire. Lieutenant Moss, did you see the woman fire into the campfire?”

    “I did, sir.” answered one of the other armoured figures.

    “What about the rest of you?” he asked. They all responded with their agreement.

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    “See, now not only do we have a senior Templar, we also have four other witnesses who happen to be Templars who have taken an oath to not tell falsehoods. That’s plenty of people to convict your prodigal princess of witchcraft. Girl!” he rubbed his chin, realizing that he couldn’t charge her without her name. “What’s your name, girl?”

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    “Will you kill me if I tell you?” she asked defiantly.

    He tilted his head, then socked her in the stomach. She fell to her hands and knees, wheezing.

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    “What’s your name, girl? Or would you like me to ask again?” he asked.

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    “Gloria Reed.” she wheezed as she tried to get her breath back.

    “Reed, that sounds familiar. Very well, Gloria Reed, you are here by convicted of witchcraft and by the law held by both the King and the Church, any convicted witch is to be executed. As no pyres or gallows are present, your death shall be carried out by drowning.”

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    He pulled her to her feet, and bound her hands. He pulled her stumbling towards the high point in the river bed, and Gloria grew more and more fearful for her life. She knew she could swim, but the water was freezing when she washed earlier, and if she was plunged into it she would be freezing. And she couldn't swim without her arms…

    “Please, sir, I’m not the daughter of the king. I’m not a witch, I haven’t sided with the devil. Please, I’m innocent.” she pleaded.

    “Your mother and father laughed at me.” he commented. “They thought I was insignificant. I didn’t have the opportunity to savor a woman for a year after your mother’s sister was able to return home before I could court her. I’d say that this is sweet karma, for I get to execute their daughter.” he whispered in her ear. “And now, when I tell the priest that I have killed the king’s heir, I won’t have to go another patrol for the rest of my life.”

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    They reached the river, and he turned her to face him. He studied her, and she wondered if he were pleased with the terror in her eyes.. “Too bad, you have a decent face. It’s wasted on fish.”

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    ***

    Seneca and Henry reached the brush at the edge of the river. Seneca was walking just fine, but Henry was panting.

    “Seneca, I need to sit down for a minute. I- need to catch my breath-” he plopped down on a stump and wheezed for a bit.

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    Seneca looked down at him, then rolled his eyes. He turned his gaze to the river. They had been looking for Krista for several days, but hadn’t found her. They hadn’t even seen carriage tracks in the dirt, and he was always worried.

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    He sees a gleam of white armor and a figure at the top of a ledge overhanging the river. “What’s going on there?” he asks aloud.

    Henry turns his head to look. “Looks like a witch drowning. We shouldn’t get involved.”

    “That doesn’t make sense, are there any villages near here on that side of the river?” Seneca asked.

    “Hmmm, not that I know of. Why?”

    “Why would a witch trial be held in the middle of the forest in the middle of the night?” Seneca asked. “Something isn’t right.” He stood alert and looked at the events taking place. The Templar turned the woman, dressed in only her shift, towards the river and pushed.

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    She hit the water with a large splash, water rippling out in its regular circular pattern.

    It couldn’t be, it’s impossible… he thought. He tore off his jacket and boots, and jumped into the river, swimming under the surface to make sure that he wasn’t seen. In the darkness, he had to guess where she was, and he grasped around for her hand.

    Time was ticking by and he was growing more and more anxious that he wouldn’t be able to find her in time, until he felt hair. He hoped that it was her hair and not some long forgotten corpse that he grabbed, but he got a good handful and yanked with all of his might, pulling the body towards the surface, hoping that the overhang would hide them from the prying eyes of the Templar.

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    They broke the surface and he looked to make sure that the head he had pulled was the right one. He nearly inhaled water as he suppressed the urge to gasp. It was the girl from his dreams, the one he hadn’t seen in three years. The one who could play the violin and never told him her name.

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    He waited there until he heard the clamor of armor leaving. He suspected that they wouldn’t be looking towards the river, and as quickly as he could he swam with her over to the other side of the river. Pulling her from the water was a chore, but he was able to accomplish it.

    “Seneca, she’s a convicted witch. We don’t need to save her, we should have left her. If you think that I’m slowing you down, imagine having another person to look after.”

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    “I think she’s breathing, but there’s a bump on her head. She’s very lucky she didn’t drown.”

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    “Or we’re very cursed.” Henry said.

    I did it! It took all day to get the pictures taken because surprise! I'm terrible at building. All the sets that I use are premade, except for the school and the Reed's homestead. So with the river, it was really hard to get good shots because there weren't many good ones :sweat_smile:. Lesson learned: Always look to sets on the gallery.

    I'm already looking forward to writing the next chapter, which I think is going to a bit more of an info dump than anything. Identities WILL be revealed! I Promise! I'm thinking of also making a new signature to match the new characters and point in the plot. I gotta map that out.

    As always, I adore hearing from you guys, so if you have any thoughts, please please please comment!
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    Anwyn's expression was perfect. You can just see her seethe with fury.

    Sir Rhayde. :o He had his revenge...for now

    They finally met! I thought it would be a while, but you can't exactly wait when Gloria is drowning. :D In retrospect, it does make sense because Seneca and Henry had left to look for Krista. Destiny had other plans though. Will Gloria cause an upheaval in the balance of power in the mainland? Will she be the witch who'll conquer both the monarchy and the church? I'd love to see that :D
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • TaraIris94TaraIris94 Posts: 533 Member
    edited August 1
    this chapter was such a treat! I can't wait for the next one.
    Aubade/Blake is such a scummy person. I had a bad feeling about him when he was first introduced and I'm glad that feeling was right 😂. I just wish Gloria had stayed on the islands instead.
    Good thing Seneca was there to save her, I hope he can figure out what happened to Krista as well.

    I really can't wait to see what Gloria gets up to on the mainland and the obstacles her parents has to go through to save her. I understand the council's decision on not allowing them to go but I don't agree with them at all. Anwyn's reaction was justified and I'm proud of her for wanting to go after Gloria.

    This is one of the stories that keeps you hooked. As always, keep up the great work.
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    Aw, thanks guys! I'm happy you're intrigued! It keeps me going. 😊
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  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    edited August 1
    Small edit: I was (and am still) very tired when I wrote this, forgive any odd sentences that may or may not make sense.)

    I always knew that Gloria and Seneca would meet, but will they be friends or foes? so I had to create a scenario where Seneca and Gloria would have to come face to face with each other, and spoiler, those were opposing sides. Then I remembered a song I heard a few years ago, which sparked the idea for the plot point.



    This is when I wanted to learn to make poses. I couldn't find a pose of a sim pulling a bound sim forward, or of someone drowning the way I wanted to, so in the end I just thought I would rather let the reader imagine rather than include pictures that are less than good.

    Then there's the whole river lot. I hated this. I don't build. I decorate awesomely, but I don't build. I always forget kitchen sinks. Or the porch. So when I thought "Oh, I'll make a really big pool and make it look like a river. I'll alter the landscape of the lot so that it isn't flat, and it should be fine." This resulted in having a stumpy river with rather sudden edges that I couldn't come up with a solution for except to maybe just not put it in the shot and try and work around it. That was frustrating. Then there's how much set dressing you have to do for an outdoor shot, like all the plants on the ground, making sure that the terrain isn't all the same solid color, the trees have to be tarrying sizes to block the fence that comes around the lot.

    Then there's the ledge I was going to have her jump off of. That was a diving platform, but I also needed an overhang for Seneca and Gloria so hide under. That was a chore to figure out and I made the terrain taller than the platform anyway :neutral:.

    THEN the poses I had Gloria and Seneca do were going to be in the water. I hadn't done this before, but I thought for sure they would be able to pose in the water. NOPE. even after I found out where I had to place a pole by a wall underwater (because lord forbid you're able to put a pole underwater even with moveobjects on), and I placed the teleport statues just right, and I made pool behind them so that they aren't going to clip through the wall, I have them teleport in and perform the pose and they're standing on the water instead of in it, foiling the shot I had planned with hanging plants.

    Then I get to posting the chapter and I notice I didn't take a picture of Henry sitting down when I meant to take more pictures of them.

    Here's to hoping the next chapter will have fewer pictures to have to think out and have it all be in rooms!
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  • icmnfrshicmnfrsh Posts: 17,637 Member
    Yeah, Sims 4 is pretty bad when it comes to landscaping and world customization (or the lack of it.) With Sims 3 you could've created your own river without resorting to trickery as well as forests, but it would be jarring to suddenly switch when you already began with TS4. I guess you just had to make use of what you had. It's a good thing Island Living came out too, which gave you a new setting, considering that it wasn't even released when you started this
    Don't manhandle the urchin. He's not for sale. FIND YOUR OWN! - Xenon the Antiquarian, Dragon Age II
  • AphoticLeeAphoticLee Posts: 1,196 Member
    Pooh, so ready for the next chapter.
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  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,471 Member
    Alrighty! I think I've got the chapter written, it's slightly shorter at 6 google docs pages long, but there is a big reveal! I just need to polish it a bit. I have these characters I've created and I'm finding it hard to make them have convincing dialogue. Like, how would Seneca talk to Gloria? How would Gloria react to the events and how would the surrounding characters react to her reaction? Writing is hard!
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