As the entire party exited the ship, a man at the bottom of the ramp made the announcement of names of the party.
When Elwryn was announced, more than one head turned get direction. A Chancellor behind the King stepped up to offer his hand. "Lady Elwryn, it's such a pleasure to meet you. We heard of the treaty you recently were so successful garnering when others had failed. It's a wonderful asset to Asteria to have you here with us."
The man spoke directly to her as a peer rather than constantly missing her eyes and starting at her cleavage. It was probably a new sensation for the woman, but Ann simply smiled and distracted the King so the Lady could, hopefully, revel in the joy of what Ann was hoping she'd take as a positive thing.
She glanced it the corner of her eye in time to see the Chancellor offer his arm to escort her inside, another rarity.
"Your majesty, it's such a pleasure to meet you. I'm looking forward to spending time getting to know you. My father sends his greetings and well wishes." While the niceties we backwards, she was polite.
Elwryn blinked in obvious surprise as Chancellor....oh what was his name...Vic Mignogna himself not only greeted her, but complimented her work. It seemed like only yesterday she had negotiated that particular treaty that he spoke of, but he had already heard of it and of her success. Either word traveled very quickly, or it had been much longer than she orgininally thought it to be.
Shaking her head ever so slightly to clear it, thinking she must have heard him wrong, Elwryn returned Chancellor Vic's smile and politely replied, "Thank you Chancellor. I would like to claim credit for it, but it was truly the agreement of both parties that brought the treaty together. I may have had a hand in it, but ultimately peace was their desire and that's what we worked to accomplish." She was being humble, which was the way she always was when it came to her work, but at the same time she felt awkward. For once a man was speaking to her and not staring at her chest or her hips or some other aspect of her that she typically flaunted. It was an odd sensation and one she wasn't too sure about. Elwryn had to admit though, that it was nice not having to strive to get someone's attention.
Behind her, Fenril stood near and listened quietly but with an impassive face. He was in guard mode and was watchful for any threat to his charge, the Lady Elwryn, or any of the others of the delegation. So far he could perceive no threats to anyone there, but he was on high alert, and though he didn't care for the Chancellor speaking to Elwryn, he shoved that all aside so as to focus on his work. Yet in the back of his mind, Elwryn was his and would always be. He hadn't kissed her just because she was beautiful, but because he wanted to claim her as his. Now he had competition though, and Fenril did not like that one bit.
When the Chancellor offered Elwryn his arm to escort her, Elwryn accepted, though only out of politeness. This was all too strange, and everything about this city was strange too. It would take some getting used to, her new 'look' especially would take a lot of getting used to.
Ian couldn't help to smile, hiding an inner chuckle, when he saw Vic with the blue-haired elven lady. Of course he knew that Vic had been waiting to speak with this diplomatic mastermind, as he often called her. Ah, he'll let Vic have his time, that is at least one stuffed shirt not watching his every move.
Ian turned his attention to the elf addressing him. With a smile and a courteous bow, Ian addresses her, "Ah, Princess Anna Na'Dir, the pleasure is all mine." He extends his right arm, "Shall I escort you into the palace, m'lady?"
"I pray that your father is doing well," Ian finally states after a bit as they walk slowly to the palace. Palace guards were flanking them as the crowds gathered with their clamor of excitement at seeing the elves of Eleusia. Ahead the palace grew ever larger before them.
"I understand that the Kingdoms of Acadia and Talus declined to meet with you," Ian's voice drops a little. "Not that I could blame them, it is risky to meet with dignitaries from a broken nation when none know where Eleusia is headed and which of the Na'Dirs will finally claim the throne of all Eleusia. However, I understand that you are more directly related to Tannhauser."
Ian pauses for a moment, "You know, the Na'Dirs and the Mercleis have a long relationship together. Some of it perhaps not the best of friendships, but my grandfather Armeas and Tannhauser were fast friends, as was my uncle Taal. I can only hope that after tonight we can cement our bonds of friendships and help to achieve our grandfathers' dreams."
Ian then leans in to whisper to Anna's ear, "And perhaps afterwards, we can get to the real reason you yourself have come, hmmm? A certain dream that wakes you in the night perhaps?"
He winks, then motions forward. "Princess Anna Na'Dir, and the guards and dignitaries of the Kingdom Na'Dir, I, King Ian Mercleis of the Kingdom of Asteria welcome you all to the Palace of Gems! All of you shall be treated as my most honored guests, and any reasonable accommodation or request shall be granted. Please, enjoy yourselves here and make yourself at home. I will look forward to our dinner tonight together!"
Ian then lets go of Anna and walks into the castle, his mind not on the debate sure to come but instead on the hint of adventure he felt certain to come...
Anna smiles as Vic's attention to Elwryn wasn't lost her. Seeing the diplomat actually blush was a nice change. She was glad the woman had taken her advice. She wouldn't have been upset if she hadn't, but Anna would never admit it. The blue haired woman truly was extraordinary. She just wanted everyone else to know that as well.
Another thing not lost on Anna was the attention Fenril was paying her as well. The look was quick, but she had been looking and had seen it. The man loved her. But she noticed he stifled it as equally quick. He was a true guard. And made herself a mental note to look into it further in the very near future.
As King Ian began taking, the Princess's attentions were drawn back to him. She smiled warmly at his greeting. "Thank you," she responded to his offer of escort. "Yes, father is doing well. He said he hopes to visit next summer if you're amenable to it."
The mention of the precariousness the Elusian throne made her bite her tongue. She knew she was being groomed to be the leader of the fragmented kingdom, but somehow she felt if she actually voiced it, her entire future would be decided. And that wasn't something she was prepared for, yet. "I understand their concerns as well, Majesty. I can only assure you that things are in motion to calm the trepidations and bring peace and oneness to Elusia. And yes," she responded almost embarrassed, "Lord Tannhauser is my fifth great grandfather, and I'm partially his namesake, as you know."
Her lack of diplomatic training became evident as she faltered a half step. "I wasn't aware you were directly descended." She started to wonder if her father had known when he had sent her here. "I shall look forward to this evening. And I think they would be very pleased if we managed that, Your Highness." His idea of her and him healing the rifts made her heart tighten.
When he whispered his knowledge about hey dreams and a desire to help her, she faltered once more. This time hey pace stopped completely. "Yes, Sir..." was all she managed to mumble back.
But suddenly he was welcoming them all and dismissing then in a single breath before moving on into the palace with no further backwards glance.
Galen was immediately at her arm and whispered, "Are you all right, Ann?" While everyone else called her Anna, his one buck to the system and term of endearment and friendship to her had always been calling her 'Ann'. And no one else has that permission. She managed a nod and spoke loud enough so those nearby would hear. "Yes, Captain... It's been a long journey. I think some tea would be most pleasant."
The man nodded to the other guards to bring their charges and follow and the whole group made their way into the palace.
((end of thread))