× The Kingdom of Asteria takes up the largest of the sky lands in the eastern part of Chalcedonia. The oldest kingdom of the Sixth Era, its land was once the Kingdom of Triskel in the Second Area and comprises of the Auster Lands, the Chalcedon, and the Chalcedonian Jungle. Asteria is the most powerful of the three kingdoms though lately it relys more and more on trade for metals. It is also the most diverse of the kindgoms.

The capital of Asteria is Aureas, a city of the Second Era completely rebuilt and restored by Taal Zodo as his gift to his nephew Ian Mercleis. The current king, and only king in its long history, is none other than Ian Mercleis. Asteria has been regarded as the Holy Kingdom due to its king's close relationship to the divine Taal Zodo.

The path before her...(King)

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1 month 4 weeks ago #24 by AnnaNadir
Anna had been in the palace a few hours when she decided to take a walk. She had come in, set her belongings to right, and even dozed off for a bit. Galen had wakened her about lunch time with the suggestion to see about a snack. Anna had decided to go in search of one, herself.

So here she was, dressed in a gown of deep blue with silver threads chasing themselves over the bodice in fine embroidered designs of vines and petite flowers. The square neckline only as low as her bosom line. The cleavage was hinted at, yet not revealed. Her skirt was not as full as most of her gown. The layers of material overlapping themselves to create a nearly straight dress of alternating sections of silver and blue. Her boots were the same blue as the dress, made of a soft material with a hard sole. They were suitable for outdoor wear and yet comfortable enough for all day wear.

Her hair was still up in a crown of braids coiled around her head. She had threaded a blue ribbon around her crown to make it look like it was braided into the hair. 

Galen walked a sedate pace behind her, allowing her the perceived privacy she knew she would never truly have except in her own chambers. 

Her wanderings moved her the opposite direction to the kitchens and she found herself coming out into a small garden on the far side of the Keep. The high walls made her think of a cloistered woman's garden, but it was open to the main hall. Galen would be able to stand at the entrance and keep an eye on her the whole time with no trouble at all.

Anna moved to a small bench that overlooked a triple set of rose bushes in variegated colors. Her back to the entrance, and Galen's protective and curious looks, she watched the small fluttering of bugs and butterflies as they landed and took off on the small buds and large blooms.

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1 month 4 weeks ago #25 by Tiana
Replied by Tiana on topic The path before her...(King)
Tana followed her lady, having stayed quiet to give her some peace while she unpacked and settled into the palace.  She was the only guard that was allowed in Princess Anna's chambers, as she was a female, but she was as much a confidant as a guard. 

As her lady left the room, she followed, keeping to the left of Galen and to the shadows to fade almost into invisible.  As they walked through the corridors they passed the kitchen, the smells coming out making her realize they had not eaten recently.  She pondered breaking off and grabbing a snack for her, Galen and Lady Anna.  She looked at Galen and arched an eyebrow, glancing at the kitchens.

He looked at Lady Anna, and nodded his head ever so slightly, if one wasn't watching, the movement would have been missed.  She headed into the kitchens, weaving her way through the servants and snagged a few sweet rolls dodging a spoon that was tossed at one of the scullery maids.

She made her way back to where she parted from Galen and Anna, and spotted Anna near some roses, watching the wild life.  She passed Galen and handed him a sweet roll, which he took and nodded, his eyes still trained on Anna.  She to looked at Anna, and she sighed.  She was worried about Anna, to be honest with herself, she hadn't been sleeping well with the dreams.

She approached ANna and said softly, "makes me think of the gardens near your chambers back home."

She sat down on the ground near Anna's feet and offered her a sweet roll, "do you think King Ian will be able to help you find him?" She didn't say who, it wasn't needed to, they had talked at great lengths about anything and everything over the years.  Anna was the only one to know that Tana wondered what was outside the life of a Shard, but would do her duty as it was what she had to do.

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1 month 3 weeks ago #29 by mythus
Replied by mythus on topic The path before her...(King)
To most people, the garden would seem almost empty, save for its very important guests. Only the highly trained guards like Galen and the Shard Tana would notice the figures in the shadows - the so called Shadow Guard that protected Ian Mercleis with their lives. They were always with their liege, though trained to never be seen. It was no secret among the court that Ian hated having guards, but guards were a necessity - especially for a king without an heir.

Within the center of the garden was a pair of 3 foot tall marble pillars, with a monument stone staggered about a foot behind them, covered with flowering ivy. Between the pillars grew a beautiful blue flower, its lips closed forming the shape of a tear. The aptly named Mogen's Tear was a rare flower even in this day of high magic, one said to never bloom, except upon the death of someone special, and upon its blooming it too would die.  On the monument stone behind the flower were the words "A beauty frozen in eternal light, an eternal part of me."

Before this simple yet beautiful display knelt Ian Mercleis, his head lowered and his eyes closed. 'Angel light of labyrinth loom, do you see me as I see you,' he prays silently. Placing his right hand on one of the pillars, a warm tear caresses his left cheek. Sighing, he smiles, "Careful princess, you may cause the butterflies to be filled with envy."

The Asterian King rises slowly before turning to the benches bearing the elven princess and her attendant. "Please do enjoy the garden ladies," he smiles, "I'll leave you to your thoughts." Ian starts to walk forward and after passing a mere four steps from the two he whispers over his shoulder, "And yes, we will find the sleeping high elf."

Characters: Ian Mercleis Poppy

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1 month 3 weeks ago #41 by AnnaNadir
Anna took the sweet roll and smiled in thanks. "I think these gardens have ours beat, though. I see flowers I've never seen before." She nodded to the blue ones near the columns.At her guardian's query, she shrugged. "I don't know... How could he? For all I know, my dreams are delusions and wishful child's thoughts of fairy tail endings." She covered her mouth fearing her laugh would come out a cry. As Ian stood up behind the small monument, Anna bit her lip, grateful she was already covering her mouth. She rose as the King neared them. With his wishes to them to enjoy themselves, Anna inclined her head respectfully, "Thank you, Majesty." She had just sat down when his whisper reached her ears.Turning suddenly, she responded with a heart hitch of fear, "How did you know?" Her eyes were wide as if the King had voiced her deepest secret. How did he know Tann merely slept? Everyone else said he was dared long ago and buried beneath the churning continent.

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1 month 3 weeks ago - 1 month 3 weeks ago #42 by mythus
Replied by mythus on topic The path before her...(King)
Ian chuckles slightly as he turns back to the princess, " How did I know what exactly?"  He smiles, "How did I know your real reason for this trip? Or how do I know the current state of Tannhauser?"

He sighs, "If it's the latter, you can relax. I am no god and have no such certainty in my knowledge. What I do have is precidence, knowledge of what happened, and the curse of a lot of idle time."

Ian pauses for a moment before continuing, "If you have time and would like, I can perhaps show you what I mean."

Characters: Ian Mercleis Poppy
Last edit: 1 month 3 weeks ago by mythus.

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1 month 3 weeks ago #43 by AnnaNadir
The sweet roll in her hand completely forgotten, Anna nodded. "Please, Sire..." She managed to compose herself so the request didn't sound like a woman pleading for her life. 

The idea of putting even one more piece into the puzzle of her long lost ancestor made her heart race so she almost had trouble catching her breath. 

Glancing at Tana, she nodded towards the hall. "Tana, will you please see to my gown for this evening's festivities. And make sure you get some proper lunch." She hoped the woman would understand. This was very personal to her and the less people it was shared with, the better. Galen had known her all her life and would never allow her privacy, even for this. But sure also knew that Galen would give her the space she needed in this.

Turning back to Ian, she smiled. "Please, Majesty... I'll follow you." And inclined her head once to him.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #44 by Tiana
Replied by Tiana on topic The path before her...(King)
Tana took a small bite of her sweet roll, scanning the room as she did as she listened to Lady Anna.  She placed her hand briefly on Anna's knee in a gesture of comfort. She didn't believe it was delusions, but Anna was hesitant, and it was good to be cautious.

She watched the King silently, and hid the surprise at his words very well.  He had knowledge?  If he had knowledge about Tannhauser, perhaps he had information about his loyal guard.  Tana stood to follow both Lady Anna and King Ian. when Lady ANna turned and nodded towards the hall, sending her on other errands.

Pain flashed through eyes for a second, but she understood.  Lady Anna wanted to learn as much as she can about her Grandfather, and she preferred to learn it alone.  Tana also had stake in finding out information as her own grandfather was closely tied to Tannhauser.

She knew a Shard's true place was to protect and serve the Nadir family.  Sometimes with that, the serve came before protect. In this case Lady Anna's request did not put her in danger as Galen would still be with her. She bowed her head slightly, "As you wish, my lady. I will meet you back at your chambers."

Tana mastered hiding her feelings to outsiders, but she knew Anna would see her disappointment.  But she also knew if she learned anything about Sheilis or Jaab, she would share that information. She did a formal bow to King Ian and headed back towards the kitchen, nodded slightly to Galen as she passed.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #52 by mythus
Replied by mythus on topic The path before her...(King)
Ian smiles and extends his arm, "Wonderful, it has been a while since I've had the chance to discuss history with another." He chuckles, "far too many people find it a dreadfully boring subject. 'Why worry about the past Ian', they'd tease. Ah, but the folly in their way of thinking, for it is the past that often sheds light upon the future." Even though he knew the elven princess was likely only interested in the parts concerning her grandfather, this diversion from matters of state was a needed relief for the xodian king. 'And besides,' Ian thought to himself, 'this should make old Vic happy. After all, I am entertaining a foreign delegate.'

As Ian leads Anna to the royal library, he states, "She seems quite devoted to you. I'd consider that quite fortunate." He smiles thinly, "It is not often for a guard to be friends with the one they protect. It only means she'll protect you even more." Ian pauses in his walking for just a moment, "Are they still called Shards in your kingdom?" He then continues forward.

After a bit of walking the guards stationed open the great mahogany doors revealing a large library three stories tall, with great fireplaces, reading areas, and grand staircases reaching each floor. Except for a small few scholars though, the library was sadly empty. "Welcome to what I believe to be the true gem of Asteria, Princess Anna. Welcome to the kingdom's library. In here you will find many books, old and new. Some were found deep within the great ruins of this world, and restored by skilled chroniclers. Others were recorded during my trips through time."

Ian chuckles, his heart clearly as light as a schoolboy in here. Letting go of Anna, he quickly walks to one of the many book shelves and pulls out an old looking book, "'It was then, following the grave warnings of Melanie and the last breath of Zodo, that the waves of Ablution spread from the Castle Forsaken. None were spared if they had not buried deep enough, turning many to stone, ash, or mutating them horribly. However it is perhaps the elven high king who took the worst hit, for he quickly fell victim to the ancient sleeping curse of the Dark Paralysis - Taal's Curse it was often called."

Ian closes the book, "Tell me Anna, have you ever heard of the Dark Paralysis?"

Characters: Ian Mercleis Poppy

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