no_longer_a_king: (Hail to the king)
Counter Guardian Arturia @ Tower of Animus ([personal profile] no_longer_a_king) wrote2014-04-29 07:35 pm

ITP: The White Queen, Part Deux

In another time and another place, another decision was made. Rather than try to hide herself away at the suggestion of others to avoid warfare, a young girl decided to hold to her ideals at all costs and refused to lie to her newly acquired Kingdom. This led to a time of strife among the people and a war which lasted three years. During this time, the girl led an army against all who refused to have her on the throne simply because she was a woman. Even after it was found she was the only child of the long late Uther Pendragon she still had to fight for the claims to her lands. Many Lords refused to answer to a girl.

Even once the rebellion was quelled, the girl's--now a woman's--throne was not secure. No one believed she had a right and many came forward claiming to be Uther Pendragon's son. All that had to be done to quiet them was simply show them the sword she had drawn from the stone; the sword that marked her as the rightwise King of England. This very sword that kept her body from aging. Most tried to claim her sword was a farce, but the magus always at her side would always say a few choice words to get them to back down. If none would take the High Queen seriously, they certainly did take the strongest mage in the land seriously. And if they did not take him seriously, then the various Cardinals who had witnessed her deed when they asked for her proof would confirm it.

This was the girl who had rallied the people and led an army to quell all who opposed her, the girl who had ensured the people were being fed and that the peasantry were safe. This was the girl--the woman--who rode at the front of her armies whenever an invasion came, who led those same armies to victory every single time. The Kingdom was by no means perfect under her rule, but a growing number of the populace believed she could bring the peace they so desperately needed.

This did not appease the various kings and warlords she ruled over, each one wishing for power, each one licking his wounds at the thought they had lost to a mere girl. Each one sent a warning to her: give her throne over to a man as ancient law decreed or there would be a war like no other. There needed to at least be an heir and with Arturia unwilling to name a successor, she had to marry and procure one.

They thought she would wed one of them if they pressured her enough.

Her compromise had been to at least meet potential suitors for the period of one year and choose a husband to be her Consort. Even if she still looked like a girl, she was a woman nearing twenty. If she had not drawn Caliburn, Arturia would likely have found a husband of her own long ago. One who would accept her desire to be a knight above anything else. Her adoptive parents knew she would not give her hand to anyone else, regardless of their standing.

And she would allow anyone, regardless of station or history of standing, come speak to her on the matter. She would not choose a husband based on class. If she happened to choose a noble, then so be it. If not, she would inwardly be pleased at how those hungry Lords ground their teeth.

Which is where our story finds us now. Arturia, clad in the white dress of a noble maiden, awaiting the latest in a long line of potential husbands. Part of her wondered what she had been thinking in agreeing to marriage at all. It was not uncommon for a man who married a Queen to throw his weight around and act as if he was the one in charge, even if his title was to be Prince Consort and nothing more. Arturia had been told many stories during the course of her education of Queens who had been forced out of power by greedy husbands. However, she trusted the knights she had gathered around her would sooner cut their own throats out than follow a man who had not earned their loyalty as she had.

Hopefully the next man who entered this private meeting room with the castle's finest wine and food laid out for them would be the sort of man she was looking to be at her side. And, if not, there would be others. She had three months left to decide on a husband. She did not see the rush in deciding this and, hopefully, she could find a way to avoid marriage and succession for even longer.
endofeden: (Speaking)

[personal profile] endofeden 2014-04-30 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
[The next suitor enters. Like the rest, he is very well dressed -- tall black boots, green slacks neatly tucked into the boots, and black shirt tucked neatly into his slacks, with a red tailed jacket covering most of it. Once close to Arturia, he kneels.]

Milady. My name is Zeheart Galette, vassal -- rather, former vassal -- of Lord Ezelcant.

[That puts him from across the strait, part of the growing nation that threatens Arturia's kingdom. There had been talk of a defector among the court, and here he was, kneeling in front of her.
endofeden: (Speaking)

[personal profile] endofeden 2014-05-01 05:55 pm (UTC)(link)
[Zeheart does as he is told. He's not about to squander this golden opportunity if he can help it.]

Simply put, milady, I wish for peace above all else. Peace for you, peace for me, and peace for the common people. Lord Ezelcant is no longer the man he once was, and I intend to see him stopped.
endofeden: (Eh?)

[personal profile] endofeden 2014-05-02 08:14 pm (UTC)(link)
I can provide what information I have to help stop Lord Ezelcant. But once he falls, his lands will need a new ruler. His only son died two decades ago, thus...he had been grooming me to succeed him.

Not everyone in his lands sides with him. I'm sure I have support among many of the common people there. Being betrothed to you would offer legitimacy to your kingdom's claim of governance once the time comes.

And lastly, well...

[He trails off for a moment before continuing.]

Someone such as you deserves a good husband. I want to make sure you get one.
endofeden: (Speaking)

[personal profile] endofeden 2014-05-03 08:30 pm (UTC)(link)
What's most important to me...is peace and prosperity for the land. The people here and at home both deserve to live peacefully and happily.

[Zeheart's gaze fixes itself on the woman across the table from him. It's hard, piercing...but also tired.]

I have seen too much blood shed for ideals in my life now, and some of it by my involvement. I know what I seek will lead to more, but...but it will save countless lives.

I...I seek no glory for myself, nor do I consider myself deserving. All I wish for is a land where people can live in peace. I believe that standing by your side will achieve that goal much more readily than standing at the top, alone.
endofeden: (Eh?)

[personal profile] endofeden 2014-05-04 06:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you.

[He bows his head.]

Having confirmation of even just that means more to me than I can express.

[He remains silent for a moment to process what she said and to come up with a way to respond.]

Yes...what you say makes sense. And, as I assume you've already determined, it solves a number of other problems, not just what Lord Ezelcant will do before we can take action against him. At present, he should not know where I am...but I do not expect that to remain that way for very long. He has a very intricate network of spies, so if we act, we must do so quickly.
endofeden: (Speaking)

[personal profile] endofeden 2014-05-06 02:47 am (UTC)(link)
...With your approval, I think a marriage would be the more prudent course of action. I may have only arrived in the capital recently, but rumors spread quickly. I've heard the disputes with the other lords of the land, and I'm not foolish enough to think that one lord's downfall will quell the other lords' ambitions.

However, were we to wed, I have faith that the people residing in Lord Ezelcant's lands would support it. Your forces would be bolstered -- quite possibly for as long as a Pendragon remains on the throne -- and that would serve as a deterrent against some of the weaker lords who aspire to usurp your seat.

Lastly, as I stated before...

[Here, he pauses. How to say this...]

...As I stated before, I would like to see you marry a man who would treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve. I know that I can, at the very least, give you that much.

[And it wasn't like he was unattracted to her, either. Arturia is a beautiful woman, and Zeheart has found himself having a hard time taking his eyes off her, even when she looks as serious as she has through this meeting.]
endofeden: (Off-Guard)

[personal profile] endofeden 2014-05-06 04:22 am (UTC)(link)
...Ah. Yes.

[Zeheart looks a bit embarrassed at that. As awkward as it was to discuss, having children has always been one of his greatest dreams.]

I'd...well, I'd like to see them healthy and content.

[Zeheart, that goes without saying.]

I don't want to leave them solely in a nanny's care. I believe that we should make sure to spend time with the children during our free time. A child deserves having both a mother and a father involved in his life. And to be loved by them, too.

[That in particular is a sticking point for Zeheart, as he has no memories of his own parents.]

I would also make sure they receive the best education. Not just the three R's, but as they grow older and ready to deal with more advanced subjects, matters such as history, politics, and economics. Martial skills, as well, according to their talents. And finally, the importance of the common people.

I suppose that you could say that, in short, I want any child of mine to receive the tools to succeed at leading a kingdom. Education, ethics, and love. They deserve no less.
endofeden: (Eh?)

[personal profile] endofeden 2014-05-06 04:38 am (UTC)(link)
[There's a pause from Zeheart. His eyes, keen enough to pick up uncanny detail on the battlefield, had not failed to catch the slip. Was something bothering her? If so, Zeheart would let her disclose it when she was ready.]

Ah, well...no. I would not be opposed.

Should a problem arise, I would most certainly be open to adoption. It was a kindness given to me; thus, it's a kindness I'm willing to pay back.
endofeden: (Eh?)

[personal profile] endofeden 2014-05-07 02:19 am (UTC)(link)
[Yeah, this was still an awkward subject. His gaze isn't so unwavering now.]

Two, perhaps three.

[At least he feels more comfortable about the second question. He's well aware of situations existing where the younger sibling is more fit to lead or, even, to rule than the elder sibling. In fact, he himself is one such example, his older brother Desil having been a blood knight.]

Should they choose to do so, I will abide by that decision. I will abide by it even if no children wish to succeed you and we must appoint an indirect descendant or someone unrelated from the court.
endofeden: (Eh?)

[personal profile] endofeden 2014-05-07 05:10 pm (UTC)(link)
[Oh, please. he'd never bring that up in conversation, and any attempts to do so would be met with insistent changing of the subject.]

I do. There was a subordinate whom I trust to do the right thing when I was still working for Lord Ezelcant. His name is Leil Light.
endofeden: (Off-Guard)

[personal profile] endofeden 2014-05-08 02:50 am (UTC)(link)
He's very diligent, and very loyal, though, well...more to me than to anyone above me. When I left, he wanted to follow me, but I ordered him to stay.