|World of Caenyr
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|Author:||Marguerite [ Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:06 pm ]|
Gamespy ID: Elvamir
Character Name: Marguerite
Domain: Master of Healing
Alignment: Neutral Good
We have to stop meeting like this.
She wrapped the freshly-cleaned wound on his hand, careful not to apply too much pressure so as to cause further pain but firm enough to stop it from bleeding again. All around her, other healers of Shavista tended to warriors of the faith in similar manner, although many of the wounds more grievous than this. More were being brought in still, with the faint sound of clashing steel heard in the distance every time the flap of the tent hung open.
The knight smiled at her.
I am torn on the matter. I’d rather be out there with fighting alongside my fellow knights than wounded in this infirmary. Yet, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pleased to see you again.
He grimaced as he shifted to sit up further against the tent’s support, his other injuries reminding him of their existence. He could have been much more comfortable on one of the cots but felt that those who were in worse condition deserved that luxury far more.
She helped him sit up through the pain, and tried to keep the mood light despite the grim chaos surrounding them.
I bet you say that to all your healers.
He held her hand, and spoke with a divine sincerity.
No. Only to one.
She blushed, only for a moment when their eyes met.
There are others in need of my attention.
She started to stand but he grabbed her arm.
Wait! Your name. When I thank Shavista in my prayers tonight it would be good to put a name to that thanks.
She hesitated, but obliged.
He smiled, and repeated the name as if already in prayer.
Marguerite. I am Stephen.
She leaned in and kissed his forehead with affection. As her kiss broke he released his grip on her arm and basked in her beauty. Their eyes locked again, for a longer moment this time, and in that moment Marguerite realized she didn’t want to leave his side. Yet, her duties demanded otherwise.
Be brave, and be safe, Stephen.
They had only met a few times, but she dreamt of Stephen often. It was years ago, when she was a healer during the battles with the Itheril, but every dream was as vivid as reality. Sometimes the dreams were not memories, but the imagining of a different life. One where they were together. Their encounters may have been brief, and during the most horrific of circumstances, but if she had ever known love, it was with him.
She never let her mind linger on what could have been, however. Her life was what it was, and she accepted that.
She turned on the thin mattress of her bed and stood with a yawn and a stretch. After washing up she dressed in one of the only two gowns she owned, each as worn as the other, and slipped her feet into her cloth sandals. She looked in the mirror before leaving her room and frowned as she examined the light ware the years since those days have brought upon her face. She was not old, and still quite fair, but she lived a life of hard work and it showed. She knew that one day she would stand in front of that mirror and find grey strands mingled in with her cherry locks. Not this day, though.
You aren’t getting any younger, are you Marguerite?
The maiden laughed at herself and with a peppy step made her way down the hall to the orphanage bed chambers.
Time to wake, children. Up, up, up, let’s go. Plenty to do in this life, we can’t spend all day living in our dreams.
They woke and crawled out of bed, sluggish and displeased, as children always are in the morning, but each greeted her with affection as they passed by her on their way to the washroom to clean up. She was stern, but also kind and loving to them. A mother, where they had none.
As the river of children flowed down the hallway, one of the other house mistresses fought downstream to make her way to Marguerite.
Mistress Marguerite! Good morning! I’m glad I found you. Your father is here to see you. He’s just downstairs in the foyer.
Father. She did not look pleased at the news. Likely here to try and convince her, yet again, that she should return home.
I’ll head down now. Can you see to the children? Thank you.
The other mistress nodded and Marguerite made her way downstairs. Before entering the foyer, she smoothed down her gown to be as presentable as possible. He could be a pain, but he was her father. She both loved and respected him.
He was busy examining one of the statues near the entrance, probably checking it for dust, before he heard her enter and turned with an excited smile on his face.
Marguerite, my child! How very good to see you!
He approached and hugged her, which she returned but with a bit of confusion. It was not his typical greeting.
You’re in a good mood, father. To what do I owe this visit?
Marguerite, I have great news. I’ve arranged for you to be married.
She stepped back, lost of breath and words, as if the news had struck her in the chest. As the daughter of a nobleman she always knew such an arrangement was possible, but didn’t expect it. Nor, did she want it.
Married? To whom?
Well that’s the most exciting part of it. To the King of Chail, my dear. You are to be Queen.
Queen? Me? No. No father, I cannot. I will not. I’m sure there are others more suited for such an elevation.
Why would you say such a thing? You are still young, beautiful, presumably capable of birthing an heir, and you are also my daughter. Nothing would secure our status more.
I don’t care about our ‘status’ father. I never have. Nobility is my birthright but has never been my ambition. I’m sorry, but my answer is no.
It wasn’t often she’d get this upset. His demeanor, in kind, turned from excitement to anger.
Now look here, Marguerite. I’ve given you more freedom than any father should allow. You left to serve the church during the Itheril battle, despite my demands that you find a suitable husband then. And for years since, you’ve been living like some common maid in this orphanage, also against my wishes. I’ve allowed this rebellious nature of yours to carry on for far too long. It’s time you fulfill your duty as a daughter.
She stated firmly, exasperated.
My duty is here, with these children and others that need my compassion! You may not like it father, you never have, but wish it or not it is my purpose.
Marguerite turned from him, arms crossed and tears forming from her anger and hurt. Her father gripped his fists, infuriated, but then exhaled and stepped closer to place a caring hand on her shoulder.
Marguerite, listen to me. I am getting old. I’ve never said as much out loud but I know it in my heart and in my bones every day. I would love nothing more than to live long enough to see my daughter marry a fine man, and the King is indeed a fine man, and to bounce grandchildren on my knee. Certainly, you could have some compassion for that, for me, as you so heartily give to others.
She turned her head a bit in his direction, a tear rolling down her cheek but her lips bent into a faint smile.
You -are- getting old.
He chuckled and turned her around, holding both shoulders and looking her in her tear-filled eyes, still laden with some anger.
You are right. I have never understood this quest of yours. I suppose I couldn’t let myself, for that would be admitting that you no longer need me and are capable of living a life without the protection of your father.
She raised her hand to cup his cheek.
A daughter always needs her father. I love you.
Then do this for me, Marguerite. Besides, think about all the good you could do for this orphanage and so many others in Chail that are in need, if you were Queen. What better way to fulfill your ‘purpose’ than to bring that compassion of yours to the highest seat in Chail, where it can be of the greatest use?
She considered his words. There was some truth in them.
Very well, father. I will do as you ask.
He smiled and clapped his hands together in joy.
Excellent! Here, I brought you this.
He stepped to the table by the door and picked up a box, which he opened in front of her to reveal a new gown.
It’s nothing too fancy, I know you’re not into that sort of thing, but its fine enough for presenting my pride and joy to the King, I think.
She lifted the gown a bit to look at it. It was a copper hue, nicely sown from plain yet elegant cloth, and accented very modestly. If she were ever to like gowns of this kind, it would be one like this.
It’s lovely, father. Thank you.
I’m pleased you like it. Off you go then. Change quickly, the carriage waits.
We’re going now?
Yes, now. The King cannot be made to wait! His counselors are informing him of the news now, that he is to be wed, and I’m sure his first concern will be to whom this betrothal lays.
He doesn’t even know?
Details, my dear, details. Hurry now, go.
He shuffled her along and she obeyed, heading to her room to change. She stood in front of her mirror again, now dressed in the lovely copper gown but still with the cloth sandals from before. Her father had forgotten about shoes, as most men would have.
Queen Marguerite? Ugh, it just doesn’t sound right.
The carriage took them to Castle Larelac in haste. She looked out the window in awe of the famous structure, having never ventured this far north in the city before. She had seen it from her window at the orphanage, towering high above all else save the Etaric Mountains, but that paled in comparison to its grandeur up close. Once there, the pair was shuffled through the great doors and down the mighty hall to the throne where so many kings have sat over the centuries. Soon, she would meet the one who sits in it today. She knew his name, King Vorchas, and that he was a good and kind King that had kept peace in the land over the years, but otherwise knew nothing about him.
The counselors rattled on about proper etiquette when the King entered the room, to which her father paid close attention but her mind was too preoccupied to care. She was nervous, still a bit confused about all of this, and most of all - frightened. What if he didn’t approve of her, or she of him? Was she destined to live the remainder of her days in unhappy matrimony?
The side door to the throne room opened, and several guards marched out before, finally, the King. He stopped half way in his tracks after looking up and seeing her kneeling in the distance.
She looked up, although it was against etiquette, when she heard her name. To her surprise, relief, and immense joy, she recognized the man she was to wed.
Was she still dreaming?
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