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[ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 4:48 pm
by Aishe
OOC: This RP is open for any creatures, present and future, to wander, explore, and use for their RP amusement. Please feel welcomed!

Larger photo reference here.

Outside of the city's walls, where nature takes over the landscape, something had been in the works for over a year. It was a large task, easily one of the most costly projects of recent times within Fenia, and yet the construction only wavered when winter hit, resuming once the snows melted. Queen Aishe oversaw the project with great care and a watchful eye, feeling the importance of what they were trying to do, while the royal coffers funded it all.

Northen Fenia was home to a more rocky terrain, which began to give way by the time roads reached Widu. There was an outlook, however, made of dense stone that rose above the city of Widu. The top was not easily reachable due to dense vegetation. Rock was exposed on one side as water trickled down from a natural source beneath the ground at the top of the outlook, pooling at the bottom and continuing down into a second underground reservoir. This natural beauty served as a base to the idea and design of the Memorial Gardens of Widu.

With much work and sculpting, a feature of yellow stone was created in contrast to the dark, natural stone behind it. Arches formed a half circle around the pool, supporting a flat platform to observe the pool from above or a shaded cover to view at eye level. The pool was walled in to add definition, while spouts had been carefully laid around the half beneath the pillars. The natural pressure of water source high above pushed through the manmade tunneling to create a proper fountain, including up into a tiered pool that was leveled with the balcony. The water spilled over the edge of the centerpiece with two carved wolves watching on either side.

This fountain area could be accessed easily through the surrounding garden that had been planted. Flowers, bushes, and orange trees gave contrast to the sculpted stone, placing nature amongst something so clearly done with tools and precision. The variety of colours and smells would be pleasant to many eyes and noses.

Amongst the garden, one could find a small maze of high, well trimmed bushes for those who enjoyed a challenge. Towards the back of the garden, where things grew thicker, an iron gate was nestled between dense foliage that led to a private garden hidden from wandering eyes.

On the opposite side of the garden laid an easily found path. That path curved between trees and bushes, winding up the side of the steep rock face to take one up to the top of the outlook. At the top of the outlook, there were three benches and plenty of shade under the coverage of trees that had taken over the top over the decades. The spot provided the perfect view over the landscape, allowing one to admire the city of Widu and its surroundings. At the top of the outlook was a plaque. It read:

The Memorial Garden of Widu
Created 1659-1660 under His Royal Majesty, High King Zuan

These gardens are to remind us of the beauty of the world, in memorial to those who fought for and defended the city of Widu in September of 1659.

Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 9:23 pm
by Zuan
It had been many months since the battle for Widu and the King still had memories of those several days in which his army had taken the town from Kiene rule and brought it back under the Fenian flag for the first time in near seven years. The conflict had been bloody, and they were later forced to defend the town from invaders from Cork soon after. However the town had remained in Fenian hands since the original battle.

The time since then had been one of peace and harmony as the King sought to bring the town of Widu back into the fold. A town he remembered well before he became Monarch when it had originally been under a Fenian flag he had spent much time and effort assisting in the physical and financial rebuilding of the town. Yet, the conflict had not sat easily with him, brought about by the actions of a few who had forced his hand through their own nefarious needs, he remembered well enough the lives lost and the damages that needed to be repaired. He sincerely hoped that this memorial garden could act as a bridge between those who fought, defended, lived and died during those days, and that peace could be the ultimate message.

So it was that King Zuan himself visited the gardens on their opening day. A small gaggle of courtiers and nobles followed in toe, however his focus was on the locals whom he insisted be granted access to the gardens from their opening day. He wore black boots and breeches made of a fine leather, contrasted nicely with a green doublet and black half-cape. The doublet, the colours of Widus flag, and its sigil the many-rooted tree was embroidered in silver thread upon the half-cape. Around his head was a band of matching silver encrusted with small emeralds which glistened in the morning sunlight. His outfit was a farcry from that which he wore on the day of battle.

At his side was his sword, the hilt of which had been forged of silver with a wolfs-head pommel, the eyes of this particular blade again encrusted with emeralds of similar size and style to that upon his circlet. A small dais had been erected for the opening day, and he took to it, to speak to the assembled crowd of nobles, commoners, visitors and traders alike.

”It has been several long and hard months since the town of Widu and the Kingdom of Fenia were re-united as one nation. Upon that day much blood was spilt, and little of it was truly that of foe or enemy or renegade. Rather it was the blood of brothers, friends and decent folk. Besiegers and defenders alike who sought in their mind the righteous and common good of the people.

There are those who sought to demonise the besiegers as occupiers and invaders. While others sought to denounce all defenders as traitors or loyalists to rogues and bandits. I personally call those notions falsehoods, and argue any individual who states as such is simply seeking strife and discord among the decent folk of this town and of this Kingdom.

Instead I would focus on the good deeds of all peoples within this here town, who have since that conflict grown together and built this town back up. It’s walls repaired, it’s coffers full, it’s crime low and it’s peace shared with the entire Kingdom. However, that does not mean we should forget the sacrifices of those no longer with us, who we should still mourn and remember. It is with these two ideals in mind, we open this garden. To commemorate not only the sacrifices of those no longer among us, who acted with truth and decent in their hearts, but also to give thanks to those who remain and continue to build and protect this town of Widu. To ensure it remains a jewel among the Kingdom of Fenia.

To those who have passed. I honour your sacrifice. To those who remain, know your King, worships your loyalty, and dedication to this town and to this Kingdom, and that you all have my heart and my thanks.”
And with that, and a raised hand to the crowds, he spoke no more. The gardens were officially open for all to visit and to enjoy.

Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:42 pm
by Thea
Thea had been away public court for many years before her return to the Castle as a ward of the King. With that distance came not only physical separation but also separation from many of the affairs of the Kingdom. At the time of the Battle of Widu, Thea had know knowledge of the events that had taken place. Weeks later, word did reach Belcourt about the battle and the reincorporation of Widu. The news trickled into the village, some details being filled in here and there. It all seemed so distant to Thea. She could barely remember when Widu had been apart of the Kingdom before. There was no strong feelings for the girl, no loss or gain.

When the King requested her presence at the memorial gardens for Widu she protested being forced to attend. It was nothing against those who fought, but she had no reason to go. No reason accept that the King ordered her to go. It was an extension of his attempts to try to reign in the rogue Winterbourne cousin. Her protests were rebuffed and so on the day of the event she dressed in a silver, embroidered lace dress that had been laid out for her by a maid. The finery of court life was one of the few things she enjoyed since her arrival.

She arrived with the King and his company at the memorial gardens. She moved quietly out of respect for the people who this garden commemorated. Though her instinct was to rebel against the King and his control over her, she did have some tact and respect for the lives lost.

Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 3:19 pm
by Aishe
While Aishe had yet to dive back into the full extent of her duties, she was not going to miss the opening of the gardens. A lot of hard work and planning had gone into it that she had to see through. Dressed in a gown of gold and turquoise, the vampire queen balanced a parasol in one hand and Anraí on her hip. The day was sunny, but she wanted to be out for a while to enjoy the gardens. The brightly colored parasol would provide ample shade so she could.

She quietly listened to her husband's remarks while Anraí entertained himself the string of pearls around her neck. As he completed his speech, she offered him a warm smile before placing their toddler prince down. At just past a year old, their son had mastered walking and had a determination to explore his surroundings. It was this reason she thought it would be good to bring him along, leaving behind the younger children who could not walk yet. She let Anraí lead the way, trailing along to his heart's desires as they wandered towards a display of flowers in full bloom.

Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 11:45 pm
by Zuan
With his speech finished he departed from the stage, wishing the focus to be on the gardens now rather than on himself. However he did not depart the gardens, it was public knowledge the King and his court were visiting Widu for a time, and this particular event would be a good opportunity for the subjects of Widu to come and visit the King and the court, and raise any issues or questions they might have. However, he noted something else, and thus before he could be drawn into the throng and into his duties, he quickly turned a corner, noting the parasol in the air, much like a beacon and cutting round various hedges and corners he snuck, quietly, and carefully so not to be heard or spotted.

Then as he heard the patter of tiny footsteps crushing grass beneath them, he crouched and waited, and then as the feet turned the corner he pounced. He used his strength to hoist the young child up into his arms, and pull him close to his chest, grinning down at his son before whispering so only the boy could hear.
”Wolves must be silent as they are keen my young wolf, be careful not to let the joy of new horizons blind you from your duty to the pack.” He then leaned over, as his wife approached and placed a quick kiss upon her lips, before smirking at her. ”And as for you, dear wife, none can match your elegance on this day or any other.” He said, offering her his spare arm to take, keen to take some time with his heir and his wife, exploring the gardens as the idyllic royal trio that they so often were required to play in public, yet that did not cloud the fact that it was a role he quite happily played with pleasure given the care and love he had for his family.

Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 12:38 am
by Mallory
Mallory Sanchari was in fine form and nothing was pretty about it. She walked through the gardens looking for all the world like a picture, if one did not look too close. Fair hair, vivid green eyes, and a flowing, colorful outfit, but upclose one noticed the too pale skin, the too bright eyes, and lapses in breathing and nature itself often gave her away as a predator. The short man walking with her, outfitted like any builder, looked cross, but not nearly so much as the short woman lecturing him greatly. "I TOLD you this should have been done a solid year ago! I wanted this for the yearing mark, not nearly two!" she stomped a delicately slippered food on the packed dirt with little effect. "With what I delivered to you in coin this should have been done on time and to my specification as well! I asked for more fruit trees! Why is the orchard BEHIND The waterfall? Trees can be moved you know!" she moved on her hair flicking angrily as she tossed it over her shoulder when it dared land on the wrong side. "Just go! I told you what I wanted when. You'll be lucky if I hire you to outfit the new courtyards steps! Much less the whole thing." she dismissed the man grumpily, Aishe and Zuan had trusted her to get this done in time. And she had failed. She wondered if she should have gotten the troll or ogres after the man, perhaps then he wouldn't have dawdled. Her temper calmed as she walked over and listened to the water flow peacefully down the soft limestone fountain, the natural fed waterfall making beautiful music against the mossy surface of the stone. It was ornate, it was strong, it was beautiful, befitting those it honored and memorialized. Her thoughts calm Mallory took a small tree and planted it near the others, an apple tree in an orchard of oranges.

Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Posted: Mon May 25, 2020 9:06 am
by Bridget
Bridget had been watching the work being done on the garden for several months now. She rarely ventured into Widu these days, except to speak at the cathedral and offer blessings and such as needed. Truth be told, she hardly spoke to anyone anymore, and while the quiet was nice and the break was needed, she had more recently found herself lingering at the edges of Widu town square watching the hustle and bustle of her neighbours going about their lives.

She had heard rumors that the King and Queen would be at the official opening of the garden. In all of her time as Vicereine of Kiene, she had never met with anyone from Fenian Court. But that was not why she found herself in the garden today.

For it was not the Battle for Widu that had changed everything for Bridget. Though she had been left for dead on the battlefield that day, the real catalyst had occurred the year before as she had stood alone at the gates of the castle despite her pleas for help. That was a night she’d never forget. That was the night that set in motion all that was to lead her to this day.

She found a quiet corner near the dais - but not too near that she might draw attention to herself. Her emerald dress blending in with the wall of ivy behind her, she wished she had covered her fiery red hair today, as she noticed the hushed whispers and obvious glances of the peasants, unaccustomed to seeing her outside of the cathedral of late. Thankfully the King and his court appeared – on schedule! – and the ceremony commenced. The crowd quieted as the King spoke of sacrifice, of loyalty, of remembrance.

As the King left the stage, Bridget said a quiet prayer to all that once was, and with that she finally closed that long chapter of her life.

Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Posted: Tue May 26, 2020 2:22 pm
by Madeliefie
Madeliefie stayed away from the speeches and crowds. Not simply because she thought they might be boring. Even though she fought in the battle she was not particularly concerned with the outcome. The listening crowd might tempt her to try picking pockets again.
She simply wandered, enjoying the beauty all around her and the sense of peace she always found in gardens. Sometimes she almost thought she could hear the grass growing or some leafy fronds whispering to her. She would never voice these thoughts. People would think she was silly.

Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Posted: Wed May 27, 2020 6:59 pm
by Aingeal
Aingeal left the town hall, locking the door behind her. She was running late as normal, but nothing was new there. She had no time to go home and change, so a simple day dress would have to do. Aingeal only wore dresses on important occasions and the trappings of being a Duchess. Aingeal made her way to the gardens, catching the tail end of the King's speech.

There were a few people milling around, the smell of flowers in the air. Looking around at the gardens, they were a sight to behold. Standing off to the side, she let a lone tear trail down her cheek. Amanda would have loved such a garden. Wiping the tear from her cheek she brushed an errant hair back and went to greet some of the citizens. Bridget was off to the side and Aingeal went over to her.

Aingeal knew that the past couple years was hard on Bridget. During a couple of her talks with Bridget, Aingeal knew the woman had struggled to keep Widu afloat. After the battle in Widu, Aingeal strived to keep Bridget an intrigal part of the town. For a time Bridget rather kept to herself, but she was hoping time had healed some wounds and perhaps Bridget was interested in more. Aingeal made her way over to the other woman. Hello my friend, Aingeal said with a smile. I am so glad you are here today and happy to see you. I hope perhaps you have some time to chat today as well?

Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 10:04 am
by Bridget
Bridget stood and ran her hands down over her skirt to smooth the creases from sitting for so long. She smiled as the mayoress approached. Aingeal had been one of the first to reach out in the weeks following the battle. It had been a very conflicting – and lonely – time for Bridget. She was unsure of her future, and whether one in Fenia would even be possible. Things were better these days, but she still often wondered if she would ever truly be part of Fenian society or if the shadow of the past was just too big to get out from under.

“I’m happy I came today too. I have quite the garden at home – nothing to this scale and beauty,” she waved her hand toward the fountain and pool, “but I’m pretty proud. Perhaps someday you will visit. I remember you speaking of how gardens make you feel close to a lost friend.” Bridget trailed off, her mind going back to those she’d lost for a moment.

“I have nothing but time these days. The first few months under the Fenian flag were a much-needed break – I had plenty of time to think while I recovered from… well, you know – but now I find my own company a tad tedious, I’m sad to say!” Bridget laughed softly.