[ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

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Mantas
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Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Post by Mantas » Thu May 28, 2020 9:49 pm

Mantas stood quietly in the back of the crowd as the King made his speech. He wore typical Fenian fashion that was black with red accents. He wanted to make an appearance at the ceremony but was sure to stand towards the back out of the way. He was a resident of Widu but he arrived a few months after the battle.

He listened to rumors about how the gardens should of been finished much sooner. He knew this already. He was largely responsible for the delay. He had arrived in Widu early December. He stumbled upon the construction of the garden while seeking shelter from the cold. He assembled a group of beggars from Widu that had been displaced by the recent battles. Mantas promised coin to those who would cut back on the amount of work being done so that a section of the garden could be used as a shelter. A subtle nod to the beggars was all that was needed to know it was time to grab the clubs. After one or two laborers refused they all learned what would happen. Coin was a great motivator but not as good as fear. Mantas had learned how to use both. Over the course of the winter Mantas brought in more displaced beggars and hid them among the construction of the garden. Some of them wouldn't of made it thru the cold winter without proper shelter. Some of the peasants of Widu viewed him as a hero looking out for the common man. Others viewed him as a monster. They all learned to keep silent otherwise some men with clubs would arrive at there doorstep.

By the time winter was over any beggar that had taken shelter had moved back into the town of Widu. In the warmer climate they were able to sleep outside. Mantas had paid the laborers who had cooperated handsomely. He had even managed to make enough coin to have some secret locations made around the gardens. Perhaps they would be used to hide some small fortune in the future. Maybe he would form some type of guild and decide to make guild hall hidden among maze bush. For now they were all sealed off. He would let the residence of Widu explore the gardens before returning and opening them back up.

His eyes were on the King as the speech came to an end. He watched Zuan slip from the dias. Mantas followed but not to closely as to be noticed. Mantas was looking for an opportunity to talk with the King when he didn't have such an audience. Perhaps he could entice him with a game of dice?

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Zuan
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Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Post by Zuan » Thu May 28, 2020 11:14 pm

He continued to walk around the gardens with his wife and young son in his arms. He played amusedly with his son, leaning him in toward one of the hedges so he could pull at one of the budding flowers, before handing it toward Aishe. The King rarely got time to spend with his young son. In truth there was little he could do with the boy at this age, he was not yet ready to learn or train, thus the purpose of his father, the king, being there to oversee things was un-needed. Yet that did not mean he enjoyed the lack of contact he had with his son.

He sighed gently as the continued around the gardens, wondering what sort of heir his son would make, wondering still further if the boy had any idea as to what world he was entering, and what duties and responsibilities would fall upon his shoulders in time. Looking down into the boys curious and wondering eyes, which darted left and right, following bees and bugs and any other creature that happened to appear infront of his eye line, he wished in truth they could spend more time together.

Aishe might well notice at this point why her husband was leading them on a merry dance around the same set of flowers and hedges, yet the King knew when he was being watched, and being followed. He was no fool, not least given the last seven years had taught him when eyes were upon him among the hundreds who stepped at court, and the servants who blended into the scenery at every royal and noble house he stayed within. Furthermore his past life before even wearing the crown had given him some such skills, yet he could equally tell whomever was following did not want conflict. Afterall, if they sought conflict, they would not seek it at such a public gathering in the middle of a city surrounded by guards.

Thus, as his son fidgeted more and his arms began to grasp the air toward his mother, the King smirked and placed his son back down upon the ground, before watching with an amused expression as the boy zoomed off into the distance, keen to explore. Offering his wife a silent kiss to the cheek, a unsaid thank-you for that brief half-hour of silence and freedom from the court and their duties, he nodded to suggest she could go after their son.

Meanwhile he turned and continued his walk, now alone, with no family, guards or distractions. He wondered if the individual who had been following would now show? Or if he was truly starting to go senile in middle age. He did not call out, he did not stop as if to suggest he knew someone was following, he however ensured he remained walking around the more isolated parts of the garden, so not to cause his follower to dart, like they might if the King returned to the throng.
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Mantas
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Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Post by Mantas » Fri May 29, 2020 12:05 am

After circling the same path a few times it became clear Mantas had been discovered. He was debating to himself whether he should abandon his mission and make an attempt another time. Before he reached his decision Zuan split off to an isolated section of the garden. Mantas hurried along to approach the king. Before Zuan a young man in his early twenties approached dressed in fine Fenian fashion. His mannerisms might fool a peasant but it would be clear to the King that this was a lowborn that stands before him. As he approached his bow was smooth as the words "Hello, King Zuan. but it didn't come with the years of practice of one who had been born into nobility. His bow came with no hesitation and he did so with a smile on his face but his eyes showed his disdain for the task.

"I realize you are busy with the ceremony so I'll get right to business. I wish to share a story with you. Before my arrival in Fenia I was awarded a medal for my service in the army along with a title and a small plot of land." Mantas produced writing of nobility and handed them to the king for inspection. "After receiving the medal I tossed it in the mud. A man that served under me watched me do it and didn't say a word because he knew such things are meaningless to me. When I attempted to drop the proof of lordship into the fire he stopped me. He made me think about the situation back home and with a position in the courts I could make a difference. After a few years it became clear to me that the title was only given to please the people. I traveled for a long time after that. I heard of a land called Secfenia. I heard of a king who had been in place for less than a decade. I'm aware those writings are from another land and you are under no obligation to honor them but being new to the throne then perhaps you would consider allowing new lords into your kingdom. If you wish to expand your kingdom please take into consideration that I'll do my best to protect Widu and it's people. My sword will be available for all of Fenia at your command. I'll be in the courts when I feel it necessary. If you won't be willing to listen then I ask you toss those papers in the fire like I almost did years ago."

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Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Post by Zuan » Fri May 29, 2020 12:27 am

He noted the man approaching him, so this was whom had been following. His clothing intrigued him, as his attire was well kept, a doublet both in Fenian fashion and colours, yet he could not rightly say if the man was Fenian, furthermore his mannerisms suggested if this man was well of, he was not so accustom to the duties and expectations when surrounding royalty. Yet this did not bother him in the slightest. He half wondered, basing of the man’s age and mannerisms if he worked for his brother. He seemed the type. One who could simultaneously blend into both the noble and common classes without too many eyes following him. However he did not speak or comment, instead allowing the man to continue upon his tale, keen to listen to the motives of the man who had been waiting to converse.

He listened with interest to the mans tale, and how interesting a tale it was. He thought back to his own time in the military, fighting for Fenia while equally being a clerk and councillor to the previous Monarch before Fenians major defeat. He remembered his own feels at that time, naught but a man with a broken sword, a dead queen and a Kingdom in chaos. How then he had used that pain, that loss and anguish and turned it into motivation. Now, he was King, having ruled for seven years he had rebuilt Fenia, taking back it’s lost city, while ensuring the Kingdom remained wealthy and prosperous. It was an interesting tale the man told indeed – and one the King, Zuan, could entirely relate to.


”Please, my friend, walk with me.” He gave a polite smile to the young man, and turned on his feet so they could face the same direction and begin to walk as they conversed. ”War often does that to man, it strips us down to our very bones, perhaps even deeper than that to our very essence. For it is to kill or be killed. To die or to convict another to that fate, usually in the mud and the rain and the cries and screams of other dying men. We’re often told we do so for glory, for redemption, for paradise or salvation. Yet in truth we do it because it is man’s primal urge, motivated by the other urges of greed and power…”

He continued on. ”Less than one year ago, I led an army into this very city, and we conquered it, and many died as a result. Some argue I did it out of spite or hatred. Other’s argue I did it due to rouges who stole from Fenian lands. While others whisper it was due to a promise I made to a dying woman. What the truth is, perhaps even I do not know.” He said, looking across into the mans eyes as he spoke these words. ”What I do know, is we were victorious, and since then I have worked to rebuild this city, with its citizens, and its mayor. I am not free of failure nor of short-comings, however, I do like to think that my choice last year was a good one.” He said observing the gardens around them as they walked.

”Not simply because of my victory, but because I believe under Fenian rule this city can return to being a bastion of trade, entertainment and life, which it was once before under Fenian rule, long before I took the throne.” He walked on ”I tell you this story my friend, because you offer me your sword, to protect this very town and my Kingdom. Knowing that by offering as such you would directly swear loyalty to me as your King. Thus it is only right my friend, that I tell you my story, as much as you tell me yours.” He stopped then, finally taking the papers from the man and reading them through…

”Mantas is your name I see? Skilled warrior, exemplary record, notable in his service…” He said reading the document through. ”Naturally, these documents would grant you much bounty in your homelands. However here, these are but bits of paper…” He said truthfully… yet, as he looked at the man. A man who simultaneously reminded himself of both his own younger days, and that of his current brother, he could not help but feel some affinity. ”Pray tell Mantas…” He offered him a polite smile again, as he now continued to walk. ”Know you anything of the delays to the building of these here gardens?” He said simply, not yet commenting further on the potential nobility he might well present to the man who walked beside him, in no way for an out of date document from a distant land, but rather the personality, abilities and boldness of that said man.
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Mantas
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Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Post by Mantas » Fri May 29, 2020 1:24 am

Mantas walked along listening to the king. He was slightly surprised at Zuan's choice to use the word friend so quickly. Was this a trick to get him to lower his guard? He had heard some of the reasons Zuan offered as to why he decided to take back Widu. It was interesting to hear that even the king himself didn't seem sure what caused the final decision. The honesty behind Zuan's words did indeed get Mantas to relax and enjoy the garden and the conversation. Then Zuan spoke the words, "Know you anything of the delays to the building of these here gardens?".

He had been admiring the scenery when the question hit him. Zuan had known about his approach and lulled him into conversation and Mantas fell right into it. To his credit he did well to hide the surprise on his face. It was only a slight misstep that gave him away as he gathered his thoughts before responding. I believe we both know the answer to that question. This also means you are aware of my methods. Why don't I just explain what lead me to that decision instead? People would of died this winter if not for me finding them shelter. I don't fault the leaders of Widu. Most of the beggars were simply homeless due to the recent battles. I saw a problem and acted to solve it. Mantas spoke these words with no regret. He fully believed he had done the right thing but was fully aware Zuan might disagree. Maybe the king had his suspicions and had only asked the question to get a confession. If that were the case it was a risk Mantas was willing to take. He could only wait for the kings reply and hoped he liked what he heard.

Mantas pointed to a distant part of the garden. If you were to tear down that wall you would find a shelter hidden behind it. It provided adequate shelter for the displaced peasants. I intended on having them join me and build new homes if given the right to do so. I kept the old shelter hidden but in tact in case you denied my request.

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Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Post by Zuan » Fri May 29, 2020 9:59 pm

He continued to walk with Mantas as he explained the situation to him, and it was quite interesting that the man was so upfront about the situation. Perhaps he had guessed the King was not simply asking out of curiosity, and therefore being upfront would better his chances? Or that it was better to be truthful to protect the hides of those who had facilitated the delays under his own orders. He looked over at the man as he explained his motives, they were indeed interesting, yet surely he knew as well as the King that it was simply a short term fix for a long-term problem.

Now Mantas was silent he finally spoke, as they continued to walk down the corridors of hedges which made up the garden. ”You are right of course, without your assistance and actions these people you mention would have died. That is beyond question. Yet there is also a disturbing truth that lies in the very dirt and ground we walk upon…” He tilted his gaze toward the man. ”There will always be those who suffer, those who starve or are homeless. For there to be rich there must also be poor. In short, we cannot save everyone, much as we might try or wish it.” He said this not to chastise, but rather to inform a fact which he was quite sure given the man’s past he would already know. Even as King with a world of wealth, there was no amount of coin which could house and feed all men adequately. It was the nature of the beast and of their lives. ”Yet it does not mean we should turn a blind-eye to such misery when we see it in our own vision.”

He finally stopped walking to focus entirely on Mantas. ”I have no interest in tearing down walls or removing people from shelter. Time will do that itself as these gardens expand and as the Mayor and their council no doubt wish them too. The solution you granted them was short-term, yet assured them one winter.” He paused for a short moment before continuing. ”However, there is a more long-term solution to their trial, you see, I am in my mind to grant you some land and a lordship. Not for your past service, but your future service. To myself and to the Kingdom.”

“With this land, and an earning from that land, you will be able to build yourself an estate and upon which provide jobs and housing to those you feel deserve such an office. In short, you could take some of these men out of the cold for more than one winter….Yet…”
He paused and looked the man directly in the eye. ”For me to grant such, you must know that actions within the Kingdom of Fenia that breach the law, the King’s peace, or harm that nature of your fellow man with no just cause, will see you stripped of more than just that land. If you wish to be a noble within the Kingdom of Fenia, I welcome it, but only if you in turn can welcome the expectation of that position, of that tile and the duties which come with it.”
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Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Post by Mantas » Sat May 30, 2020 9:44 pm

Mantas walked along considering the conversation so far. He had planned this encounter yet it seemed Zuan had been expecting his arrival and managed to steer the conversation getting Mantas to admit more than he intended. In the end things are turning out the way Mantas had wanted but it showed him he had a lot to learn about how he would need to act in court. So far his main means of motivating had been through coin or intimidation. He knew either tactic would be useless against a king but had hoped his former standing as a noble would of held some bearing for Zuan. It didn't seem to impress him in the slightest yet Zuan continued to entertain the idea anyway. Mantas wasn't sure if it was his eagerness to join the ranks of the nobility that appealed to Zuan or perhaps Zuan might have some use for a man with Mantas's upbringing.


Mantas stared at the king for awhile contemplating his words before giving his reply. "Of course I know I can't save them all. I've learned to focus on those that wished to be saved. Those that are only in the situation due to some unlucky or strange event. Regardless of if you accepted my request or if I was forced to return to the streets of Widu I'll need loyal men to help with what happens next. With an estate I'll be able to provide for myself and those men without searching for more creative ways of earning coin." His gaze had begun to wander as he gave his speech but his eyes would return to the kings before he spoke his next words. I swear I won't break any laws, stir any peace, or cause any unjust harm for my own gain within Fenia. You now have me and all of my capabilities at your command. I'll admit I'm new to the courts and have much to learn but I am comfortable with any task required of it. In fact I rather enjoy attending the courts. Ever since I was a child I knew I was meant for more than toiling away at the fields or working at the docks as my father had. I joined a war when I was much to young. They must of been low on soldiers to allow me to sign for the army. In those few short years I went from a horrified child to a leader of men. I'm also comfortable in the slums of any large town." He looked around to make sure no one was around before continuing. As he looked he got a dagger that he offered to Zuan. He showed him the blade. It seemed a capable weapon but there was nothing remarkable about it. Next Mantas revealed the importance of the blade. There was a hidden chamber within the sheathe containing a piece of parchment. "A gift for you. I'm sure a king runs into a problem that isn't easily solved through normal means. If you ever have such a problem just have this dagger returned to me and I'll see it done. I've been in Fenia for awhile now gathering knowledge on my king before deciding to meet with him. I wanted to meet with you in private to find out what kind of man you were for myself. You've impressed me and I thank you for the chance for allowing me the chance to do the same for you."

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Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Post by Zuan » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:16 pm

He stood and looked at Mantas as he spoke about his past, and how that past had impacted upon his life and the direction he sought for it, how war had both damaged him and equally guided him, forced him to train, to develop and to take his life in a direction which would put him in a position of control rather than one of mercy at the hands of another. It was odd, those last lines. A war too young. A child to a leader of men. How alike they were. Should that concern the King? That standing beside him, was someone who like him and been shaped by pain and that individual so willingly offering him support and service. It was indeed interesting and he had no right way to manage the situation.

Yet, here the opportunity presented itself, to help another. Who would then likely help even more beyond, given he would provide homes and shelter to those capable hidden among the gardens, while also likely avoiding any future conflict between the garden refugees and the city’s mayor and council.
”Your words strike deep my new friend.” He said calmly, as the wind gently brushed some of the leaves across the pathway they were upon. ”And I. As King of Fenia, do promise to you that I shall provide you with land to grow your household and that my court shall be welcome to you as a second home. That my ear be always open to your words and my own words available as advice. Know you shall always receive fair trial and support within the borders of this Kingdom so you uphold your oath and the laws of the lands.” He said quietly, as the man slowly unveiled a dagger to him.

He took the blade swiftly, not out of malice, but rather as to not cause alarm to any who might be walking across their path, a stranger with a dagger near the King would likely cause uproar if the wrong individual was to see and take the picture far differently to it’s reality. He admired the blade for a moment, before gently attaching it to his belt, before again turning to the man, looking Mantas directly in the eyes again/
”I thank you for this gift, and for your words. I look forward to seeing you at court, and to see your estate grow. Likewise if you feel you wish to make a more active role in society, we can no doubt find duties that might suit your interest or skills. You appear to be a talented young individual. I suggest, you do not waste them.” He said with a slight tilt of his head. ”I shall be in contact through one of my messengers once the documents for your rank of nobility and lands have been ratified, at which point, your new life can sure begin.” He said calmly, wondering if the man would say more, or wish to depart as swiftly as he had appeared to hide again among the foliage.
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Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Post by Mantas » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:49 am

Mantas had said all he needed to say and it seemed clear the King had spoken his peace as well. He bowed one last time before turning to walk away. This time his eyes didn't show his displeasure. King Zuan's words had inspired Mantas and he was happy to be working for him.

Mantas walked with purpose. He would spend some time at the ceremony before heading back to the town of Widu to work on preparations for his new estate. All of the peasants he wished to invite to his new estate had already been selected. He just needed to get things in motion.

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Re: [ORP] The Memorial Gardens of Widu

Post by Elisa » Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:10 pm

Elisa was feeling a little nervous when she entered the gardens. She had walked past before but this was the first time she entered them. They looked absolutely beautiful, her attention was drawn mostly by the waterfall fountain feature, so that’s where she went first. She was meeting up with Azrail (Az) for a picnic. It was hard to explain why she was feeling nervous for this. Thartis had told her this might be because she liked Az and cared about how today went. She couldn’t deny this, she liked the boy quite a bit and really wanted today to go well. And she really didn’t want to mess up and look like a fool in front of him. Az came from the dessert, though she didn’t exactly know where that was she knew it was far away from here and that’s why Az dressed differently and had some other customs that she wasn’t familiar with, but she didn’t mind them at all. They had already spend multiple nights together in tavern where they had held hands and had even given each other kisses on the cheek. This was the first time Elisa was experiencing this so she didn’t really know how things were supposed to go, as she hadn’t seen many examples when she lived secluded in the woods. But she felt a little funny inside whenever he held her hand or pecked her cheek, funny but really nice. She liked the feeling she had when she was with him. If only it wouldn’t make her blush so much, that would be better she thought as people had joked about that sometimes.

Az liked her too she believed, he had said lovely things about her. She didn’t really think they were all true, but she didn’t want Az to find out they weren’t. She really didn’t want him to change his mind and not like her anymore. So she also really wanted today to go well. She was aware there were many things she didn’t know about and really hoped that wouldn’t ruin things today.

As she sat down on the edge of the fountain base, she put her basket down next to her. She was supposed to bring some fruit and bread. So in the basket were some oranges she had picked herself from the orchard in Widu. There were also strawberries that Cruella had been so kind to give her. And for the bread she had bought bread of a higher refinement that she normally would get. It was a more expensive kind, though also not quite the highest quality there would be. She had found it worth to get the more expensive one for today. Finally there also was a bowl of liquid chocolate which Thartis had provided her. On top of it all was a blanket, big enough for both of them to sit on but also not very big. It would be just big enough to each have a little room, but not to be very far apart. She let her hand gently slide trough the water while she waited for Az to arrive or find her, letting her mind wander a bit.
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