The Barony of Wyvernston [ORP]

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Nikola
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Re: The Barony of Wyvernston [ORP]

Post by Nikola » Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:05 pm

Nikola sat in the wagon and gaped at the sight of the old estate. “From here, it looks like there might have been a fire that swept through the uppermost level there,” she commented as she did a visual inspection of the abandoned … castle? Fortress? She was not exactly sure at this point. “Or it might just not have weathered time very well.” At TK’s question of whether to go exploring tonight, she responded, “I would love to go see it tonight, but I agree, better to wait until morning when we have daylight on our side. Anything could be using it as a den or lair and best not to disturb them until we can better deal with whatever we find.” She looked around at where they were and suggested they set up camp near the edge of the clearing so that the trees would serve as shelter from any winter winds that might want to disturb their slumber.

Once the wagon had been secured and the horses untacked, brushed, fed and tethered, she helped unpack the supplies they would need to bivouac for the night, leaving TK to gather the firewood while she sorted out food for their dinner. By the time he got back, arms laden with wood, she had prepared a large slab of smoked ham for heating over the fire along with some broccoli and bread with butter and honey. It was not a fancy meal, but enough for the evening and would taste good warmed up over an open fire.

Soon enough the food was warm, and they sat down to relax and eat, taking the opportunity to share their viewpoints and insights on what had transpired back in Oakheart and guesses as to what they might find inside the stone fortress on the morrow. She thought of it as a fortress due to its basic design, but it could just have easily been a castle built more for protection than for aesthetics. She wondered aloud who might have once lived there, and whether Aida might have known of it since they were in Redmoor where she had once served as Countess.

Sometime later, the food had been put away, the horses checked on, and the campsite made secure before they settled into their bedroll to sleep until the sun awakened them. She snuggled next to her beloved and soon heard the even rhythm of his breathing signifying that he was asleep. Unfortunately, sleep seemed to elude her this night, her mind awhirl as she rehearsed the events of the trip and conversations she and TK had enjoyed during the past few days. Regardless of where her thoughts took her, they always seemed to return to one thing. Family.

Most of the family she had known were gone. She barely remembered her parents. In fact, most of her memory of them had come from Vaelen’s own memories that he had shared with her. The couple who had raised her were both gone now, and she had been left on her own just at the cusp of womanhood. She had eventually met and been “adopted” by the Grimstad family in Bravia and they had been like family to her.

One by one, however, they left her bereft of the comfort and safety of family. Camelia was the first to go, then Casimir. Sometime later, Aida was taken, and Dahlia went away for a while before moving on with her life. Still, she treasured the memories they had made together, and she had lost count of the number of times she had wept herself to sleep thinking of them and missing them terribly. But she eventually discovered she was not alone.

The creature who started their line three generations ago, would come into her life rather unexpectedly. She called him her grand sire, though in truth he was her great grand sire. Her great grandmother was a human woman, Niamh, whom he had taken as his mate against her family’s wishes. She had borne him a single child, Muireann, who grew up to marry Brádach Ballintyne. That pairing produced six children. Linnea, a younger sister, married Warrick Grimstad and they produced three children together, including the Grimstad twins Nikola had come to know and love. At some point, after she had her eldest son but before she had become pregnant with the twins, she had fallen in love with and run off with a poet, whose name had not been recorded in the family’s histories. Before she could be discovered and forced back home to her husband, the illicit union with the poet had produced two girls, Aida and Lexi, both of whom were now gone from this world. Her own mother, Aeslin, had been Linnea’s older sister and because the family title of Viscount passed to Aeslin as the eldest child, her husband, Nicolaj, had taken her family name instead of the reverse and Nikola had been the result of that union.

Tonight, as she lay awake listening to the steady rhythm of TK’s sleeping form next to hers, her thoughts once again followed this line and came to an abrupt halt at her grand sire. His name was Vaelen, and he was a High Sidhe.

Vaelen had shown her the history of their line from Niamh to the moment Nikola had been sent away to safety and then the horror of war that enveloped the land of her birth and took her mother and father away from her. She had been a young child at the time, and the only real parents she had known were Bannon and Rose, the older couple who had spirited her away at her parents request and raised her as their own, presumably after learning of the demise of her true parents. They were gone, too, but Vaelen remained. The sharing had created a kind of bond between them, at least that was how she understood it. Through that bond she could sense when Vaelen’s thoughts were on her, or when he felt some strong emotion. He was skilled at hiding his emotions, but she could sense whenever the emotions were strong. Apparently, he could sense hers as well. She had not realized how well until he was on the verge of sending an army of sidhe warriors to rescue her the night TK had revealed his true Lycan form to her. She had been able to convince him, through that bond, that she was fine and a major incident between the two realms had been averted.

She had never intentionally tried to reach out to him, to call his attention to her, although she could often tell where he was in relation to wherever she happened to be, and what sort of mood he might be in. He was her only living relative, so far as she was aware, and he was her self-appointed champion, although he rarely intervened in her life. Yet she knew he was there, just out of reach.

She turned to look at TK and watch him sleep, a sense of belonging captivating her heart and soul the longer she was with him. He had explained how his kind tended to be in conflict with the elven races and had worried that they would not accept him as an acceptable mate to her. Her thought at the time had been that it did not matter. Vaelen and his people were mostly far removed from her and she expected that his people would likely not accept her very well anyway due to her human blood. Whether Vaelen accepted him or not still would not make her choose to walk away from him, but as she lay there, pondering their future, she realized she did want her grand sire’s blessing. Else, she needed to cut off all ties with him. She feared that, and had been putting off the next step, not because she did not love TK enough, but because she had lost so much already, and did not wish to risk losing her grand sire should he disapprove.

But in this moment, as she watched her beloved sleep, she knew that the time had come. She kissed him lightly on the cheek and then lay back, clasped her hands over her heart and closed her eyes. She was not sure if this would even work, but it was time to try. She controlled the pattern of her breathing as Zhaneth had taught her to do to better concentrate on her magic. Once she felt centered, she searched for Vaelen through the bond. She could sense he was awake and remembered that time flowed differently in his realm. She sought to touch his mind with hers, although she was not entirely sure how she did it or whether it would work. After some minutes had passed and she had just about decided that it was not working, an awareness touched her through the bond.

Her breath caught as she recognized Vaelen’s touch. Quickly she restored her control and sent the sense of a desire for an audience with the sidhe lord through the bond. No words were exchanged so she was unsure whether her meaning had been relayed appropriately. She concentrated on what it was she wanted to convey. At first there was only what could be described as silence, even though the awareness lingered, but at last, the answer came. Assent.

Again, her breath caught, but she quickly regained control this time, although her heart was pounding so hard that she wondered whether she would wake TK. She had only briefly thought about her beloved, yet the connection must have conveyed her deep affection for him for what returned to her through the bond was a sense of understanding. She could not tell whether he approved, objected or was indifferent. But she knew he understood why she wished to meet, and he had not withdrawn his assent.

Vaelen’s attention waned, then returned and she sensed through the bond that he was needed elsewhere. She had not ascertained when or where they would meet, but she felt certain that would be decided soon. She bade him farewell for now and a moment later the awareness of his presence was gone, and she was alone again. Only she was not truly alone. TK’s warm body lay next to hers and she snuggled back into the now familiar curve of his body, allowing the heat that radiated out from him to seep into her bones, warming her through despite the chill of the mid-winter night.

She was awakened by the dawn chorus. There were not as many birds out at this time of year, but there were a few who braved the cold to welcome the new day with their songs. As she stretched before rising, she remembered the connection with Vaelen and looked for TK whom she found warming what smelled like Klahua over the fire. She rose and went over to join him, adding a bit more heat to the fire with her power before she greeted him with a kiss.
“Good morning, sunshine,” she greeted him with a smile and hug. “There’s a little more of that smoked ham in the wagon if you’d like that to break our fast,” she suggested and then went to the wagon to retrieve the meat and some bread. Bringing them back to the fire, she tore the meat apart and placed big slabs of it between slices of bread and handed him a sandwich as he handed her a cup of Klahua. “Mmmm,” she murmured. “Thanks. It smells delicious!”

As she took a sip, she studied him over the rim of her cup. Lowering her cup, she finally spoke.“TK,” she started, unsure why she felt hesitant, but it needed to be told. “I, erm, contacted Vaelen last night while you slept," she said, and then watched for his reaction before she said anything more.
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Re: The Barony of Wyvernston [ORP]

Post by Texas_Knight » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:54 pm

TK rose early, before dawn, and took a run up to the estate in his lycan form. He sensed nothing within so he went inside the walls and found the remnants of a very old camp, but nothing within a year or two had bothered to come into the estate. After a stroll through the outer grounds he looked at the opened entryway and went inside the mudroom. Here he found things to be surprisingly in good condition. He went to the next room and found it in similar condition as well. Satisfied with what he found on a cursory inspection he turned and went back to camp. Before he got there he changed back to his human form.

He was making Klahua as Nikola joined him by the fire. "And thank you for the meat." TK took a big bite and smiled "That is delicious!" As they ate and drank while the sun rose over the horizon TK sensed there was something on Nikola's mind. He gave her a quizzical look and then she told him she'd contacted her ancestors. He nodded. "How did that go? Will he be visiting?" TK had been wondering when she would do that and what the reaction from the other side would be towards him. He waited and continued to eat and drink another cup of Klahua while they talked.
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Nikola
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Re: The Barony of Wyvernston [ORP]

Post by Nikola » Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:56 pm

Nikola took another sip of her klahua before she began. "I'm not exactly sure whether he will come here or whether we will be summoned to his realm. He got called away before we could settle that, but..." she smiled nervously, "...he agreed to meet! I'm pretty sure he knows why I asked for it, how I feel about you, and he still assented. He...did not seem angry, or anything like that. I'm sure he knows about you and I got the sense that...well, that he understood somehow." She took another sip as she let her mind touch on what she could remember of the previous night's events. "Mind you, no words were spoken, only a sense of what I wanted and a sense that he accepted and...well, I thought about you and I think he must have sensed how I feel about you and right away I felt a sense of understanding from him. It was almost as if he had been waiting for this. I...hope I'm right and didn't just dream it up, at any rate. I have never actually tried to contact him on purpose before, but it felt completely real, so..." she smiled again. "We shall see, I suppose."

She fell silent, letting her words sink in for TK and, if she was honest, for herself as well. Now that she'd spoken about the experience outloud, she realized it sounded strange, yet felt even more real than before. After a few moments, she glanced up over TK's shoulder at the fortress behind him. "Have you looked inside yet? What did you find?" she asked, genuinely curious. It had a deserted feel to it, but nothing malevolent. At least not yet. She hoped it was just abandoned and that the repairs needed to restore it would not be too daunting.
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Re: The Barony of Wyvernston [ORP]

Post by Texas_Knight » Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:24 am

TK was happy to hear that Nikola's ancestors agreed to meet. As strange as it sounded when she explained it, he did not doubt her account of the happening. TK had been alive long enough to know that there was at least two other planes of being. He let her words sink in as he drank the morning brew and prepared to get things in motion for the day.

"Looked inside?" TK repeated the words just to make sure he hadn't imagined them. The look on Nikola's face confirmed that she'd said them. "Ah, Yes. I looked in the first couple rooms but no deeper. I'm surprised how well the structure has actually held up all these years. The mudroom, while dirty beyond belief, was structurally sound. The next room was like a greeting room, but it too was fairly well sound as far as I could tell. I don't think anyone has been there in any capacity in about a year. And that looks like it was just a camp set up outside. One thing though," he said pointing at the outer wall of the estate "That is not near as close as it appears. It may be a mirage of some sort that makes it seem like it's only about half a mile or so, but I believe it's closer to a mile and a half. There may be some sort of magik at work that I can't sense and haven't found the source of yet. Perhaps you could use your senses once we're there and tell me what you think about the distance and such."

As they gathered things up and broke camp the sun was just cresting the tree-line. The sight of the sunrise was beautiful and made him stop what he was doing and stare.
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Re: The Barony of Wyvernston [ORP]

Post by Nikola » Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:22 pm

She watched TK while she nibbled on her breakfast, wondering what he thought of the whole feeling mind to mind with Vaelen. He seemed to accept it without question, for which she was grateful. If he had not done so, she would have been at a loss of how better to explain the situation. After asking about the estate, her eyes watched his as he described what he had found. When he mentioned the outer wall of the estate being farther than it appeared, she nodded as she turned her gaze to look at the wall. Whether mirage or magick, she certainly could not tell from here. Perhaps if they examined the wall later, between them they may be able to discover something.

“So, shall we go exploring then?” she asked as she finished the last bite of her sandwich. “I am most curious to see how much work will need to be done to make it habitable and safe again.” She smiled wryly at him and added, “not that I’m worried in the least about our safety so long as you are here, but you may wish to hire a staff and it would definitely need to be safe for those creatures.”

She set about cleaning up the remainders of their meal, leaving TK to deal with the fire. After the mugs had been washed and put away and the food repacked, she walked back to stand beside him as he was admiring the sunrise. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” she said, wrapping her arms around him and resting her head upon his shoulder. After of moment of just enjoying the moment together, she kissed him and gestured toward the buildings. “Shall we?” she asked.

It was a bit of a walk from their campsite, but the exercise felt invigorating and she was excited to see what the estate was like close up. As they approached the open entryway, she entered before him, so eager was she to see the inside. She probably should have let him lead the way, but he had already been there once and if there was any danger, he would have alerted her, she was sure. The first room was what he had called the mudroom and appeared to be exactly that; a room filled with dirt and debris that would have turned to mud had it rained in through the entrance. It did seem to be sturdy and whole, as TK had said, which seemed surprising due to the obvious neglect, but perhaps it had not been abandoned for as long as it seemed to have been. Beyond that was the room that TK had called the greeting room and she agreed that the way it was designed seemed to serve that purpose.


“It think if we brought a team of folk with us, we could get things here cleared out and cleaned up without too much difficulty. A bit of paint, a little decorating and these rooms, at least, would be quite serviceable. If the rest of the place is in as good a shape as these, then it should take mostly labor to clean it up.” She looked at him and smiled. “Shall we see the rest of it?”
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Re: The Barony of Wyvernston [ORP]

Post by Texas_Knight » Sun Mar 07, 2021 4:35 pm

As they both made their way inside and uncovered the secrets it became obvious that this castle was once much larger. Due to the time it has been abandoned though it has fallen into decay. The many tunnels were now crumbled in and the upper levels above the 2nd floor looked as if a dragon had taken them down with fire and swipes of his tail. Now it just stood two levels above the ground and only one level below the ground. Still it was a sight to behold. Three acres was encompassed by the walls. They found 10 rooms and a ballroom still usable, in addition to the usually found rooms like kitchen and such on the first level. The second level would be explored later.

As they explored more, they uncovered many items that had been left behind, forgotten by time and never to be seen again until they found them. One of those items was a drawing of the original construction.

"My dear, I think this project is too much for us to take on by ourselves and make the best use of our time. Before we leave here I want to call for 50 men to get things like they need to be on the first floor and the floor below ground. I think I'll have them completely get it in order from top to bottom before making the move from Wyvernston."

As they ate a lunch of meat and fruit in the castle grounds he was sad that the original structure wasn't more preserved. Image]Drawing[/url]
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Re: The Barony of Wyvernston [ORP]

Post by Nikola » Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:54 pm

The structure had once been grand, having been obviously built for opulence as much as for defense. The wide grand hallways that connected the various parts of the castle were in poor repair but bore signs of a much grander time. She liked that there were so many windows to allow daylight in amongst the massive stone walls and floors. It would also have presented an incredible view of the night sky. Much was needed to be done to get it cleaned up and livable again, but the plans that they found which seemed to be a blueprint of sorts of the estate showed that there was even more that was already beyond hope of restoration.

She nodded in agreement with his plan to call for a work crew to begin clearing away the debris and cleaning things up along with some needed repairs of those areas that were not yet fully in ruin. As they settled down to eat their lunch, she noted the sad look on her beloved’s face and placed a hand on his arm, squeezing gently.
“It’s a shame this great castle has fallen so into ruin, but it’s not yet lost,” she assured him. “I would love to have seen what it looked like in its heyday, but we have today and all our tomorrows. We will breathe life into the building again, and it will become a home again. It may never be as grand as it once was, but it will be perfect for you. For us.”
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Re: The Barony of Wyvernston [ORP]

Post by Texas_Knight » Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:51 pm

They spent another few nights there looking around and making a plan to have the building refurbished to suite them in the future. On the morning of the final day they decided to sleep late. As they sat eating what was essentially brunch, they planned a route to continue on to Nikola's lands now that they'd found what they were looking for on the Northwood lands. First they had to get to the western edge of his lands and find the road that runs between Fenia and North Fenia. They finally planned a route that would lead them through the wilderness down the northwest side to the road.
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Re: The Barony of Wyvernston [ORP]

Post by Nikola » Sun May 16, 2021 7:04 pm

The time they spent together in this place endeared the estate to Nikola. It was good to see TK excited about what would be his new home, and the responsibilities that came with it. The planning seemed to have invigorated him more than she would have expected, and she rather enjoyed the occasional moment of bliss of watching him work as he planned what needed to be done and how best to do it. He certainly seemed to be in his element.

As they prepared to leave, she noticed something moving through the woods, coming straight toward them. At first she could not make it out as it was hidden among the trees, but as it broke through the treeline, she realized "it" was a "they".
"TK, I think we have visitors," she said softly, laying her arm on his, both to get his attention and to belay any thought he might have of needing to defend against them. "They are from Vaelen. I know the leader," she informed him and then moved to stand between them and her beloved. She had not expected this and was unsure of its purpose, but they would have to go through her, Vaelen's kin, to get to him if they intended harm.

The group was small, but powerful, and the fact that Zhaneth led them told her that the delegation was there for something important. Zhaneth was Vaelen's most trusted Captain and had been her instructor and mentor, assigned to the duty by Vaelen himself to teach her how to first control and then to use her unique powers. He was a strict taskmaster, but over time they had become friendly, if not great friends. She trusted him as she did Vaelen, which is to say a lot, but not entirely. Though the blood of his people ran in her veins, they were still foreign to her although she felt she knew Zhaneth somewhat from the time she had spent under his tutelage. "He was my teacher," she told TK as he walked up beside her. "He will not harm me as he is sworn to protect me as Vaelen's kin."

The elven warriors drew close and then stopped, the group staying several strides distant while Zhaneth came forward to stop in front of Nikola. He glanced at TK, but his gaze was on Nikola. He did not seem angry or alarmed which relieved her fears somewhat, but what expression he did wear was unreadable to her. "Hail, Zhaneth," she greeted him formally, "and welcome to Northwood. May I present to you my beloved, Texas Knight, Viscount of Northwood and Royal Guard of Fenia."
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Re: The Barony of Wyvernston [ORP]

Post by Texas_Knight » Wed May 19, 2021 9:18 am

TK saw the creatures heading their way and would've been ready to attack except for the words from his love. TK fingered the hilt of his sword but left it sheathed. As the Sidhe approached he could see they were well armed. His love was calm about it and he followed her lead. When she introduced TK, he wasn't sure how to greet her kin, so he simply nodded his head in response and stepped forward. "Welcome to Northwood, kin of Nikola. What brings this visit about?" He wasn't rude or curt, but he knew it wasn't a social visit and intended to know the reason most quickly.

Inwardly, his instincts were telling him to get ready for a fight, he was prepared to change to his lycan form if they intended harm to either of them. He knew they weren't going to harm his beloved, even if they tried. He twitched once and felt his temperature rise. He felt in his pocket but didn't have any klah packets. He looked back at Nikola and made a gesture, hoping it would confer the message that he needed a packet. Hopefully she still carried them with her,
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