Ep 23: "Seventeen Years"

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The day of the Royal Wedding had arrived. At Reynard Manor, Seldanna got fitted into her dress. Rosie, Cyl, and GB stayed close, as part of the wedding party (maid of honor, flower girl, and ring bearer, respectively). Oisin got ready with Pinbol, “Upstairs” in the floating hideaway above the Pinbol’s tower. Two of the tower’s levels were pretty well constructed already.
At the Brell Estate, Nathan dressed in all black and purples. A pair of clothiers, a gnome and a goliath in matching suits, arrive and introduce themselves as Bizzle and Bozzle. They were sent by his fiancé Tybalt to dress him to match. Nathan protested the sudden change of his plans, but eventually they were able to compromise on his style. They gave him a manicure, a pedicure, a shave, and painted his nails purple. Nathan ended up in a deep burgundy suit, tailored to him perfectly through crafty use of the mending spell. When the pair left, Nathan cast some illusion magic on himself so that he could quietly protest in secret with a piece of clothing that would clash with Tybalt. He also still wore his silver and amethyst ring. Nathan then left to join Pinbol and Oisin at Pinbol’s tower.
Rosie comforted Seldanna during wedding prep until Jastra showed up at the door. Seldanna honestly told her mother she was terrified. Jastra suggested Seldanna have some champagne to calm her nerves—Seldanna reminded her mother she does not drink. Jastra seemed more subdued today, and treated the party with civility, including Seldanna, complimenting her daughter on her choice of dress and Rosie on her party preparations. Jastra presented Seldanna with a gift from her father—pearl earrings. She tried being playful but it kind of came off poorly. Regardless, she hugged Seldanna and told her that she loved her, and then left.
Oisin and Nathan discussed Nathan’s pending nuptials and his desire to court someone other than Tybalt, but did not name them. He expressed that though he loved Seldanna, and cared for her, he did not want to marry her, but would f course have done so to spare her the pain of today. Nathan sought Oisin’s and Pinbol’s advice about wanting someone for the first time in his life. Oisin gave the practical advice of having an open marriage with Tybalt. It wouldn’t hurt to ask. Nathan left to confront Tybalt before the wedding, but realized he wasn’t sure where to go. He went home to speak with his uncle.
Nathan found a white carriage at his home, as well as Tybalt. Tybalt acted the gentleman while Nathan pushed against the gestures he had offered thus far. Nathan emoted…strongly, while Tybalt reminded Nathan of the very recent loss of Tybalt’s family. Tybalt defended himself through empathy and through reminding Nathan of the commonalities between them. Nathan seemed unswayed by his words, and continued keeping his guard up.
Oisin, Pinbol, Nathan arrived at Reynard Manor for the wedding ceremony. Dozens of Nocturne lined the garden outside and the entire island of the Pearl District had been restricted to those with invitations to the wedding. The garden was filled with curved marble benches for the ceremony. Cocktail hour was in full swing. Oisin and Nathan joined the rest of the party in the manor. They talked for a while, trying and partially succeeding in taking Seldanna’s mind off of the coming ceremony. They were interrupted by the tolling of a deep, sonorous bell that signified for everyone to prepare for the ceremony.
Jastra came in to give instructions to everyone to get into places. Seldanna was so out of it that she ignored Jastra’s commands, almost causing Jastra to lose her current calm-and-loving demeanor. Instead, Jastra touched Seldanna lightly and soothed her, reminding her that they needed to get going to the ceremony.
A priestess of Shaniir the sun deity, stood at the altar. The king stepped out of a carriage pulled by burgundy-haired horses. He was decked out in burgundy robes. He strode forward to the front of the altar. Nathan and Oisin were seated in the plush seating up front, separately but nearby.
Music began. Cyl and GB walked up the aisle together as flower-person and ring-dogger. Rosie and Jastra walked up together and Jastra thanked her before sitting down. Seldanna entered, finding her friends seated up front. Her eyes found the king: charismatic, strong, regal.
The priestess introduced herself as Helia The King kneeled on the carpet before the priestess. Seldanna knelt as well. The King took her hand. Helia spoke lovely words, beseeching Shaniir to give them a bright, peaceful, loving future. Seldanna and the King exchange vows to give each other’s souls to each other. They kissed and stood.
A voice rose up nearby in song, “We rode after midnight to safekeep our time. Long before.” A magical sound shot through the air and a singing man fell dead. A nocturne fringed with dark black, near silver, held a hand aloft, pointed at the now partially disintegrated protestor.
The ceremony ended and Seldanna was able to mill about with the guests. Her parents immediately greeted her. Jastra maintained her empathetic streak, while her father was just happy for her, oblivious to her pain and fear.
Seldanna spoke with the party briefly, Rosie taking the lead in consoling Seldanna. Helia approached and explained that the King has been a devout follower of Shaniir for over thirty years.
The King jumped up on a bench to make an announcement. He thanked some folks and offered Seldanna anything she wants within his power. Seldanna paused for a long time before asking him to remove the ban on religion and the curfew. He agreed immediately .
Now able to proselytize openly, GB talked a noble’s ear off about the School of Invention, who asked if GB has ever taught before and he says no. There was a little math humor and GB walked away with a possible future job prospect.
Nathan tried to get Rosie to open up about being unhappy but Rosie professed that she was fine and happy. Nathan didn’t believe her. Nathan dropped that he was realizing that he had more in common with Tybalt than he wanted to admit. Tybalt heard. Nathan sent mixed signals at Tybalt and ended the interaction calling him a shithead. To which Tybalt responded, “love you too.”
The party, minus Seldanna, take a carriage to the castle. Nathan voiced his concern that this change to the laws was a ploy to make the king look less despotic to weaken the resistance. The party reminded Nathan that other people have lost things to the King’s reign, that the populace won’t forget their losses so easily. The party also reminded him that the party was still committed to the resistance. GB in particular tried to point out that the resistance could be working at the problem of the city’s rule in two different directions. Nathan did not seem to take to these reminders well.
Seldanna and the King took a separate carriage. The King told Seldanna that 17 years ago today, the populace overreacted to news that they received about him (vampire!). In turn, he overreacted against them. Ever since, he had been trying to ratchet down the draconian measures but did not feel that he could without losing control of the populace again. He appeared open to Seldanna’s influence, opening the city and its laws if they can do so safely (to his power) in order to allow the city to fully prosper like it did before Lady Ennith’s passing. The King offered to give Reynard Manner to Seldanna for her to live in, though conditions on that include keeping a contingent of nocturne at the manner and having dinner with him at the castle three nights a week. Seldanna questioned how long the King intended to have this marriage continue: the King genuinely seemed to want Seldanna to live her entire natural life as his queen. He requested dinner, three nights a week, and not much more of her.
The Castle
The King gave Seldanna a brief tour of the castle and informed Seldanna that she will have her own room, locked and private, if she needed to escape, tonight or later.
Guests arrived. The party arrived quite a bit into the guests arriving. The music picked up and Seldanna and the King dance on a raised platform. Seldanna performed gorgeously and, even still, the King dances circles around her.
Oisin and Pinbol dance. Nathan and Tybalt dance —ok. The party (minus Oisin, who continues dancing) gathered around Rosie in a corner and talked. A fifteen-something freckled young girl brought over two rolled-scrolls: one decree ending religious practices, rebuilding the temple district, and hiring clerics for six months, and one ending the curfew. The girl is “Juveha” and requested to be her liaison to the King. Seldanna agreed.
During the party, loud thuds rock against the castle walls. Paintings and wall-hangings fall. We rush outside to see a ship in the lake. A half-elf man, Aldion, sang a song written immediately after the leviathan attack, banned thereafter and forgotten. The cannons continued striking the castle. Dozens of men sang, while an aarakocra (Zreet) passed across the sun.
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