Old 12-08-2013, 04:57 AM   #1
Pretty_Pixels
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The Traitor

Looking for a male to play the role of the prince. Please send me a message if you are interested. Thank you!

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The man looked confused. As well he should be.

"Anya Frostguard, here to petition an audience with your king," she repeated calmly. It was the first time her House name struck her ears as simple; stupid, even. Here, in the grand city that belonged to a foreign throne, in a place where surnames were complex and difficult to pronounce. Here, where the people were spoiled in silks and luxury, and were even richer in knowledge...no doubt they referred to Anya's people as savages. Frostguard, the royal family of the northern tribes, rulers of frozen wastelands and ancient magicks...here, it somehow seemed far less impressive.

Because they were savages, really. Magick was powerful, but it was purely destructive. It couldn't feed mouths when the winter was especially long and cold, when blizzards wiped out their livestock and the reserve of dry goods began to run out. Anya's father had threatened death to those that would seek traveling south as an answer - he despised the bordering kingdom, as had his fathers before him, and the fathers before him... Long had the children of the Soreenian tradition been told horrendous stories of the evils outside of their exclusive realm, told that outsiders would do nothing but seek exploit their arcane gifts. Prophecies claimed that anything other than pure isolationism would result in the end of the world.

Was that it? Watch her people starve to death, or sacrifice the world so that they may live only a little bit longer? Anya was willing to drag the rest of the existence down with them if there was even the slightest chance of saving her own.

It was her duty. She was a Frostguard.

"I'm afraid His Highness is unavailable today," the guard responded, his brows drawn together in uncertainty. The woman before him looked exotic enough, her pale skin and golden hair a stark contrast to the darker tones of the people from this region. Still, the woman hardly resembled a princess. Relations between the nations was strained, at best, with the last active war (which was only one of many) being less than twenty years ago. Soreenian diplomats never came, and any southerner to set foot on Frostguard territory was executed without question. But that understanding was set out very clearly in the most recent treaty, which was tenuous in itself. More of a cease-fire with a "we'll kill you if you cross our line" clause.

"When do you expect him to return?"

The man simply stared at her, his lips parting as if intending to speak but failing to formulate words.

"Does he have a son?" she asked hopefully.

"Indeed he does, but..."

"I must see him. As immediately as possible."

The man placed a hand on his hip. "To be fair, miss, I have no way of knowing if you are who you claim to be, and even if you are Anya Frostguard, how am I to know you mean no harm?"

Crystal blue eyes stared back at the man, her gaze unwavering. "I am here to barter for peace. Real peace."

If father could hear you now, he'd set you afire himself.

The guard looked dumbstruck for a moment before considering the prospect of frisking her for weapons. It wasn't but half a second later he realized it was a rather pointless plan. She'd kill the prince with magick, if that was her plan. Or maybe they'd kill her first...

"I...I will send along your message, Lady Frostguard. If you'd be so kind as to wait in the parlor, perhaps you and the other womenfolk will find something to talk about in the meantime." He stepped back and extended an arm towards the interior of the castle, revealing a stunning display of wealth within.

Two slow steps carried Anya's feet over the threshold, her gaze wandering over the intricately ornate foyer. She couldn't identify the materials that had been used in the construction, and so rather she appreciated and felt extremely alienated by the amount of effort that had been put forth in the details that surrounded her. Carved pillars, a double sided grand staircase, statues that were accented with gold...

The icy grip of fear started to clench at her heart. Forcing her eyes back towards the guard, she followed the indication of his hand to the parlor. There, the conversation of five ladies suddenly halted and all their eyes were upon the stranger in furs and leather. One of them stood and approached. "Welcome! I am Lady Yequientsia. Who might you be?"

Hope that you never have to repeat that name... "It's a pleasure to meet you," the blonde gave a short bow of her head. "I am Anya Frostguard."

The woman gasped and brought a hand to her chest. "Oh!" The lady took a moment to recover, but it was more from gossip bliss than fear. "Tell me, Lady Frostguard, what brings you here?"

Anya considered her for a long moment. "I will discuss that with your king, or your prince, as present circumstance allows."

"No doubt he'll be excited to meet with you," the woman responded with a smile.

It was still confusing, the way these southerners treated her. As she travelled towards their capitol, she was never for want of shelter or food. She hadn't even needed to beg. Freely had she been offered such from strangers, who saw her foreign nature as a promise of interesting stories. Or perhaps they knew of her magick, as her father had warned, and they were luring her into--

You have to stop thinking like that. This is the only hope.

"He may be awhile," Lady whats-her-name spoke suddenly. Anya suddenly realized that she must've appeared awkward, just standing in place like she was. "If you'd like, I could arrange a bath and a change of clothing..." the offer was given hesitantly, as if the savage might get angry at the suggestion that she was unfit in her present dress.

"No thank you." Because, in truth, Anya had taken offense. She knew better than to show it, though.

"Very well."

The room was painfully quiet. The women busied themselves with their tea cups and eventually made it a point not to look at the northerner. Thankfully, Anya was not left to wait very long.

She was summoned by an unfamiliar henchman, who led her back into the foyer. Expecting to be dragged to some massively intimidating throne room or something similarly horrifying, Anya was surprised to find herself coming to a stop after only a dozen steps.

His name was announced by the henchman in a loud and clear voice. Anya failed her hear it. Her eyes had found the form of the prince, descending the stairs at a confidently regal pace, his bronze skin glowing against the darkness of his raven hair. As his gaze found hers, he smiled - Anya couldn't help but reflect it.

The henchman spoke her name now. Mere moments passed as the prince reached the bottom of the stairwell and began to approach Anya more directly. No longer necessary, the announcer gave a short bow and dismissed himself.

It was Anya's turn to be dumbstruck. She offered a hand, uncertain what to say, unable to even call the man by name.
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