- 1 Week 1
- 1.1 Before WFC
- 1.2 WFC
- 1.3 Matchmaker 1st interview
- 1.4 Clarmont's date
- 1.5 Zarad's date
- 1.6 Jarrod's date
- 1.7 Flowers from a 'Friend'
- 2 Week 2
- 3 Week 3
Frankly, you are a little surprised that you required an introduction. No matter, if they didn't know who you were before, it will only be a matter of time before you are someone they will never forget. It is almost unheard of that a widow be chosen as a member of a delegation. Fortunately, you are used to overcoming such limitations.
Born to a Revaire family that possessed noble blood but owned nothing but a crumbling castle and a mountain of debt you managed to save your family (or perhaps more importantly) yourself from a life of the poverty, or worse, by marrying young.
He was a much older man, the richest and highest titled in your district. His grown heir had died in a duel, leaving him in need of a new one, and, luckily for you, consequently a new wife.
How did you convince him to marry you?
|You presented a logical argument why you were a suitable candidate||Logical|
|You gave him emotional support during his period of mourning||Emotional|
Your efforts proved successful and you were married within the year. Even more happily, you were widowed (childless) just as early. Did you 'help' your husband's passing along?
|Your lips are sealed||Immoral and See [YLAS]|
|Of course not||See [OCN]|
Ah, of course they are. But, hypothetically speaking, of course, if you were to have have...encouraged him to die, how would you have done it?
|It's best not to get too fancy, and stick with what you know. A little rat poison never hurt anyone||Sensible|
|A little imagination can go a long way. It's not that hard for an old man's heart to give out when he sees a ghost.||Imaginative|
I see. Of course you didn't. But, out of curiosity, why not?
|As hard as it may be for some to believe it, you don't actually condone murdering people.||Ethical , See [CMP]|
|He was already old and ill, there was no reason to take unnecessary risks simply to hasten the inevitable.||Immoral and Subtle See [O&I]|
Very admirable of you. In that case, how did you avoid the remarriage impediment that would have been a child?
|It's a wonder what a little dream-wine fed to certain now-dead husbands before sleep can do. Or avoid, as might be more accurate.||Imaginative|
|You used the traditional preventives passed down and tested through generation on generation.||Sensible|
You must have had a plan in place all the same. What would it have been?
|It's best not to get too fancy, and stick with what you know. A little rat poison never hurt anyone.||Sensible|
|A little imagination can go a long way. It's not that hard for an old man's heart to give out when he sees a ghost.||Imaginative|
After the unfortunate death of your husband, it is Revaire tradition to go into full red for six months of mourning.Did you adhere to this tradition?
|You had more important things to worry about than out-dated customs.||Innovative|
|Of course you did. It is tradition after all.||Traditional|
|In public only.||NIL|
After the bother of mourning was out of the way, with new wealth and status you made your way to the Revaire Royal Court, which was a whirlwind of parties and events.
How did you feel about this constant barrage of social engagements?
|The constant interaction left you drained and eager for more time to yourself||Introverted|
|You were thrilled and consistently energized from the constant activity.||Social|
|You fell somewhere between the two.||NIL|
You quickly fought your way to the top of the social ladder and became a darling at court. Between your new title, wealth, status and relative freedom, many a lady would be content and stop. Your ambition however had no limits. The Seven Week Summit was coming up. This would be an opportunity to meet, woo and possibly marry powerful men and women from all seven kingdoms. Forget popular widow, if you played your hand right you might end up a Queen! You carefully plotted, charmed and planned, until at last, your efforts were rewarded and you were selected to be one of seven representatives for Revaire. How did you prepare for the trip?
|Haphazardly and at the last minute, the tighter the deadline and the looser the plan, the better you worked.||Spontaneous|
|Methodically and far in advance. The more structured your plans, the more prepared you feel.||Methodical|
Preparations, planning and a nauseating sea voyage later and here you are. In your very own room in the castle of Vail Isle. Meeting your new servants. How very far you've come. And yet, how very far left you have to go.
The change in regime has proved most beneficial to you, and as result your family, so how it happened is not generally one of your biggest concerns.
Instead, you wonder how you can take this chance to further your own ambitions.
With the delegation stands the heir to Revaire, Prince Jarrod, his only sibling, the Princess Gisette, and one of the few remaining courtiers with old blood, Lord Clarmont.
You haven't had much interaction with the prince yourself, but you know that despite women throwing themselves at him, he's remained aloof and distant.
Where her brother is all distant angry fire, Princess Gisette is seductive ice.
From the stories you have heard you know better than to underestimate her simply because of her ethereal looks. She would be a very dangerous enemy, and a very useful ally.
You and Lord Clarmont almost never attended the same parties, as far as you know, he rarely attended parties at all. Unlike the rest of court, he has the reputation of being quite serious.
You aren't sure why he has the support of the Revaire Royals, but his presence as a member of the delegation proves he does.
As you approach, respectful smile firmly in place, the prince gives you a deliberate once over, his mouth twisted into a sneer.
Jarrod: "If it isn't MC. Come to marry and murder some other poor fool for his money? Oh well, it hardly matters to me, so long as you don't get caught. And leave me alone. I'm the crown prince after all, and you are just one very nasty spider."
The Princess raises one perfectly arched eyebrow slightly at your approach. You know enough about her to know that means she isn't exactly pleased with your intention to converse with her.
This impression is only furthered by the chill note to her voice as she greets you.
You smile like you know a secret and look at the Princess through slightly lowered lashes, your voice coming out like a purr.
Princess Gisette smiles at you and you see a flash of interest in her eyes, followed by something that might be regret.
Gisette: "I suppose not. A pity, then."
Gisette: "Of course. I should have remembered you have such a reputation...for being appropriate. MC."
You can tell the Princess isn't pleased with your deflection, but she respects you more for having done it.
Well, considering your background, there's really only one opinion for you to have. Especially safely. You smile.
MC:"It's benefited me personally. I don't think much else about it."
The Princess nods at your response and although you can tell it was the answer she expected, it also pleases her.
Gisette: "Thank you for your conversation, MC. But I think it is best for both our own sakes and the sake of the continued prosperity and fortune of Revaire that we talk with someone else now, no?"
Leaving you no opportunity to disagree, you find yourself quickly sent back out to talk to others, a good little soldier in the battle to win the new Revaire Regime new allies.
At least you are still alive to do it, which is more than can be said for every Revaire lady to spend an extended amount of time in conversation with the Princess.
Lord Clarmont sweeps into a perfunctory bow, clearly seeing no need for extensive formalities as you are already familiar with one another.
Matchmaker 1st interview
MM: "It's bad enough you were already married once, but must you come so ill prepared as well?"
After MM 1st interview
You find yourself almost shaking with rage. You haven't worked so hard, put up with the pressures of court, married a doddering old man, carefully worked your way into this position only to be so...so insulted and dismissed by some old lady of no rank or consequence!
Normally, you would not hesitate to lie. To come up with the story you think would benefit you or your position the most. There was something about his expression or his manner, you couldn't pin point it exactly, but there was something about Lord Clarmont that made you want to gift him with a truth. So you did.
MC: "There isn't much about my childhood that would be considered cheerful. There were always too many mouths to feed and not enough food to do it. Clothes had to be patched and remade over and over. We could barely afford the appearance of nobility, and generally only through more and more debt. But there is one time I remember being happy. It was cold that winter, and for the first time since I had been born that I had ever seen it. My little sister demanded to go out, and even though neither of us had cloaks or boots warm enough, we went out in the great white winter, and lifted up our faces, determined to catch as many of the mythical snowflakes on our tongues as we could. We laughed and danced, and didn't even mind when we got reprimanded for coming in all soggy and getting muck on the floors."
You come back to the warm, candlelit room with a start. For a moment, you had gone back to the time of your memories. To the innocent snow, your first, and perhaps last, moment of true, uncomplicated, naive happiness.
Clarmont: "Thank you. For telling me that. I remember that winter, but my memories of it are not so kind. I think...I think I feel better knowing that they were a good time for someone."
There is a pause in the conversation where he gives you thoughtful, sidelong glances while ostensibly looking at the stars. You smile your most alluring, slow smile. He smiles back, but not with the sort of warmth of response you are used to.
Zarad: "My condolences, MC, on the loss of your late husband."
Your smile freezes in place as your brain rushes to calculate the appropriate response to that flirtation killer.
Zarad:"You aren't in red, so it must not have been too recently that you lost him. Still, you are far too young to have been widowed too long ago. The loss must still be fresh."
|Yes, it was truly unfortunate how soon my late husband was taken from me. Why, it's like we were barely married at all.||Barely married? Yes, I think it must be unfortunate to be described that way by your late wife, I hope I shan't ever suffer such indignities when I've left this mortal coil.|
|I assure you, your highness, I am well recovered from the loss, but I thank you for your concern.||I'm relieved to hear it. I wonder if I would recover so well in similar circumstances.|
|Truthfully, I'm much better off and happier as a widow, than I ever was as a wife.||How unexpectedly candid of you, MC. Although, I suspect there are certainly wives I could marry that I would feel the same way about.|
Zarad: "Well, I suppose that was a rather gauche and depressing topic for me to bring up. I apologize, MC. We should speak of cheerier things."
You might be from Revaire yourself, but you know that the Coup that Crown Prince Jarrod's father instigated divided the nation and its resources. If it comes to war, you doubt that Revaire has much of a chance against one of the more powerful nations, let alone if they allied together.
Flowers from a 'Friend'
You awake to the scent of fresh flowers. Sometime between when you fell asleep last night and when you awoke this morning a large bouquet filled with various red blossoms has been placed on your nightstand.
You try not to take to ill-fated color to heart. Surely whoever gifted you the blooms didn't realize that red was the color of death and mourning in Revaire. Curious, you head over to get a better look, only to notice the flowers came with a note. Pleased that you have so quickly gained an admirer, you open the letter.
"To the bereaved widow of the late Baron of Namaire. Many might say your selection and presence among the Revaire delegation brings great shame to our nation. Especially considering the suspicious circumstances in which you tragically lost your first husband. I however, find myself grateful. Not so grateful that I Wouldn’t be able to tell everyone here at the delegation just those suspicious details and ruin your chances at forming a new, more favorable match. Since I’m sure we both don’t wish it to come to that, I hope you will be willing to use just the sort of skills that ended your marriage for me. I’ll contact you again- Your friend."
...That is most certainly not the type of admirer you were hoping to collect. And even if you were theoretically willing to do them their requested favor, the idea of being threatened into it sat very poorly with you. Truly it was positively infuriating. How dare they underestimate you so?"
You found yourself fuming over this new hitch in your plans to secure yourself a better life as you got ready for the morning. Whoever this 'friend' was, you were going to make sure they regretted their mistakes.
As you wake up and prepare for the day, Jasper brings you something extra with your breakfast tray.
Jasper:"A letter from Revaire arrived with this morning's ships, my lady."
You nod imperiously, as one should do with servants, and wait until he has made a discreet retreat, leaving you alone with your letter. Reluctantly, you open the seal, knowing that the only reason anyone would write you from Revaire would be to give you bad news.
"Dearest Daughter. By now you must be well settled into the Isle as a Summit Delegate! I cannot tell you how proud your father and I are of all you have achieved. The day you were born was certainly extremely auspicious for our family! It is with a heavy heart that I must get to the heart of the matter: your father has gotten one of his schemes into his mind again and it has not gone well. I’m afraid, darling, that if we do not make some headway on our debts, we will lose the estate, just in time for the winter cold months. But I told him we didn’t have to worry. We have you, after all, and surely you will accomplish something so grand we couldn’t even dream. And so we have also told those dreadful debt collectors. Our thoughts are with you, -Your loving Mama."
...Someday, just once you would like to be surprised by being wrong about such things. Of course your parents were up to their ears in debt again. And of course they were bandying about your name and your presence here at the delegation to their creditors. No, they were probably spreading it from one end of Revaire to the other, as if you were crowned a rich queen already. Sometimes family really were a bother.
You toss the letter into the fire and sigh. You could only hope that the news of your family and their latest of many such situations only came to you on the Isle. Having it known might severely impair your plans.Plans that you should really get back to enacting.
Avalie: "I understand you are recently widowed. I am, of course, terribly sorry for your loss."
|Thank you for your sympathies, Lady Avalie.||Of course. I'm glad to see you holding up so well in the wake of your loss.|
|Oh, I'm not.||A:" In that case should I offer my congratulations?"
MC: "That would be a change of pace."
|Yes, it was all terribly tragic.||Oh, I imagine. It must be very difficult to lose a husband so young. You show admirable resilience.|
Avalie: " It must be hard for you to be here at the Summit and presumably looking for another husband."
|Min 175 Interpersonal insight||Comment|
|Yes||You smile grimly.
MC: "Not anymore difficult than for any other person here who faces similar pressures, I'm sure."
|No||MC "I wouldn't say that, exactly."|
Arland and Wellin conflict
Wellin Delegate: "And you, MC, I know that your beliefs must be...unusual coming from Revaire, but surely you must agree that it's best like stays with like."
Arland Delegate: "I don't know, the new powers in Revaire aren't exactly known for caring for duty. And this one has already married once, she's hardly an ideal bride, for any man."
A Red Bloom
You decided to take your lunch and afternoon tea in the dining room. You had good reason to believe that one of your prospects, a very rich lord with no family to speak of from Wellin, would be there.
Unfortunately, your information was wrong, and you spent your lunch wastefully stuck between a girl with no more thoughts than a feather and one of those dull scholar types with no means. It was rather a waste of an afternoon. So you are already irritated when walking through the castle you are stopped by a familiar smell. It's a particular fragrance. The same as the flowers in the bouquet that came from your least favorite admirer. It's only a moment before you spot it. A single brilliant scarlet bloom in a vase filled with white lilies. With a sinking suspicion, you pull it out. Sure enough there's a letter attached around the long stem.
"I hope this letter finds you well, my newest friend. From what I hear you are making all sorts of new friends at the Summit and becoming quite the belle, which is fortunate for all your sweet younger siblings and your parents, isn’t it? There is the matter of our soon to be mutual friend. I advise you to take advantage of the chance to get close to the Revaire delegate Lord Emroy. Unless something goes terribly wrong, you won’t have much time with him. Before you marry and move to another country to start your new life, of course. As always, I wish all the best for you- Your Friend."
...So that's it then. You have a target. Not yours, but your 'friends'. Now you are going to have to make some decisions. It's not like you have any particular attachment to the man, but it's not like contemplating the cold blooded murder of one of your fellow delegates is easy. Even for you, who many consider to have a heart of ice. But aside from the murder, there's the matter of the sender to consider. How dare they leave this out in public? Somewhere so incriminating? What if you had never found it? What if someone else had?
You angrily tear up the letter and toss it into the nearest fireplace. And if you give into their little 'request' you are risking everything you hope to gain here. And if your letters from home are any indication, you really can't afford to lose any of the games you are playing. It's not just irritating anymore, now it's infuriating. Soon it will be time to decide what you are going to do. But not today, it's best to wait until you have a cooler head to make such important decisions.
MC: "My past is a dark cold place, your highness. I'm not sure it's truly a place either of us wishes to tread."
A: "Have you ever seen the winter in Skalt? I am no stranger to cold and I do not fear it."
MC: "Perhaps I do."
A: "Bah. You are not a woman of fear. You are steel and strength and determination. It is what I like about you."
MC: "Very well. I was born a daughter when they wanted a son and was the first of many such disappointments. I was trapped by circumstance and want, but burdened with pride and a name filled with arrogance. I became harder and made hard choices. But I survived and I will survive again. In the end, I do not regret it."
A: "You have shaped yourself into iron, that is something to honor, not regret."
MC: "Everything that I have done has been about survival first. Duty... that kind of abstract concept can only come later."
Lisle: "And yet, I know your family depends on you and you have not ignored them."
"It's a picture of a castle in northern Revaire, frozen in the cold winter snows. It reminds you of home and your childhood. You rather want to burn it."
MC: "You spent some time in Revaire? What did you think of it?"
Emmett: "I think... I think it's both what people think and what they do not."
MC: "What do you mean?"
Emmett: "It's like this picture. You could look at it and see nothing but cold harshness, but you could also look at it and see great beauty. And more importantly the promise of potential, for what will happen when the snow melts and spring comes again."
MC: "...It's a lovely thought. But I'm not sure Revaire will ever have spring again."
Emmett: "How can it not? Even in harsh winter it is able to grow flowers like you."
MC: "Many would call me a weed."
Emmett: "Weeds are admirable. They survive and flourish in the harshest of conditions, in spite of people's irrational hate. And they can be truly beautiful. Like you, [MC's name]."
Lyon: "Most people think you killed your husband."
MC: "I know. But I didn't. For the record."
Lyon: "...You aren't a bad person. I believe you."
MC: "What an unusual turn of events."
Lyon: "I believe in the facts, not pointless rumors."
MC: "It's one of the things I like best about you."
Zarad: "Once upon a time there was a young girl born under an unlucky star. From the day she was born, heavy weights were set around her shoulders. She would have to find a way to stand up on her own, or the weight would crush her. No one was going to save her. But this young girl was strong. She took the weight, much of which wasn't even hers to begin with and found a way to stand. Many people couldn't see it, but she was clever as well as strong. Savvy as well as ambitious. When life gave her lemons, she married lemonade. And when the lemonade was gone, she took the leftover lemons and made herself an entire grove, proving herself even more capable than the man who gave her the lemons."
MC: "I may be a lemon, but you are a terrible storyteller. It's like you never met a metaphor you didn't want to make bastard children with."
Clarmont: "I'm sorry about your late husband. That must have been very hard for you."
You arch a brow.
MC: "Is that your question? Did I love my husband? Or do you want to know if I murdered him?"
Clarmont: "I...of course I didn't mean to imply that. Or be so crude."
MC: "Yes, well, most people are crude. Manners only make us feel better about it. I am grateful to my late husband, for what he did for me. But no, I wouldn't call myself heartbroken at his loss. "Does that satisfy your curiosity?"
Clarmont: "I'm sorry to have brought up such a sensitive subject, my lady."
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