from the home of The Great Alliance in Twilight Illusion
Friday, April 22nd
Part One: The Queen’s Dilemma
A sumptuous table is set for tea, as the lords and ladies of the Court of Light join Queen Comet. Greetings are exchanged as they all make their way to the table, while the Lady Cia and the Queen’s Physician, Lady Malada, make sure that all is well for tea. The Guards Durland and Katina take their places as the subtle verbal sparring begins. Some of the guests choose to merely watch the the courtly graces covering the political machinations of the members of the court and of the guests at the table.
Once everyone is in place, the Queen speaks, telling them all, “I have called you all together today for something rather important..well it is to me. It would seem that the Dark Prince has been busy with a plot to force me into marriage with him and make him king, or I shall lose my lands.” The Ladies quickly tell the Queen that they anticipated this and have invited suitors that she might consider and marry before the Dark Prince’s plot can come into play.
One by one, the suitors announce their intent to court the Queen for her hand; the dashing and handsome fair haired Prince Vindonus Lianelis, The Dwarven King Bump Wumple, a northern barbarian Prince Zarg, and the dark haired but dashing Prince Kelamoris Miliandrovic of the distant kingdom of Alabaster.
Once the Queen has been presented with the choices, the ladies determine that they wish to test the suitors, to make certain that the one who is picked will be worthy of the Queen. The suitors are invited back to an evening of manners, questions and dancing where they will try and win the queen’s favor.
Saturday, April 23rd
A Suitor For The Queen – A Test of Courtly Manners
In the elegant grand ballroom, Queen Comet and her ladies await the suitors when a debonair Bard approaches the Queen and introduces himself as Gage of the The Far Reaches.
A hush falls over the crowds as Pelinor, the Head of the Queen’s Guard clears her throat as the courtiers flow into the pavilion… “Please welcome Her Most August Majesty the Queen! Tonight…. suitors, courtiers and ladies will join in dance as we enact a Test of Courtly Manners to scrutinize the would be King of the land! The Suitors will be challenged by our ladies in acts of song, poetry and courtly grace!”
Lady Cia checks with the ladies making sure each of them has an adequate selection of the the very rare light blue roses that have been chosen as a sign of the ladies favor. She glances to the merchant at the edge of the crowd who she suspects is doing a fine business in selling roses to those who wish to give the suitor they favor a boost.
As the suitors begin to step forward and present themselves, Lady Malada suggests that perhaps the Bard might make a fine suitor as well. A lively debate ensues until the Princess Ivy observes, “He doesn’t necessarily require the skill to be King… only the skill to make a Prince with the Queen…” The Ladies all agree that the Bard should be added to the list as he was well spoken and a delight to the eye.
The evening progresses with the Ladies dancing with the various Suitors, asking them questions and bestowing favors for answers that please them. The Dwarf King delights one and all by producing a set of stilts for dancing, thus solving the issue of his height. The couples dip and sway in time to the music, flirting and answering each in turn. As the hour grows late, the Queen calls for a counting of the favors, and it seems that the fair elf Prince Vindonus Lianelis has collected the most favors. It is noted that the time for poems has been danced away, so the Ladies decided to hear them at a later event, and to keep the contest of favors open.
Sunday, April 24th
The 2nd Challenge: Test of Metal (Fencing)
There is a tang of excitement in the air as the ladies and the Queen find their seats and choose drinks that suit their natures. The gathered lords and ladies make wagers and comments on the upcoming Corps-à-corps in this test of martial skill.
The large Norseman and the Dwarven king are drawn for the the first match, a pairing that inspires the Lady Jaki to comment, “the Prince Zarg has quite the height advantage but what is that saying now? The bigger they are, the harder they fall..” In the end though, the blond Barbarian took the match.
Prince Kelmor and the Bard Gage are the next pair to exchange blades. Prince Kelmor steps forward, clearly familiar with a blade and how to handle it, meanwhile the Bard’s weapon is rather unique, a rose made of steel. Princess Ivy noted that when asked yesterday what type of flower the Queen might be compared to, Ser Gage did choose a rare heirloom rose. It seemed to her that he may have had his weapon fashioned especially for this event as a result.
As the matches continue, and Prince Kelmor’s skill at the blade becomes apparent as he triumphs over one suitor after the other, the Lords and Ladies watched and made small wagers. Qυεεŋ Coмεŧ takes a wine goblet from the tray offered to her, observing “I try never to be sober for such occasions. It dampens the spirits.” Her ladies are happy to join her in the pursuit, except for Lady Malada, the Queen’s physician who offers to salve and bandage the wounds of the combatants, and conduct her own inspections of their forms.
The fencing matches continue as each suitor is pitted against his fellow suitors, but a second subtle competition for the ladies’ favors is still being played out. First the Bard steps before the Queen, his shirt open to display a very fine chest, and then Prince Vindonus appears for his next bout shirtless, drawing the attention of the ladies. His bare chest is very much to their liking, so much so that the Queen had to rein them in with a sharp “Ladies please!”
Prince Kelmor steps forward, “This seems to be the deciding fight. Only right we make it a fight to remember. So….” He casts off his cloak and unbuttons his tunic, holding them over his arm, before handing them off to the Lady Jaki, and proceeds to emerge from his last bout, victorious and undefeated. The Queen’s guard Pelinor announces “Well fought all…. we shall see whom the Ladies favor. Prince Miliandrovic has taken the day with skill at arms.” Lady Acacia quickly counts the suitors favors for the event, telling all that “this evening it seems the darker haired ones took the ladies favor, for the Bard and the dark haired Prince tied.”
The event over, people began to make their preparations to leave. With a bow towards the Queen, Prince Kelmor comments, “As defeat was tasted at the end of my blade this day, so too shall the Dark Prince taste the same.”
As the Queen prepares to depart, she comments, “I look forward to the next challenge!!”
The ladies nod in agreement, wondering what the suitors will bring for the gifts of gratitude, as the would-be suitors will be presenting the Queen with gifts and explaining why they believe their gifts to be of value.
Tuesday, April 26th
The Third Challenge: Gifts of Gratitude
As the evening begins, Queen Comet takes her seat on her throne, chatting to her ladies. The Bard Gage begins to serenade the ladies with his lute, but is quickly challenged to an impromptu musical challenge by King Bump, who turns out to be quite a musician on the bag pipes.
The Queen’s guard Pelinor, calls the room to order “Your Majesty! Lords, ladies and courtesans! Welcome to the third challenge for the Queen’s Suitors! Tonight we shall see our worthys present their gifts of affection to Her Majesty for her perusal and the scrutiny of the Court. In doing so the Suitors will be given several minutes to expound upon the virtues of their gift and embellish it with poem or song should they so choose… The Court will comment as they see fit and present Favors accordingly. Are there any questions before we begin?”
King Bump Wumpole was the first to approach with gift. ” I’ll speak to you and to you alone, my Queen. To me, you are the radiant light that chases the night from my dark life. In honor of our meeting and our hopeful future relations as political allies, I present you with this… the Smile, a ruby of great pedigree being a Sister Stone of our Great Core Stone in the Caverns of Eternity deep beneath my kingdom. I hope you will enjoy wearing it upon your finger, regardless of the dispensation of our affairs here, my Queen…” Stepping forward to present the Queen with a ring set with ruby that was larger than the Queen’s hand.
Prince Vindonus Lianelis was the next to present his gift, starting with a poem, then claps his hands. Suddenly they see a small elven child, a girl dressed in a gossamer dress. White with blond hair and blue eyes. The girl is leading two snow white peacocks on mithril leashes. She walks into the room, curtsies to the Queen and smiles. Behind her are two male elves dressed in white and silver livery, carrying a tray covered in purple silk. As they move to the Queen, one pulls the cover off and underneath it is a pile of shining diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Prince Vindonus bows deeply to the Queen “Tari, these peacocks are descendants of the royal peacocks of Verdantis that roam my palace. They are unmatched only by your beauty. These gems are for you and your ladies to have the finest items made, to enhance the loveliness which graces us all.”
The Ladies quite approving of this gift, several of them offering him a favor, perhaps hoping that if the Queen does not choose him, he might choose them.
The Bard Gage is next to present, and he also begins with a poem. He lays a simple wooden box at the feet of the Queen, kneeling quietly to do so, tenderly… with reverence both for the object and for what it represents. At first glance it is rather plain, without gilded embellishment or jeweled encrustation of any kind… but upon closer inspection it is subtly carved by careful hand. Lovingly worked into the polished wooden surface is an ivy and rose motif, intertwined. “My gift to you, My Queen… Brightest Star, Sweetest Rose, Love of my Heart’s longing.” Upon opening the box, a filigree ring is revealed, in Mithril Silver, of Ivy Vines surmounted by a single, rose-cut diamond. The cushion upon which the ring is perched is simple madder-dyed linen belying the humble and hard-working folk of the Far Reaches, but embroidered with thread-of-gold in a trellis pattern. The ring is polished to a buttery sheen from years of wear, worry, hope and fond remembrance, as if it were touched often as it sat upon the finger. It is cunningly wrought, but not perfect in its execution… pretty but not the work of a Master smith. The stone is the opposite, without doubt one of the finest examples of gem craft the Dwarven Kingdoms have ever produced. He then reveals that he is not a lowly common bard, but rather the elder son of the Far Reaches, a Baron.
The bard finishes with a final speech. “Ever since that day, this ring has been passed down in my family, to be worn by each Lady of the Far Reaches. My Grandmother wore it, and my mother after her. And so it is given to me, and with it – by the tradition of our people – comes the full support of our bailiwick, the lives and swords, the lands and their produce of every Man, Woman, and Child now living and yet to live therein. For The Lord of the Far Reaches is but a caretaker, and it is the Lady to whom all swear their oaths. Such is the importance of this token. For I say to you bluntly Comet, Queen of the Sylvans: I have made my choice and there can be no other. Once offered, it cannot be withdrawn. I give to you now the Far Reaches, to have as your own, and my heart and devotion as well; it is everything that I have to give. Should you choose another, still it shall be yours, and my House will end with me.”
The court is stunned by this, and the Queen is uncomfortable with this gift and attempts to refuse it, but the bard insists. The Ladies begin to wonder if perhaps the Queen might be allowed to choose more than one. Even King Bump Wumpole turned to the bard and whispered… “I heard these elvish Queens were only swayed by real estate, permanent and mobile. I may have heard incorrectly. You nearly had her with your rhymes, Sir. Well done, I say. ”
Prince Miliandrovic was the last to present, having won the right by his victory at last night. Prince Miliandrovic brought forth an elegantly crafted lavender necklace, “This is what we call in my lands a Manawa necklace. Manawa is a term that means heart from the lands from which this necklace originated. It’s crafted from the finest Amethyst by master craftsmen and…” He reaches into his tunic and produces a similar necklace which he already wore around his neck, “… when put together with my own, creates an elegantly designed heart. It’s symbolic of the love kept between by carrying a part of each other’s heart with us always.” He then made the ominous statement, I’m afraid my other and greatest gift will have to wait until after the wedding, when I may properly see to the Dark Prince no longer being a problem for you.”
This reminded all of the looming threat of the Dark Prince, and the evening broke up on that gloomy note.
Thursday, April 28th
A long wooden table was set as the guest came together for dinner. As might well be expected, the conversation turned to the Suitors for the Queen. It was noted that two of the suitors were missing, The Baron Bard Gage and The Prince Kelmor. King Bump and Prince Vindonus took up seats on either side of the Queen. Little did any of the court know that Baron Bard Gage Colinsgrove was stepping out of the bushes as poorly disguised High Elven retainers pass, hearing them discuss various ways to ‘solve’ the Bard problem. His scarlet doublet is torn and dirty, but he doesn’t seem to care at the moment, following them closely from the shadows.
Lady Malada had a question for Prince Vindonus, It seemed that one of the Jewels that had been in his gift had been coated in a love potion. All eyes turned to the Prince and he was hard pressed to explain, but he did so offering “”it seems my sister the romantic has had her hands in the gift. She has been all wide eyed and enamored with you Tari, since she has read some of your history that one of my men was able to obtain. She thinks to be the aunt of our children” This sparked some more questions, and then when he offered Comet his flask here was much debate. Lord Faulkes and Lady Acacia both offered to test it, but it was Lord Faulkes who took a long swig. Very shortly thereafter he began to profess how enamored he was by the Lady Malakyte.
The Queen’s guard, has many questions for the member of the court about the suitors, and the ladies answer them, expressing their concerns and thoughts. Qυεεŋ Coмεŧ tells them all “I will confess, as my ladies all suspect, I have played a part to you all for my own reasons. I am neither silly nor frivolous. I wished to observe my suitors from a place where they may not know my intentions nor my intelligence”
Shortly after this announcement, the Queen’s guard Pelinor was called away, only to return after a brief absence. She gathers several members of the court and rushes off with them. They discover Druul who is dragging a body across the pavilion of what appears to be the northman before turning to look up, “Huh!? Who goes dar!? You not sposed ta be here!? Yar be trespsin in the lands of the dark prince! Throw ye selves back to the sky king or ye be gettins the guttins!”
Pelinor drews her famous blade, it rings in the air like fine crystal as she took a step forward… “You are outnumbered, outwitted and out-thunk my green friend… perhaps you can profit by explaining yourself? Unless you wish your guts for garters?” Prince Vindonus pulled a dagger from his waist, his knees bend slightly and he comes up on the balls of his feet.
The Orc swiped his axe at the group, “Northman be stickin his nose where it don’t belong! He gots the guttins for it! Dark Prince won’t be appy ta see youz snoops in ‘is land. Git out! Or I be a callin him ta wipe ye outz!”
At this the Prince calls for the capture of the orc, but the Queens guard questions him on the Dark Princes intent. The Orc responded by smacking his head against his shield, “What are ye stupid?! Dark Prince and ye lightie kingdom up there been warring with the dark prince for dese lands for ages! Dark Prince just be a smartin! Be marrying ye queen! Den he gets all o Twilights Illushins for imself!” causig the Lord Linn and the Lady Zemira to question the intent to marry the Queen. Druul laughed and said “Ye think the dark prince be a lettin you suitors win his queen dat easy!? He be a….” He paiuses and scratches his head, “Wait… nope! Da Dark Prince be a tellin ya Druul not ta tell. Be sayin, ‘Nope Druuls! I guts ya if ye be talkin!”
Friday, April 29th
Queen Comet speaks quietly with her guests as they arrive back into the hall. Lady Malada checks the place settings and tests the food as always, looking over the remaining suitors gracing the dwarf, King Bump with a smile. However, the tone for the evening is quickly set as Lord Linn frowns at the prince who usurps the chair King Wumpole was in last night.
Prince Vindonus Lianelis looks at the Prince who sits across from him, his eyes narrowed but no other expression on his face.
King Bump Wumpole bows deeply and requests of the Queen, “I do hope you will allow me to attend this evening’s affairs armed, My Queen. Considering recent events I think it would be wise, if you indulge me.”
The Queen allows this and turns to ask, “Can anyone of our party report what happened last eve after the guards and court went down to the pavilion below?
Queen’s Guard Bjorn Tindómë steps up to the table “My Queen, Captain Pelinor has sent me to inform you and those present that an orc has been found and questioned as he was dragging off the body of a Northman, presumed to be the one that had come to court you who has disappeared. This orc let slip that he was working for the Dark Prince, and that his plan was to acquire all of Twilight Illusion by marrying you. Lord Linn, Prince Vindonus and Lady Zemira were there. ”
Prince Kelmore tapped his fingers lightly on the table, “That is most interesting. So the dark prince has been paying attention to this courtship after all, closer than originally thought.”
The court broke in to questions and accusations Lady Cia asked “Do we know anything of him? It seems it has made off with one, possibly two of your suitors, Has anyone heard anything of the Baron Bard?” As if on cue, Bard Gage appears with an accusation for Prince Vindous, “Is it, Prince? For it would not be possible if two of your retainers were better swordsmen.” Arguments over who was where, and other suspicions about behavior break out around the table.
Lord Faulkes notices that the flying accusations were making the Queen tense, and calls for a toast to the Queen. The Lords and Ladies follow suit and a round of toasts is given. Lord Faulkes notes with a frown that some of the suitors are slow to toast the Queen.
This pleases the Queen, but she asks further about the events of the following evening. The dark witch, Lady Lexie noted “A little bit of dark magic could certainly help clarify the suitor’s intentions, Queen of Lightness”. Those around offer what they know, and further speculation begins. Prince Kelmore and Prince Vindonus start discussing the fact that Prince Kelmore has arrived without his sword for the first time. Prince Vindonus states, “One would think it might be lost or,” he hesitates, his smile wider, “possibly found by another?”
Qυεεŋ Coмεŧ turns to question Prince Kelmore, “Prince Miliandrovic, who is your father? I would like to know why I do not know of you and your history in the many lands of my acquaintance?” Prince Kelmore responds, “Has it been llost? Gracious, what a terrible notion! I shall have to check when the festivities are concluded! With all the foul that hast befallen the Queen and her court thus far, it worries me for the safety of my belongings. Treachery fouls the air….” He turns towards the Queen and smiles, “Neither was your kingdom until I arrived here for the faire. The kingdom of Alabaster is set far off to the east, My father, King Brula, has ruled the kingdom for many generations. Mostly human in nature but assorted races living among the people.”
Prince Vindonus reveals “Last night was most interesting Tari, once the orc was killed we went through the belongings and found a couple of very interesting items” He questions the Queen about the necklace that Prince Kelmor had given her telling all that the orc was in possession of the other half. The half that the Prince swore he never takes off”
Prince Kelmor sneered at the Elven Prince, “I see. So first you question me on my sword and now my necklace that has been ransacked from me. I see who it is that fouls the air with their dissension. You speak of examining jewelry, but has any asked what the Lord Faulkes was up on his eve to leave him in such a state? Or perhaps enlightened on the Bard with his absence? Seems the dirty hands sit across from me, but Prince Vindonus just kept the smile on his face and relaxed stance. “The reason I brought your sword missing up, is that an exact double of that sword was also found with the necklace. It seems to me that one item would be interesting but two of the items which are so obviously yours in the hands of someone connected to the dark Prince can be …..damning. You still have not answered about the necklace.”
The accusations flare again prompting the dwarf King Bump Wumpole to stand on his chair and declare, ” tis plain enough to see what i gave you, my Queen, a very large ruby of no small worth. It seems some of your suitors do not comprehend the requirements of royal gift-giving.” He folds his arms, looking cross, “Conflagrations and flapdoodle simply to confuse you, my Queen! Listen not to these silver tongued upstarts and pretenders, I implore you.”
Queen Comet then drew the evening to a close suggesting we retire for the evening and until she could see the Captain of her Guards.”
Saturday, April 30th
The Final Challenge- Suitor for the Queen
In an atmosphere charged with tension the Court gathers once again, The Queen’s Guard Pelinor calls for attention.clears her throat… “Lords and ladies, courtiers and courtesans, please attend Queen’s table as Her Majesty wishes to knows the results of our efforts in testing out the would be suitors… among other things. We also have some insights into a few mysteries that have had us perplexed of late, I’m sure each of you has some concerns to voice regarding the path Her Majesty has embarked upon.”
Bump Wumpole places his gloved hand on the hilt of his bone axe as he looks around the room at those in attendance. In his short time here, the old king has learned many things about the Queen and her subjects… and of the bees drawn to the honey. He recalls with discomfort his own courtships; young dwarven maidens parading before a monarch. “This be no way to find a mate. For where is the jewel hidden among so many flowers?”… he shakes it off and attends to the Queen and her table.
Lady Malada informs the court that she has researched Prince Kelmor and his Kingdom of Alabaster and discovered that they do not exist. That there is no record what so ever. Once again the accusations fly, The Queen then brings up the question of the Necklace and the sword that were found in the possession of the orc. Lady Pelinor produces the necklace and the two are put together, forming a heart. The Queen holds them letting it sway from her hand, slowly becoming hypnotized by the movement. It was then that the Queen’s Guard Pelinor let the court know that it was the Prince’s sword that slew Northman. Chaos ensued as the Queen called for him to be removed from her presence. King Bump jumps on the table to fight the Prince.
Prince Kelmore glares around the table coldly before turning to look back at the queen, “You asked me a moment before if I was working with the Dark Prince. I can honestly say I am not.” He leaps from his chair, grabbing the sword in hand and raising it to the sky, “I….. AM…. The Dark Prince!” A magic bolt crashes down to dissipate the disguise and reveal his true, dark form. A bright orb of swirling light form around him.
He points his sword at the Queen, “Here! Now you see me for who I am! The thing you despise and claim threatens you because of my dark origins! Do not think I was not sincere though in my courting! Many a night I’ve gazed upon you from below, desiring your hand but knowing you would cast me off only because i am of the shadows! But now you have seen! You can feel affection for me!” The Dark Prince demands that she make her choice.
The Queen speaks telling all “I believe I will choose the Bard Gage! He has been wise and true. Let us do a simple ceremony Pelinor and have done with it” Gage Colinsgrove would have swept her up in his arms a tthat moment, were the Dark Prince not still standing on the table…..
The Dark Prince declares that if he can not have her, than noone can, and lunges, The Queen’s Guard swings into action and the lords and ladies all join in the fight untill the Dark Prince is driven from the Pavilion to fall into the firely lava below.
The Queen seeing the Dark Prince fall to his death, realizes that this has solved her delima, and decides not to wed anyone, but instead invites her suitors to make their homes in he court.
We would like to thank all who donated and came to see our roleplay. Thank you.