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@Darkmatter Hello old friend, its been a while. I don't think we've spoken properly since guildfall?

Yeah I live in south wales, so a lot of places near me got hit pretty badly, but thankfully not us.

I look forward to it!
Eh everything seems fine, a lot of rain, but we're in no risk of flooding.

Not really, just staying with a friend for about a week or so, still in the country.

Finally got another post up
"I would be delighted to teach you, if perhaps you could teach me more about Eorzia in return?" Lady Cheldarine smiled and proffered her hand palm up, fingers splayed, a gesture of exchange. The autumnal shawl draped around her shoulders shifted as she did so, revealing a mark where the upper arm met the body. It was a blotch of darker skin against the grey, a fading bruise. She did not seem to notice that it had been revealed, but still it disappeared from sight once more as she lowered her hand back down.

"And yes, I am King Ozragad's cousin. He is somewhat older than I, so I cannot say that we were ever particularly close, but I suppose being a relation I do perhaps know him more intimately than many of his other subjects." She paused for a moment and glanced at the King once more, making sure that his attention was fully elsewhere before continuing. When she spoke her tones were hushed and the eyes upon Elise were quizzical, questioning, trying to gauge the princess before her. "I cannot claim to know what you think of His Highness, but I know he is unlikely to be the husband of your own desires. But still... he could make a good husband, if you can find the man all his armour. The Man beneath the King."

At that moment that the man of the end of the high table, who had previously been arguing with the older woman sat next to Manawyndan, lurched to his feet. As he did so, he spilled wine from his overflowing goblet onto the front of his white tunic. It dripped down the fabric meeting the purple sash and robes that were draped across it. He seemed well on his way to being drunk.

"Greetings most esteemed and worthy peoples of Morganyth! As some of you may know I am the noble Iria of the House of Kiriath, Lord Chancellor and councillor to His Highness, King Ozragad!" Despite the slight slur to his words, he spoke eloquently enough, his voice carrying clear and true throughout the large stone hall. "As Lord Chancellor, it is my sacred duty to foster good and proper relations between our fair nation and our neighbours! Hence I address you all today in order to discharge my duty to my country and King to the best of my modest abilities!"

Chancellor Iria continued with convoluted platitudes, his tongue running in eccentric and verbose circles. There was a smattering of heckles from the back of the hall, most of them relatively good in their nature, a few of them less so. Ozragad himself seemed was watching what his councillor was doing, one corner of his mouth upturned in somewhat scornful smirk. But his eyes were not filled with hate, nor did he hold his body with the rigid tension of the truly angry.

"Lord Chancellor, I hope you are considering arriving at your point imminently." The councillor paused, as if to consider his King's words, before instead hiccuping up loudly and continuing.

But, of course, Your Highness! Assembled Lords and Ladies, in order to foster good will between nations, I propose a toast! To His Royal Highness King Ozragad of the House of Gwydion, King of Morganyth, long may he reign!" The shout went up around the hall, all the gathered Formori drank to the toast. But the Chancellor was not yet finished.

"And to Her Royal Highness Princess Elise of the House of Hydaelyn, Princess of Eorzia, and our Queen-to-be, long may she reign!"
@Jarl Coolgruuf That line about eating the cat had me on the floor. Renar is an asshole, and I like him a lot.
The Captive Prince Trilogy by S. U. Pacat, because recently I have been one thirsty fuck.

Current non fiction read is From Stage to Screen by Bill Britten.
I've been alright, its been annoying as hell since I normally work from home a lot, but I've been able to manage the disruption. Just got it all fixed in time for me to go away somewhere else for a week, that shouldn't effect my activity on here too much though.
I have Internet again, replies will be coming tomorrow!
Hey, sorry I'm not replying but storm Ciara has taken my Internet and land-line out so I'm having to do everything on my mobile and data. Should hopefully be fixed tomorrow morning, if not, will let you know.
"I'm Temerian as long as Temeria is paying." The Nazairi woman said with a snort as she rode past the commander. "And soups are not sausages last time I checked, but I guess it'll do. The name is Nadia, by the way."

She trotted Wander across to the nearest of the horse lines and hitched him at the first available post. She went to unload her saddle bags and remove the saddle from the horse's back before stopping and looking around. At a second glace there did not seem to be much point in fully unpacking. Much of the camp was already being prepared for onward transit. Tents were being put down, horse and pack mules were being loaded with their burdens. Guess I'm late to the party, just like Sodden Hill...

"Sorry boy, you'll just have to grin and bear it." Nadia patted the horse with genuine affection before heading back towards the cookfire and the cauldron of soup that the commander of the company had pointed to. She elbowed a conscripted man out of the way to get at the simmering stew within. The man muttered something under his breath about women not knowing their place. Nadia drew herself up to her full height and looked at him, showing that she was just as tall as he was. Her grey eyes glinted with menace in the hazy morning sunshine.

"I might be a woman, but I can still bugger you up the arse with my spear." There was pause, before the Nazairi burst out laughing, punched the solider on the shoulder in jest, and handed him back the ladle. A couple of the other soldiers standing around chuckled under their breath as well. Nadia stood and talked with them as she ate the surprisingly good soup, Immortals be praised, actual cooks.

She learnt a few things from the soldiers, some of them were old hands, some of them were still green, some had fought at Sodden Hill like she had, but all in all they did not seem a terribly impressive bunch. One of the men swore that there was Blue Stripe amongst them, though that could just be a rumour. Even so it was interesting, she had seen what Foltest's stripes could do first hand, she would not want to get on the wrong side of one if there was one here.

She also learned exactly who the commander of their expedition was, Baldivar, one of Foltest's by-blows apparently. And there I was believing all those rumours about the sister fucking... She had met the Temerian King during the Northern War as he had been fond of mixing with the common soldiers, he had been a good soldier, a good commander, but she couldn't say she really knew the man. Nadia hoped his son had inherited some of his talents.

Speaking of talents, she saw a number of interesting ones on display around the camp. For example, the two solitary men with cat like eyes and swords of steel and sliver. A pair of fucking Witchers? Nadia had known a few Witchers before, the Bear Witchers sometimes went south from the Amell Mountains into Nazair, but she had never seen two of them in the same place before.

There were other strange fellows as well, an Aen Seidhe in fine armour, an unkempt man with a hawk upon his shoulder, and a pair of women. She was glad that she was not the only one, diverted some of the unwanted attention that way. They weren't dressed as fighters, so Nadia couldn't really guess at why they were here. She supposed one of them could be a sorceress, after all they had held off Nilfguaard at Sodden Hill until Foltest had arrived. Could both of them be magic usesr? Two Witchers and two Sorceresses? If that was the case Foltest was throwing an awful lot at this.

After she had finished her second breakfast it wasn't long before they were back on the move under the forest canopy. They went north, following along a trail as the ground rose up around them. After some time the trees thinned to reveal that must have been their destination - a ruinous fortress that sat above the woodlands of Toussaint. It looked in bad repair, the gates smashed in, stones tumbling from the ramparts.

They quietly dismounted outside whilst Baldivar laid out his plan. She checked her weapons and her equipment, everything was set, her brigantine was buckled, her helmet was firmly on her head. She strapped her shield to her left arm and took another spear to hold in her off hand in case she needed to throw the first.

Nadia was to be with Baldivar, the rough looking fellow with the hawk called Renar, and the very beautiful woman with the startling mismatched eyes who was apparently called Avery. She gave all of them a lopsided smirk.

"Time to earn my keep I guess. Stick close and I'll try to keep you from dying."
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