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๐•ฟ๐–๐–Š ๐•พ๐–Š๐–—๐–›๐–†๐–“๐–™ ๐•ผ๐–š๐–Š๐–Š๐–“
@chickadees x @miztli


Nearing the end of his life, the king of Vivell has realized that he has no heirs to pass his power to after he passes. So, he did what any reasonable person would do, and made Eloise, their most trusted servant, their heir. Suddenly forced into the limelight, Eloise must adjust to their newfound position of power and the politics and responsibilities that come with it. This decision has caused a stir among the other nobles, advisors, and those who had a vested interest in gaining power for themselves.

Thankfully (or maybe not), the new queen has been appointed some help.


Vivell is an economically strong kingdom due to its prime location at the nexus of the three kingdoms that surround its borders, meaning that there are plenty of major routes and crossroads taken by merchants, royals and commoners alike. Despite how it does not have any coastal claims, a major riverway that defines its northern border provides ample fishing opportunities. Rich land in the south was divided by King Linus early in his reign amongst nobles who, in turn, divided amongst farmers that they are in charge of. The rich forests in the west were also given to landowners to produce lumber, though a large section remains off limits to help preserve the lives that dwell in the forest, both wild and fantastical. The center of the kingdom is the key city of Minat that is almost entirely comprised of different merchant shops, both by merchants that live in the kingdom and merchants from other kingdoms given licenses to sell on Vivell lands.

Because of the division of labor created by King Linus, there is a strong noble class that has a vested interest in keeping the status quo. This also means that there is a large population of working class individuals in the kingdom, divided among the farms, forests and merchant towns. When it was announced that he was dying, nobles from across Vivell travelled to the castle - located a half day's travel north of Minat - to try and influence the king's decision in who should be the next ruler. This does not include the litany of advisors to the king who also tried to influence this decision. Now that a commoner has been made ruler, the once-bickering nobles and advisors have a common goal of keeping the state of affairs from changing.

The castle, located in a small town named Norus that is inhabited by families of the servants and knights and advisors that wish to live near the castle, sits on a sprawling property. The very edges of the property are protected by a high wall and, right behind the wall, a moat. The moat, however, is more like a miniature river in that it is home to some smaller species of fish, turtles and plant life seen along riverbanks. Guard posts are situated in intervals across the top of the wall. The castle itself sits in the center of the property, with a long, tree-covered laneway leading up to the house. The front of the castle boasts an impressive water feature and a circular drive for carriages. The castle has a traditional east and west wing, three floors, and a grand ballroom illuminated almost entirely by skylight situated at the center of the castle. Servants live in the east wing while the royal family and notable guests reside in the west wing. The entire backside of the property is covered in an extensive garden, featuring a tiny orchard and small hedge maze amongst its flora. To the east of the castle is the stables for the six horses that are the king's personal property and those that belong to the knights. The knights that protect the grounds reside in small cabins built close to the wall and most are hidden from sight by trees and other foliage.

I still like the CS format I first saw in TGM's 1968 RP. Linked below in a second.

Version One, there's an example and the Sheet Code…

Oh, this is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing!
g a t e h o u s e s

Never before had Yan Huiyin found herself for a loss of words.

Today, that changed. From her mouth, came a sole 'uh!' sound, escaping her jaw that had dropped from pure shock. Her usually sharp mind blanked, not able to offer her any sort of retort to save face. Was she really being spoken to like this? Was this karma for even attempting small talk with this lout? Or had she perhaps truly offended him from throwing that plum?
Whatever it was, she wouldn't stick around to find out. Not where she so clearly wasn't welcomed. At a moment like this, she wished she'd studied a bit harder to have been able to take him up on that offer of showing him up in a match.
She jerked her chin away from his direction, not wanting to spare him a glance. If she had billowing sleeves, she surely would've shook them out in indignance. Instead, came the next best thing & so she flipped her hair with a 'hmph!' as she took her leave. What an awful day to have woken up for.

Yan Huiyin found herself lingering aimlessly in the plaza. Few crossed her path & she greeted them nicely enough, but ultimately, she was a hostage to her thoughts again.

How could that girl earlier have so thoughtlessly almost gone to the forest right after the address? Was she perhaps in there now? The thought to check did cross Yan Huiyin's mind, but... Truthfully, she was scared.

And then what? Would she follow along with a group, finding strength in numbers as she always had? What would happen when they finally came across a fruit? There was only one pit within each to present & surely they couldn't split it up; would she even have contributed enough at that point to warrant a piece?

However, the thought of going alone... It immobilized her. Every so often, she'd look toward the gatehouses & stagger. Surely, this was the true test, she thought. Finding the courage within oneself to venture into that forest. Still, couldn't she take a damn written exam? What of all the stress put onto the four arts throughout her childhood? What of the stories of those who found immortality through painting one damn picture in the mountains for over a century? What of them?!

Yan Huiyin, at this point, took to sitting on a ledge near the gatehouses. The darker it got, the more she tended to misstep on the uneven stone floor of the training grounds. To an onlooker, she was sulking, frankly. She held her cheeks with her palms, her collar up to her ears. A desolate sight, really.

"Yan Huiyin?" Speak of the damn devil, "A-Yan! Oh, it is you. Why do I keep running into you? You're gonna stop me again, huh? I-I'm gonna face you too, then..!" What was it with her sect siblings & challenging her to duels today? Just what had that elder inspired in her peers today?

Like a switch, Yan Huiyin straightened her back & breathed in deeply, feigning an appearance of having been meditating rather than moping. A faint roar echoed through the mountains. With a clear voice, she said out to the valley below, "Alright," & rose to her feet. Gently, she took the girl's hand & lead her to the gateway. Behind her was a dark, dimly-lit road to the forest & in front of her the girl.

Not a single other word left Yan Huiyin, but the meaning couldn't have been clearer.

"I, Na Jiayi, will get that fruit..!" This affirmation seemed more towards the little girl herself than for Yan Huiyin. Wordlessly, they took their formations. So that's her name, Yan Huiyin thought idly. No motion was made on Huiyin's behalf, so the smaller girl took to charging at her.

If someone else didnโ€™t step in, surely things were going to get real ugly, real โ€” Oh, never mind. As soon as Na Jiayi extended an arm, Yan Huiyin yanked it towards herself & twirled her into a light armlock, mindful of not letting the girl's face touch the ground. Effectively, their little spar was over. Minutely, Yan Huiyin felt herself deflate at the thought. Compared to the little match between those boys from earlier, this was nothing. Of course, that was to be expected; this girl was easily her junior. Yan Huiyan's mind immediately went the forest; would her ability be enough to face a beast on her own? Her form was clean, sufficiently practiced, but ultimately meant nothing if her opponent was severely under her own ability.
A sigh escaped her. "A-Yan..." The girl, whose face was mere knuckle's length away from the ground, whined miserably.

โ€Š .

Central Nahuatl

1. puma

o u t e r t r a i n i n g g r o u n d s

The smile Yan Huiyin wore dropped the moment Feng Tai caught the dried plum. How was she to predict that boy's insane reflexes?! What sent her over the edge was that damned expression towards her! Instead, she felt her brow twitch.

"He caught it..." Came from her side. Seriously, this girl.
Through teeth, Yan Huiyin replied, "I saw." Admittedly, it annoyed her when things backfired. From the shimei's pouch in her hand, she took a plum & chewed ferociously.
The two watched from their place in line like a pair of pikas, who'd stop & watch the sect's lessons. When Feng Tai claimed this wasn't a fight yet was when the two stirred.

"Maybe he really will eat it โ€” ah!" A long whine came from beside Yan Huiyin at the loss of one of her plums. Her parents had sent her that! Feng Tai had squished it so thoughtlessly!
This cry fell on deaf ears. Yan Huiyin was transfixed by this show of power between the two of Lu Xue's friends & this boar. They โ€” well, particularly Feng Tai โ€” fought with such ferocity that Yan Huiyin couldn't help but grow a bit glum. Even after all this time, she was still behind those who must've been close to her age. With that fruit, though... Perhaps that wouldn't be the case for longer. Without a doubt, this spirit fruit was her chance at succeeding her current abilities. The thought set something alight something within herself; a small flame for now.

Only when their elder called for a stop was when Yan Huiyin snapped from her little trance. Ah, right. They were in line. Speaking of this elder... To say that the sight of him disappointed Yan Huiyin was an understatement. Had he not achieved even a Mid Core Formation? Perhaps he developed it late..? Did he never have a youthful appearance to preserve?
By the time the fight had been broken up, the two were able to move up. "A-Yan!" Her shimei sang, holding up her pill gleefully. Though she had the mind to let her shimei go before her, she wasn't entirely there to offer anymore than a slight smile at the little girl. Again, Yan Huiyin was held up within her own thoughts.
If she didn't reach a state of preservation until her later years, would she be forever an old lady? The thought sent a chill down her spine. The sight of this and the other grey-headed elders dampened her opinion of Zuigao, to the point where, under the guise of piety, she found it hard to meet their eyes. Call her shallow, it was true.

The crowd dispersed a bit & suddenly Feng Tai was addressing her. At the call of "you there," Yan Huiyin bristled back to the present, a flush coming across her features. The impudence of this boy! The sight of him made her shimei, however, cower upon his stomping over.

"Wah, it's like you said: he's coming to kill us!" From the gulp at her side, she must've swallowed her pill already in a panic; was she expecting to face Feng Tai? Yan Huiyin chuckled at the thought. Instinctually, the little girl at her side ducked behind her, lifting the older's guarded arm up to cover herself who nearly instantly yanked it away. Without a second thought, Yan Huiyin snapped, "I didn't say that."
She directed a dangerous gaze at Feng Tai, who was now within arms reach. A bit too close for somebody who had almost twisted a boy's leg off just moments ago! She repeated evenly, looking Feng Tai straight in the eyes, "I did not say that."
The last thing she needed was to deal with an inflated ego on top of lack of manners. Seriously, she'd never been addressed as "you there" in front of so many people! The longer this interaction went on, the more she found to dislike about Feng Tai.

Not wanting to stick around to see how things developed for her shijie, who now seemed mad at her, the younger girl grew antsy. In a stiff motion, she bowed a bit too low before Feng Tai, stuttering out, "F-Feng... shizhi." It seemed what he'd done to that boy had not gone unnoticed to her.
At Yan Huiyin, she chirped up & simply nodded, "A-Yan, bye! Good luck!" A bit too hurriedly, she took her leave. Luckily, it seemed she was headed back toward the dorms, instead of the gatehouses & her doom in that forest. A relieved sigh escaped Yan Huiyin. She couldn't recall her name, but her company was nice. Now left with no one around her, Yan Huiyin wavered a bit; this didn't happen often.

Recollecting herself briefly, she sighed & spoke, "Shixiong should take Elder's advice," referring to saving his energy for the forest. Before she could hear out his reply, that familiar voice again boomed: "Next!"
Yan Huiyin stepped up when called, paying a quick respect to the aforementioned elder โ€” whose gaze she still could not meet โ€” & pocketing her Foundation Establishing Pill. She turned back to face Feng Tai, feeling a bit powerless without some form of posse around her. Still, she maintained an aloofness & asked him, "Will you not be going to the forest?"

o u t e r t r a i n i n g g r o u n d s

The thought of the Spiritual Heart Fruit held Yan Huiyin's attention during that address. When she was a girl, such things were only of stories & the like. Ever since she's come to Zuigao, it's seemed even the wildest things have all come true. Today, it was the Spiritual Heart Fruit. The mention of it rang familiar; she thought maybe she'd heard of it last year. Back then, she'd had to watch as her shijie left her to take residence at the middle peak.
In terms of martial ability, she was about a year or two's worth of training behind the cusp of being able to take this exam comfortably. With this fruit, however... Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? It seemed the girl beside her, likely 3 or 4 years her junior, shared this idea with her. To her left, she heard an audible gasp. "Is it true..?"

When the attendance was dismissed & the more brutish of the students left immediately for the forest, Yan Huiyin found herself holding back the thin wrist of this little shimei who tugged to join them. In a harsh tone, she told the girl, "If you can't even escape me, how can you expect to escape those spirit beasts?"
Having said this, she felt the girl slump & slightly pull her down. "A-Yan..." The girl whined. Faintly, she felt her brows raise. She knew her? Every time one of these addresses happened, it always surprised Yan Huiyin who tended to recognize her, while she couldn't even place a syllable to their faces. To Yan Huiyin, everybody tended to be a "you" or something of the like.
Never mind that. "Come on. At least have a pill before you leave," said Yan Huiyin, to which the little shimei happily obliged.

It seemed they weren't the only ones with this idea as, by the time the two got to the shop, the line had grown significantly. Chatter filled the air &, soon, one conversation โ€” if it could even be called that โ€” rang clearer above the rest's.

The nerve! Yan Huiyin shared a gasp with the smaller girl next to her. Hearing the retorts of the two boys at odds, they'd taken a moment to rubberneck towards the commotion. It was Lu Xue!
There wasn't a Zuigao disciple that didn't at least know of the prodigious Lu Xue. With this kind of celebrity, came knowing at least rumors of his past also came with that, though no one dared entertain the idea, at least not to his face. For somebody to blatantly announce that... Yan Huiyin felt her jaw clench on behalf of Lu Xue. Nothing was more annoying that those who couldn't act in accordance with civility.

Feng Tai, Lu Xue had said.

It was decided: Yan Huiyin didn't like this Feng Tai. Of course, none of this was easily shown outwardly. The girl beside her did share her thoughts, though. "To speak so plainly with Lu-shizhi... No wonder he walks alone everywhere. You know, this shimei has seen that Feng Tai before; he's always brooding."

The girl gave a nudge with her elbow, "Will A-Yan stop 'em?"

Yan Huiyin almost sneered, "A-Yan would die. Look at them."

"Oh, don't say that." It was true, though. The tension between them could cut stone. To even suggest getting between them was an idiot's idea & a death wish; Yan Huiyin eyed this passing "friend" of her with a bit of disdain at the mention of putting a stop to this herself. Truth be told, they were only talking because they'd happened to stand together during the address. She'd remember this little transgression: the suggestion.

However, the sight did bother her. Only brutes fought before elders &, even more so, in front of the damned shop! Compared to the two, there was no doubt in Yan Huiyin's mind that they surpassed her martial ability; one was a prized disciple & the other an idiot who dared pick a fight with said disciple. That alone made that Feng Tai dangerous.
If there was something that she had over the two, it was the fact that they weren't currently looking at her. Her mind sharp from it being midday & not yet bogged down from afternoon lessons, she turned to the smaller girl & urged, "Could Xiao-shimei share a snack?"

"What, I don't โ€” hey!" In a gentle lunge, she reached into the other girl's sleeve & held up the pouch of huamei to her, a bit accusatorily. This troublesome girl... Lying: another transgression for Yan Huiyin to note. If there was one thing she knew about the younger disciples, it was that little things to nibble on between lessons weren't often far from their person.
This shimei gave a light half-laugh & plucked a plum from the pouch, plopping it into her mouth. Accepting the loss of her huamei, she asked, "A-Yan's not hungry, is she? Are you thinking perhaps they are?"

"Hm, maybe." Plucking one of the dried plums from its pouch, she held it up before a squinting eye. To consider Lu Xue as the target would've been social suicide, but this gloomy boy... Well, it didn't take much thought. Having lived in the sect for a little over half her life now, she'd gathered enough social points to be in a position to spare some with this little action. It wasn't often that she lashed out, if this could even have been called such. The thought of what was to come made her pull her furred collar up to her cheek, muffling a titter.

In a light motion, Yan Huiyin took aim & tossed the plum at that Feng Tai's temple.

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