Adventuring through twisted time.

Gwainar eyed the king in a way that most people would've been killed for, but Kyan was so used to the look that it amused him more than anything else coming from the centaur. "Your Majesty, please. The road is not safe and with the threat to Thistle that we received, I most insist you take someone with you on the journey into the human world."

"Oh, General, you worry too much." Kyan moved the clothing about in his wardrobe and made a face at the selection before him. Perhaps he would also need to see about going to his favorite seamstress in the east. She always had the best silks that flowed like water over his body. "I'll be gone for a few days at most and it's not like I'm an incompetent fool. I've mingled with these humans and magi before. I've been doing it for hundreds of years in fact! I am the most powerful fae and all. In the world." He picked out a pair of black flowing pants that would just graze the floor and a light, silk robe of the same color, opting to not wear a shirt. 

There was a silence that followed which made the king's eyebrow raise slightly before he turned around holding the clothes. Gwainar's silence meant he was being a good soldier and subject by not speaking his mind because whatever the king said was what was to be done. There would be no argument in that. However, Kyan did appreciate the centaur's opinion whether he ever admitted it or not, and so he rolled his eyes at Gwainar with impatience. "Say what's on your mind before you stomp out of here and ruin the wood and make the Mapleshade tree upset."

Hesitancy was all over Gwainar's face before he finally spoke, knowing his king would probably have an explosive reaction. "The counsil has been made aware the situation and with the sentries having to stay behind, they've already given me permission to begin looking for an escort for you."

Kyan's jaw clenched tightly as he was shooting icy daggers at the general. "Have they..."

Some time later, Kyan was walking through his kingdom and heading towards the largest river which ran through their vast forest. The king had only agreed to heed the advice of the elders if he could be the one to choose who his new escort would be. He of course would pick the one suited for his needs and to him, that meant one of the new recruits or even better still, one of the fae who tried out to be a member of the guard, but had yet to receive word of their success or failure. Someone who had no idea what they were doing and one that he could easily slip away from. 

The subjects of his kingdom all bowed as he passed though he never acknowledged their existence. Not that he really would on any other normal day, but his focus was more on getting to the home of the Frostmournes and being done with this whole charade. As he approached the rather large home which sat just at the base of the waterfall, Kyan sighed in annoyance and knocked on the door. He at least hoped they would have some tree sap wine to make this bearable.

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She’s starting to feel almost itchy in her restlessness, being stuck at home for so long is getting under her skin. However both her brothers are currently away from home, on whatever business she couldn’t tell and doesn’t care to know, so stay she must. None of her mother’s current wishes for her to stay at home means she must stay indoors though and so, mostly out of spite to her mother but also because she is sick of sitting still, she’s spent most of her day outside.

Out here by the waterfall, where the roar of the water accentuates that the area is indeed quite beautiful no matter how much Elyssa resents it, things could almost be considered peaceful. The sound of a door opening at the back of the house, allowing a maid out as she hurries on her way, nearly makes the fae flinch. Almost peaceful indeed. As the years have passed she’s come to hate this place more and more. Not that she has anything against the poor souls who work for her mother or really the location itself. No, it’s more the other people inside that frankly too-large house. Her mother and brothers have never allowed for that place to feel like a home. She draws her hand in lazy circles over the pool at the base of the waterfall, watching as the water frosts over gently at the edge at her coaxing, only for the flowing water to break the small pieces apart and flow them downstream, a sure sign that she’s not trying for anything advanced. She glances over her shoulder as she hears a slight commotion come from inside the house but doesn’t bother to head in. They’ll come for her if she’s needed.

Kyan’s knock is answered almost immediately, a short fae woman who works at the house opening the door to greet him with a smile before immediately recognizing who he is and sinking into a bow. She only barely escapes letting out a squeak purely out of shock. “Ah, Your Majesty! Forgive me, I didn’t know you were coming. I’ll fetch Lady Frostmourne immediately, uh, please make yourself at home.” There’s a slight chill pouring out from inside the house and the woman steps aside to allow him in before quickly bustling off, leaving Kyan to wander about the home as he pleases for a minute. The house is decorated with what appears to be ice, though considering that it’s too warm inside to actually keep the decorations from melting it’s likely they were simply made to appear that way.

It’s only a minute before a new woman walks in to greet him, bowing to him with a respectful smile. She’s a familiar face, an old fae, with thick dark hair and piercing, unnaturally green eyes. Lady Melia, the matriarch of the Frostmournes, is never one to forgo appearances. She’s never been seen in anything less fancy than the gown she currently wears, a pale blue that causes her dark hair to stand out even more. “King Kyan, it’s such an honor. Might I offer you something to eat or drink?” She’s always been perfectly charming, perfectly being the key word. Most don’t see through her charming smile but it’s a well groomed, fake charade. Elyssa could tell you Melia is anything but charming, that smile more the fanged grin of a viper. At least Kyan has no real cause for concern from her though, while she enjoys toying with people she knows better than to try the patience of someone who could have her killed with a word. “What brings us the pleasure of having you here today Your Majesty?”

Elyssa by this point has been fetched, after all it’s only appropriate for her to be there as well. Her steps through the house are quiet and when she joins the two it’s with a silent bow his way in an attempt not to interrupt their conversation. From that point she seems perfectly content with disappearing in the background, hoping that they’ll both be fine with forgetting she’s even there. In stark contrast to her mother’s finery, Elyssa seems to be more at home in clothes that aid ease of movement. Sure her clothes are nice, but they appear geared more toward hunting in the forest than a leisurely day at home.

Kyan's bare feet silently walked about the unfamiliar home as his eyes moved over the space. He knew good and well of the Frostmournes and of their head of the household who greeted him moments later. She was quite familiar to him, having been to court plenty of times, though he found her to be entirely too willing to place herself among those above her station in some attempts to fall in with others. Kyan found it to be quite annoying. His hues looked her up and down slowly for a moment with a displeasure he didn't try and hide as he recalled those disfavoring times before finally answering her. "Wine." The king turned his head slightly seeing the girl appear as she bowed to him. 

She was a petite thing, but it was immediate to him that she held herself with a certain confidence despite, even if she appeared meek and innocent. His eyes moved slowly over who he assumed to be the one he was looking for as he had done with the matron. She would be nothing like her mother and for that, Kyan was thankful. "Elyssa, I'm guessing." The fae king stepped a bit closer to the small fae then and put a hand on his hip with an air of annoyance, being unable to hide the fact that he was being forced to do this in the first place. "My general says you are quite talented and as you know, we are looking for more members in the guard."

Lady Melia finally returned with a glass of wine that he accepted and drank deeply of, nearly emptying the cup. It was bitter and he didn't hide the face of distaste that the wine caused. He extended his arm out to pass the glass back to her, giving a slightly appalled look for her choice in drink before turning back to her daughter. "I'd like to offer a place for you among the ranks. Somewhat of another..." Kyan waved his fingers in the air looking for the word. "Trial." 

He turned then and walked towards one of the large windows in the next room, his black silk robes gliding lightly over the floor as he continued speaking, but looking towards Thistlemoon's beauty. They did pick a very lovely spot to place their home, even if the lady of the house was intolerable. "You'd be escorting me into the human world. I have dealings there." Kyan moved his gaze away from the buzzing forest and to Elyssa then, completely ignoring the fact that her mother was still even in the rooms. "We are leaving tonight, so you'll be expected at the Mapleshade at sunset." It wasn't as if Kyan was giving her a choice in the matter anyway; She would be accepting his invitation regardless. 

"The palace guards will bring you inside the Mapleshade once you arrive and Gwainar will be able to fill you in on more of the details of this outing." The king paused then and sighed out in a slight annoyance from the whole charade before deciding he had done enough. He was a master at lying, but there was no fun in this game at all. "I look forward to seeing you then." Kyan gave a whisper of a forced smile before giving a nod to both fae in farewell and swiftly making his exit. Once outside, the king gave a full body shake as if to get the whole lie off of him. The council had now gotten what they required and Kyan had no doubt he could easily escape the new recruit once they had passed into the human world. It had been too long since his last round of debauchery and he couldn't wait to cause a little mayhem.

For one who prefers to simply disappear into the background, you can only imagine the displeasure Elyssa feels when Kyan starts to focus on her instead of her mother like she’d been hoping. To her credit she does a phenomenal job of keeping it off her face, maintaining the quiet small smile that she’d been wearing since making her appearance in the room. Her eyes barely flick to her mother leaving the room before they return to the king in front of her, noting the way he looks her over but not letting any indication for how she feels about that show. She’s had many years of practice at it and at this point she’s a professional. “Yes Your Majesty.” Only confirming what he already knows and she bows her head respectfully when he steps closer to her. She can sense the annoyance coming off of him, not that he’s trying very hard to hide it, and though the compliment is nice she can’t help but wonder why he’s here when he so obviously doesn’t want to be. He’s the king after all, she finds it odd that he’d be doing anything he didn’t want to.

It’s only through sheer force of will that she manages to keep the grin off her face at Kyan’s obvious displeasure with the drink her mother brought him. She never liked the crap either, but for whatever reason her mother preferred the strong taste. It’s nice to see someone that doesn’t have to pretend to be charmed by her mother all the time. For Melia’s part though she seems to take it in stride, though Lyssa’s positive she’s steaming on the inside. It seems she has some experience with receiving an assignment like this as well because she remains pretty quiet as he gives her the information, only nodding some to confirm that she understands. Despite looking so similar to her mother, Elyssa’s whole demeanor stands in stark contrast to what he knows of the matriarch of their family, enough so that it’s a bit odd.

Once he finishes delivering his news she gives him another respectful bow and, though her voice is soft, it carries a certain determined quality to it that speaks to knowing what she’s doing. “Of course Your Majesty. I’ll see you then.” Not the type to waste many words it seems. In that aspect she takes after her eldest brother, who hasn’t been seen around the courts with his mother since he was quite young. It’s only after the two bid Kyan farewell and he’s well away from the mansion that Elyssa hears her mother in another room ranting about disrespect and a bunch of other crap that is so familiar to her that she’s completely tuned it out in 3 words. This whole situation feels suspicious to the fae though and so when she packs, it’s with the caution of someone who feels they’re being played for some reason.

Protecting the King… it would be a high honor for any fae. Except her. Her mother’s machinations are just going to continue to get her into shit she doesn’t want aren’t they? Had it not been for her demands, Elyssa never would have tried out in the first place. Perhaps it won’t be all bad though. While Kyan certainly has a reputation he was quite entertaining while he was here and having an excuse to go into the human world, hopefully without needing to kill someone in the process, is a nice change of pace.

She barely manages to avoid her mother - and getting caught in a war of words that she’s not at all interested in - before quietly leaving the house, her steps swift but silent on her way to the Mapleshade. The colors are only just beginning to shift into the fantastical oranges and pinks of sunset when she arrives in front of the guards, stating her business when asked and then resigning herself to wait to be escorted where she needs to go.

Kyan made a face as he pulled out the rather boring clothes that humans insisted on wearing from his oversized closet. Not that he planned on being just a commoner or filthy beggar that seemed to be everywhere in the major towns of that world because those humans didn't seem to care much for their own, but even the wealthy seemed to always be covered in layers from head to toe. It was intolerable. How any of them walked around in it all was perplexing to say the least.

His head tilted slightly and a finger tapped absentmindedly on his bare and sculpted stomach while taking in the garments before he cursed and threw them on the bed. "Just put it in with the rest," he commanded as the fae servants quickly moved from the wall where they remained as perfectly still as pieces of furniture until being told what to do. The two quickly busied themselves with continuing to pack his trunk just as a knock came on the door and his general entered the room. Kyan glanced behind his shoulder and he could feel the waves of displeasure rolling off the centaur who he knew was not in favor of the king's current trip. "Oh, stop it. I've been doing this for hundreds of years." He heard the towering fae huff out which made the king smirk in response as he turned around to face him. "I have your little recruit to look after me. We'll see how well of a job she does. She is highly recommended, after all." Kyan reached up to pat the general's shoulder with a knowing smile before glancing at the standing mirror as he put one of his many crowns on which was an intertwining of black and gray wood and dusted with the gold shimmers of a firefly's light. "Where is Marissa anyway?"

“Elysssa, sire. That’s why I’ve come. She’s arrived and is currently waiting in the grand hall. I’ve given her a brief description of her responsibilities while accompanying you over the border.”

“You mean doing whatever I require,” Kyan quickly interrupted with a nod as he lifted a pair of his beloved daggers and inspected them closely to ensure they had been cleaned as he’d requested earlier in the morning. 

“Yes, whatever you require.” Gwainar confirmed as expected. “She will stay by your side always.”

The king turned around slowly at this and smiled sweetly at his general. “Of course.” He spun the daggers expertly in his hands before placing them in the sheaths on his belt. “Can’t be going out in the world without an escort and all.” He rolled his blue optics and opted for a basic tunic and light longcoat that draped nearly to his ankles for the trip ahead, slipping into the clothing which brought back memories of the last time he’d donned the outfit. Rolling the cuff slightly up, the remnants of blood in a few faint spots sprinkled the fabric making him suck his teeth and turn around in annoyance as he looked to the servants. “Honestly, how hard is it to wash a shirt?”

Some time later, Kyan was walking down the corridors before finally reaching the hall where his escort stood waiting. "Ah, Ma.. Elyssa. Fantastic to see you've arrived. Shall we?" He spun on his heels as if the greeting was an after thought and let Gwainar and the few guards that he brought along guide them to the back of the Mapleshade where less fae would see them slip out. The carriage was waiting there and he could see their belongings had already been taken to it and their driver held the door open for them. Gwainar's expression was still one of concern until the moment they were seated. He knew there was no point in telling the king for the hundredth time how bad of an idea he thought this was and so he just bowed his head with the guards as they began their journey through Thistlemoon.

Kyan looked out of the window as the sky turned to deeper blues and purples, admiring his beautiful home and appreciating everything she brought to him and his people. He'd been so preoccupied on this thought that it occurred to him yet again, he was not to be alone on this trip. At least for the time being. The king eyed the young looking fae for a moment before focusing back out of the window again while he spoke. "So, Miss Frostmourne. What made you so keen on being in my guards and how is it you seem nothing like your insufferable mother?"

If there’s one thing Ely can say for sure about Thistlemoon it’s that it’s beauty is unparalleled. It’s one of the few things that continues to amaze her even to this day and there’s nowhere quite as lovely to her as the Mapleshade. She’s been there several times, always in the accompaniment of her mother who did sully the trips she’ll admit, but never enough that she couldn’t appreciate the place. She’d really appreciate the chance to be able to wander and truly look at everything but right now there’s no opportunity for that. It wouldn’t do for her not to be where she’s expected.

The sound of someone approaching her in the grand hall has the smaller fae turning to them, bright blue eyes watching the centaur’s approach until it’s clear he’s there for her. Her demeanor as he begins to go over her responsibilities is nothing if not proper, impossible to tell her inner thoughts past the polite yet serious expression on her face. She may not like the job but she understands fully the responsibility that’s being placed on her. Why exactly they’d pick her she has no idea and she admittedly finds it strange but none of that makes it past her smile. She’s long since given up trying to understand the way other people think.

The next time she’s brought from her reverie it’s at the approach of King Kyan and his guards, to whom she gives the proper bow before falling into step behind. She never anticipated him to try and blend in with the humans and he certainly won’t with the more common folk but she can’t say she would have expected any less. He has a reputation for being rather extravagant, which makes even this style of dress down a bit odd to her. She doesn't like her bow being left with her things packed on the carriage instead of strapped to her back but it seems it’s just one more thing she’ll have to deal with.

Her expression as they ride actually matches Kyan’s, a quiet look of content on her face as she gazes out at Thistlemoon. So much so that it actually seems to take her by surprise that he decides to speak to her, she’d been enjoying the quiet ride. He probably doesn’t miss the slight lift to her lips as he speaks of her mother but it’s gone as quickly as it appears and she lifts a shoulder in a slight shrug. “My mother insisted I join. My eldest brother is never home long enough for her to snare him into anything and my other brother… well I’m certain you’ve met Everest.” He makes a habit of attending the parties and events that Elyssa and Cyprus avoid like the plague. Of the three of them he is certainly the most like his mother though he possesses an even stronger cruel streak that he’s unfortunately very adept at hiding in polite company. “As for how I turned out different I can only assume that my father, whoever the poor man was, managed to have an effect on me without being around.” Truly she pities the men that her mother drags into her chambers, few any the wiser that they’ll be tossed aside like yesterday’s leftovers as soon as the sun rises. There’s a small pause before she continues with a quiet voice. “You’d likely much prefer Cyprus to me should you ever meet him, he’s the true prodigy of the family.” If she’s being honest she has several questions of her own swirling around in her head that she’d like to ask Kyan but considering his station she thinks it best to wait until given permission to speak. She’d rather not do something to offend him before they even manage to make their way out of Thistle.

The king immediately sees her reaction when he decides to spark up a conversation. It was to be expected as most did not speak unless spoken to when around him unless they were personable and even then. It was something they would need to relatively be anyway as they were venturing into the human world. After all, a man and woman traveling together on the road would only make others assume their relationship and it would do somewhat well to play these parts should it be required in an encounter. Kyan of course was fully expecting to mingle among the humans of station and so she would need to play her part too if only long enough for him to venture away to partake in some revelry.

Kyan listened to her response to his inquiry, raising a brow when she revealed that she did not know who her father was. How deliciously intriguing. He imagined that troll of a mother of hers never told Elyssa, though the king had the feeling he knew exactly why Lady Melia didn't. Kyan did not show his inner reaction to these findings but instead only commented on her brothers. "Everest, yes, I know of him," he said, with a tone of displeasure. He was just as annoying at court as their mother, always attempting to swindle his way into the lives of those that could see through him. Her brother on the other hand... "Cyprus, yes..." he began, a devilish grin appearing at the corner of his mouth as he drifted off in thought for a moment thinking of the fae. Kyan had only ever seen Cyprus a couple of times, but when he had, he'd certainly wanted to learn more. It was clear Cyprus had not a single solitary interest in court life which was a shame because the king would absolutely love to have his company around during the parties which didn't involve politics and when the wine was lowering inhibitions. He was a pretty thing, indeed. 

When he realized he'd been fully enveloped in his own short fantasy, Kyan sighed out and looked back to the fae next to him. "Cyprus has been known to do well with a sword or so I'm told by my general." His icy blue hues moved up and down her small frame, wondering if it was her eldest brother that had trained her so well; Well enough that Gwainar would mention her name to him. It would make sense that she would be skilled enough to be by his side if she did indeed learn from Cyprus. How he would much prefer her brother to her of course, but Cyprus was of course not interested in the position as he had no interest in anything to do with working in the Mapleshade. He could always make him.. but that just wouldn't be any fun at all if that handsome face was always holding a grimace of disdain for being by his side. Pity.

"What made you pick up a sword then? I imagine your mother was none too pleased about that. I'm surprised you survived this long without her constant forcing of you to find a suitor at court." Kyan had always found it intolerable when he was approached by other nobles in the kingdom looking to marry off their daughters to him. His mother had given up hope some decades ago that he would finally settle and marry, producing little princes and princesses to continue on the Raventhorn legacy.  No, family life definitely wasn't for him and he had no intention of dying any time within the next millennia or much, much, much longer. 

She must admit she’s not quite certain the role she’s meant to play among the humans. A woman as a bodyguard might be no big deal to the fae, but to the humans it would be incredibly strange. Partners perhaps, though she must admit that would feel strange to her. She has noticed that humans tend to guess her age as being far younger than it is and that’s even accounting for the fact that fae live far longer lives. Either way, she’ll follow his lead when the situation arises.

The king’s slight tone of distaste when he spoke of the middle child isn’t lost on Elyssa and she thinks she’s beginning to understand where his distaste comes from. They’re both charmers when mingling with others and he can see right through it, apparently far more effectively than most she’s come across. That’s certainly a refreshing change, she’s lost count of the number of times either of them have come home with a new “catch” on their arm. Enough to make her sick to her stomach. Though seeing through that is far from seeing the truth of just how cruel those two can truly be. As for Cyprus… she nearly grins when she sees the smirk come over Kyan’s face, that look all too common when people begin to speak of her eldest brother. He carries an air of mystery about him, a sort of un-approachableness that causes whispers to follow wherever he goes. That it’s not lost on Kyan is somewhat amusing though she always suspected he’d like her brother. She keeps her expressions politely schooled though, not letting much beyond a polite smile show on her face.

Speaking of Cyprus does allow a slightly more genuine smile to come onto her face and she nods to confirm what he’s been told. “To my knowledge, my brother has yet to be bested in a sword fight. Most consider him a prodigy but he works quite hard.” His brief look over her small frame isn’t missed and considering the direction the conversation has taken she can only imagine he’s wondering how on earth she manages to use a sword. Unfortunately Cyprus had not trained her himself, at least not beyond a few short lessons the times he’s been home. “It might surprise you to know that my mother values the capability of defending oneself. She encouraged me to learn to fight.” Encouraged is the wrong word, think more forced her into it by allowing Everest to torment her until she learned to fight back. “She’s also not too concerned about me marrying. I suppose because she never has, though I’ve never asked.” One doesn’t really ask her mother much of anything. She’ll either bullshit you or completely blow you off and those are on her good days. 

“I suppose as King you’re fairly exempt from that particular practice?” She’s hoping a gentler question might help to open up a dialogue so that things become more comfortable, at least on her end. If he doesn’t want to answer it’s not like she’d be upset. There’s a brief pause before she glances up at him again. “By the by, a quick soak in an ice bath followed by a salt scrub is a wonderful way of removing dried blood from garments.” She glances toward the small stains on his coat and the way she says it suggests she’s speaking from experience. She’s not squeamish around blood, though large quantities of it… that’s an experience she’s not anxious to repeat. Getting his blood out of her clothes had been a nightmare.

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