Long had darkness swept the sun's light away. Leaving only torches that littered the streets and their attempts to chase the darkness behind polls and barrels and passerby's.
For once, Lilith was one of the passerby's in these streets. One of the many that still roamed either to the taverns or from them. Most barely acknowledged her thanks to her dark cloak that covered her body and concealed her face. Though she hoped that even without the concealment she'd keep her anonymity because—under the cloak—she was dressed down to look like a peasant.
She'd heard tales of lords dressing as peasants and never having an eye batted once at them, so she decided to take this opportunity. While she had little understanding of how the commonfolk worked or acted, she thought she might be able to pass long enough to experince a tavern. Tybalt had brought her to one once, but straight into a room.
Perhaps she should've thought up the idea and not acted on it, but she was craving some sort of adventure for some reason or another and, as a princess, she wasn't exactly told not to indulge herself very often.
One of Tybalt's knights had been watching over her most of the day and night, but she'd given him the slip. At least, she thought she did. Hopefully he wouldn't report her missing to avoid embarrassing himself.
A hooded figure was following Lilith for a while now, the only features visible being the broad shoulders and tall stature. But otherwise his face and body were concealed. He was following her for a while now, keeping his distance to make sure she didn't notice him.
After a bit he took a different route and hurried along to intercept the young lady. At a dark alleyway he finally made his presence known with a large knife levelled at her neck. "Hold it right there, girl." he spoke with a course voice. "What are you doing out this time of the evening?" he asked her with a menacing grin.
He didn't get much chance to do anything else as a golden pommel whacked him across the head from behind. He dropped the knife and with a groan he fell to the cobblestone road. Over his unconscious body stepped the armoured form of her royal guardsman. He gave her an unamused look as he flipped his longsword around, caught it by the hilt, and slid it into the scabbard. "Really, my lady? At least keep a friendly face nearby if you're planning on disobeying your father." he said in his usual calm, quiet voice.
The man groaned underneath him and seemed to try and get up, but a boot heel drove his forehead into the road and knocked him out cold. "Any particular reason for trying to lose your escort?" he asked her with a smirk.
Lilith was about to raise her hand to cast fire, but the attacker was promptly smacked over the head and fell over. She blinked a few times before looking over to find none other than Hansel, which made her jump a bit.
"Hansel I..." she looked away feeling a bit guilty, though realized she shouldn't be. She was his boss, not the other way around. "You aren't to tell daddy any of this!"
She stared intensely at him for a handful of heartbeats then looked away again. "... please. I just wanted to have some adventure and didn't want daddy to know about it. Word tends to travel so easily..."
"But since you're here, you should know I'm traveling to the Tipsy Bets—a tavern. Tybalt brought me there once for a night, though straight to one of the inn rooms so I never got to meet anyone or see anything, really," she explained, looking around before continuing a long the path.
"My uncle said peasants spend most of their lives in taverns. If they spend so much time in them they must be truly fun! And I should at least wholly experience one once in my life to better understand the peasantry," she added before they made it to the tavern. Outside it sat tables and she decided to take a seat at an empty one. One of the barmaids came up and Lilith promptly demanded, "Wine" in a tone that suited a princess.
The barmaid gave her a look of "did this bitch really talk to me like that" but said nothing about it, instead curtsying and sarcastically mumbling off, "Why, of course, your 'majesty'. Whatever the highness wants," before grumbling something incoherent and walking away. Lilith didn't seem to notice the woman's displeasure and simply smiled at Hansel.
Hansel raised an eyebrow at her command. Either she didn't know him well at all or she was deathly afraid of her father. "Don't worry, my lady. I serve you, not your father. I can keep a secret." he gently reassured her, giving a quick look around.
She explained her motives for being out in the streets at this our, drawing a chuckle from the knight. "Well you certainly chose a fine hour to go looking for adventure, Lady Lilith. Streets are dangerous this time of the evening." he explained calmly. He followed her as she spoke further, explaining to him where she was going as well as laughing at her motives. "I think your uncle might have exaggerated a bit with that. You should also keep in mind that taverns aren't ballrooms." he warned her softly, keeping up with her pace as they made their way to the tavern she was looking for.
They took a seat outside and Hansel had to cover his mouth as he watched Lilith order wine with a tone he would have strongly advised against. "I'll have a pint of mead, please." he said politely before the barmaid walked away. When she was gone he laughed heartily at Lilith. "My lady, I'd strongly advise talking more like a commoner if you want to look the part. The palace accent might get a few...sneers out here." he explained to her, nodding to where the barmaid disappeared to.
His soft blue eyes studied Lilith. "You say Lord Tybalt brought you here? Might I ask why?" he asked her calmly.
Lilith wasn't sure what Hansel found so funny, though she didn't ask. Instead she simply nodded when he gave her some advice. "Of course—that only makes sense. I'll speak more like a commoner. Although..." she looked away, chewing on her bottom lip for a second in thought. "I'm not sure what accent you're referring to?"
She also wasn't quite sure how to speak like a commoner, but she could guess. It couldn't be that hard. While considering some things, a straggly man stopped and sat beside her, putting an arm around her shoulders and leaning in close. "Wha' rrr you doing wit this loser here? I can show yous what a real man is like..."
He was clearly extremely drunk; even Lilith could smell it in his breath. She was not at all use to this behavior. In fact, she'd never seen it in her life so she leaned away and tried to shrug off his arm. "Unhand me at once!" she demanded.
Hansel chuckled at her response. He might try to explain to her his meaning of her accent, but something told him she would still not get what he meant. "My advice: Try and be a bit less...noble." he tried to clarify.
What he didn't expect was for a drunkard to stumble in and join their table. Instinctively Hansel stood up and pried the man's arm off Lilith before sticking a couple gold coins in his hands and sent the man off into the inn. "There you go, friend. Go buy yourself a drink on me." he said as he ushered the man into the inn.
Hopefully with the man now dealt with he returned to his seat. "Welcome to the commoner's life, my lady." he said softly with a smile. While he was joking, he was still aware of his surroundings. For some reason the man didn't feel right. As if there was more to it.
"Less... noble?" she uttered to herself as Hansel dragged away the drunk man. While being hit on like that was the oddest experience of her life, she was more caught up trying to understand Hansel's suggestion.
Though her mind switched to Hansel again when he came back. "So do common men always grab common women like that? It seems so odd that-" she was stopped when the drunk man came back to the table.
"Thank fer dah drink dar buddy pal," he looked over to Hansel, "but yer still as ugly as a pig that rolled in shhhhhat, got ran over by a carriage then humped a sheep. And this lady needs a good lokin man like myself," he spoke, though barely, while pointing at himself. He was bald with a big beer belly and in clothing that was mostly old. He was also covered in sweat, but apparently he still thought highly of himself.
Lilith tried to take some control of the situation, "While... I'm flattered I'm also married."
"I-I'll unmarry you if you know wut I mean," the drunk guy said, grabbing Lilith's arm and pulling her up. "For the love of..." Lilith sighed "Did I make a mistake coming here?"
"Oh, for the love of..." Hansel muttered with a hint of irritation when the man returned. He rested his head on his right hand that was perched up on the table, staring at the man to see what he wanted. His left hand slowly curled around the hilt of his dagger on his belt. "Glad at least you think so." he fired right back.
When the man grabbed Lilith again Hansel had enough. Without a word he stood up and grabbed the man's wrist, forcing him to let go. Then with one move he spun him and wrapped his arms around the man's head to put him in a chokehold. He turned to look at Lilith as he choked the man. "Not at all, my lady." he grunted as he forced the man on his knees. "Alcohol just makes men curious creatures." he explained through clenched teeth as he choked the old man.
Finally he threw the man to the ground when he went limp and dusted his hands off. "Welcome to the peasant's life, my lady." he finished with a cheerful smile.
Lilith backpedaled while Hansel choked the old man out, blinking at the dramatic scene. This had turned out to be quite the experience.
At first she just stared at Hansel when he made his joke, then slowly but surely a meek smile warmed her face. "I... I don't know what to think of that man, but you're a good, loyal guard, Sir Hansel."
Right then the waitress showed up, placing their drinks on the table. The waitress just looked down at the old man for a split second then walked off, as if this was a common scene to her. It might be, Lilith thought, seeing as Hansel seemed unfazed as well.
Lilith sat down to have a sip of her drink, looking up at Hansel again. "Tell me a bit about yourself, Hansel? You've been loyal to me ever since I arrived at Leore but... It just dawned on me that I know very little about you."
Hansel smiled softly and gave Lilith a nod. "Thank you, my lady. I try my best." he said to her as he took his seat again. It was nice to hear that his services didn't go unnoticed.
The waitress arrived and delivered their drinks. He took note of Lilith's astonishment over the woman's seemingly careless nature and gave a slight chuckle. In all honesty it was way too common a sight for him at this point to even bat an eye over. The amount of times he also had to personally be the one to knock the other guy out was probably just as normal to him.
He picked up his mug of mead and took a sip, but he put it back down when Lilith asked her question. He gave another soft chuckle and sat forward a bit. "There isn't much to say, my lady." he explained calmly. "I was born in Leore to one of the renowned Houses of the province. As per both tradition and duty I was assigned to Squire under one of the best swordsmen in Leore. As you know, I do enjoy some finer things in life that many knights don't hold in such high regard. Of course that's also where my nickname came from." he explained to her, but stopped to take a sip. "I was knighted at sixteen and not long after that I proved worthy to wield my family's sword." he continued, tapping the golden hilt of the Tonoyanan steel longsword on his hip.
"From there it's pretty much smooth sailing to where we are now. Never married or fathered a child, and I'm the only child to inherit the House name." he finished, sitting back to relax once more. his soft blue eyes focused on her. "Like I said, not exactly interesting." he explained. "And what about you, my lady? What was it like before you made Leore your home?" he asked her.
"You haven't married yet..?" she said mostly to herself. Though she didn't press the subject right away, instead thinking on his question. No one really asked about her life story, more about what she liked and what she was currently doing.
It took a handful of heartbeats to put her thoughts together. "Well, I spent a lot of my life with my mother before she passed away. She passed when I was sixteen. It was then that I started to make my mark in Rishoka's political arena and when daddy started to take notice of me," she sighed a bit, taking a drink.
"When he started to pay attention to me he also started to control everything I did. It was suffocating until I met Tybalt and had my child." Lilith took another drink before the barmaid stopped by to top it off. The young princess stayed quiet until the barmaid was far enough away not to hear anything. "Though lately Tybalt has been so busy trying to impress daddy I've felt... lonely."
Lilith took another sip, looking down before returning her gaze to Hansel. "Perhaps I should use some of my time to find you a bride. You're far too old not to be married. Oh! And your family must be desperate for you to provide them an heir." She tapped her fingers on the table. "Perhaps Narious would be a good match for you. She's pretty and of good breeding. Her father may bend to a suitor from Leore now that it's carved itself some notoriety in the court."
She sounded a bit shocked about what he said. He was too. A man his age is expected to be married by now. Hell, probably even have children too. But not him. It was a bit embarrassing, thinking about it now...
He listened to her story. Knowing how old she is, he was a bit shocked when he heard how recently her mother passed away. What's even worse was when she explained how her father suddenly took over her life for her. "Well lord Tybalt does have his hands full these days. I can also imagine he's trying his hardest to keep good faith between himself and your father." he commented, taking a sip of his mead.
Her next comment made him chuckle. The thought of the Emperor's daughter helping him find a bride was a rather amusing idea. "My lady, as kind an offer as that is, I'm sure you have better things to do than to help me find a bride." he said softly, though in all honesty perhaps he should take her up on the offer.
After a second he smiled. "Then again, perhaps some help might go a long way. My luck with finding a lady I fancy in Leore has been...tragic. Perhaps meeting some of the families here in the Empire might go differently." he admitted, agreeing with her offer. "Though I doubt my family is nearly as rich as the families here. So I hope the families here admire good swordsmanship and fine arts." he confessed jokingly. He was sure Lilith understood this. It will have to be a very minor house in his opinion to make him richer than them...
"Whomever I ask will be hard pressed to refuse. I'll have you a bride by the end of the month. She'll want children to continue her linage so you must promise to provide that," Lilith added with a nod.
She finished up her drink, which was topped off again by the barmaid. It must've been a way to make money—topping off glasses until the person says to stop, but the drunker a person got the less chance they'll say no. Though that made Lilith wonder what they did with customers that owed them without money... perhaps they were running something here?
The thought barely finished when Lilith stood up and moved away from the table. "I'd like to see the city more... further away from the palace," she said with a smile. "I've so rarely left the palace..." it was then that it started raining. From a small trickle to a downpour, but the young princess seemed to ignore it.
She tossed enough coin to cover triple of what both her and Hansel had before leaving the table. The rain was already soaking her clothing, and she waited to cross the road as a carriage went to pass. But suddenly the carriage stopped and one of it's doors opened. Stepping out, Lilith's uncle stared at her. "Lilith... Lilith is that you you foolish girl?"
Hansel chuckled softly at her explanation. "Here's to hoping I don't disappoint." he joked as he raised his mug, as if making a toast. Soon enough the barmaid came around and topped them off. Hansel watched her leave then sipped at his drink some more. Was she trying to get them drunk?
Suddenly Lilith rose from her seat and mentioned wanting to see more of the city. Hansel eyed her a bit then shrugged. He quickly finished his drink as it started to rain and set off to catch up with Lilith. "My lady, we should find you a coat. You'll catch a cold in this rain." he said sternly, following her through the streets. Soon enough it was coming down hard. His armour sang as the rain drops hit him.
They came to a halt by the side of the road for a carriage to pass...but instead it came to a halt in front of them. And the man inside seemed to recognize her. The man looked familiar, perhaps the man he saw at the ball. He knew there was no getting around this...but he had to try, anyway.
"I think you might be mistaken, my lord." Hansel spoke up, trying to cover for her.
Her uncle grunted, "Do you think I'm a fool, boy?! You're wearing house Monteaux's colors and there's no way you're protecting anyone but the houses lady."
Lilith pulled off her hood to look at her uncle. "Uncle please, spare him. I'll join you in the carriage," she answered, nodding to Hansel to let him know it was okay.
It didn't take long before she got inside the carriage. Hansel would be allowed to follow Lilith into the carriage to keep close eye on her, but he had the choice to stay outside the carriage and walk if he wanted to.
"How many times must you put yourself in danger before you learn to stop? Hm? Will it take a lost limb? Someone taking you hostage? What say you?" he barked, golden brows furrowing in anger.
The princess sighed, "Uncle please...it feels like you all lose your minds when I even dip my toe in a pool most of you use daily," she answered. There was a long awkward pause of him staring at her and she looking away. "Can you please just not tell daddy? He doesn't need more stress."
"Lilith... you know I wouldn't have you suffer your fathers wrath. But your guard on the other hand..." he started, Lilith interrupting him shortly after, "He was only following my instructions!"
"You'll have this one pass, solider, but next time if you do not at very least alert my men of the princesses stupid risky behavior, you will see the full wrath of the crown down on your neck," he said, staring into Hansel's eyes sternly.
The Myst of Avsolom is a medieval high fantasy roleplay forum set in an original world. There is a Lore & Plot Overview for new members. The overview lists the settings basics so anyone can browse it and jump into the roleplay quickly. The roleplay is freeform which means there are no stat systems or character leveling, just story telling. On the RPG scale the site is 3/3/3 and meant for a mature audience.
Extra tidbits about the site:
-The roleplay is collaborative, not competative.
- Characters cannot die without their authors consent.
-All races are highly customizable. Example: vampires can be weak to the sun or not.
-There are numerous humanoid races but dragons, ethereal creatures and sentient animals are playable.
-The rules are minimal and relaxed.
- There are character accounts.
-Staff work hard to make sure no one is left out by creating roleplay opportunities for everyone.
- The site has an active discord community