An Exile's Ball: Princess Rebecca's 16th Birthday Debutante Ball[All Royal Families Invited]

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Havenshire, Mar 10, 2012.

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  1. Havenshire

    Havenshire New Member

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    Princess Rebecca found the currents of the ball somewhat odd and ritualised. Unlike some of her less formal parties in younger years, there was less spontaenity and chaos to it all. The music was muted, classical, and preformed live. She found the idea of an Orchestra preforming just for her somewhat amusing. But the rest of the Ball clearly was not. Food was laid out in sumptious quantities along the side, and a more formal dinner would likely begin soon. But for now, clumps of people arrived and seamlessly flowed into the Ball, like a well-oiled clockwork machine, following some invisible pattern she could only begin to discern.

    She found herself gently being escorted into the company of a group of Franconian Nobles. A safe party for her to begin conversing with first, reasonably low rank compared to the rest of the guests. Her Uncle expected great things of her tonight, and no doubt was using this encounter to gauge how ready she was for engaging in repartee with aristocrats and royals. She exchanged pleasantries, remembering the tricks her uncle's Decorum tutor had spent many long years drilling in her. How to smile, the tilt of the eye-muscles, the way one curtesied and how deep, poise, balance, the right inflections to use in French, English and German. The only court language she didn't know fluently was Danish, which would be problematic, since her Uncle wanted her to make a very good impression on the Danish Crown Prince. "I do not care if you were to find him a swinish bore with foul breath." He had hissed. "At the very least become his best friend, for god's sake."

    After exchanging pleasantries with the Franconians, her Uncle gave her the signal to move on to the Eiffelandians. However, they seemed deep in conversation with the Wiesans, so she decided to take the iniatitive and get it over with, and approach the Danes. It was bold and in truth she gained no pleasure from this court ritual and intrigue, but her Uncle was generous with satisfying her true wants- if she did this for him. if she didn't...she shuddered. She had learned too well at an early age how he could punish her without ever laying a hand on her. He was a master of emotional manipulation, but, for all that, he was her uncle, and she understood that he alone kept them not only alive, but in this world of wealth and power, a bubble from an earlier age somehow staying afloat.

    "Greetings, your majesty." She said, stepping through a swirl of courtiers and people, which temporarily obscured the vision of her uncle, who was beginning to frown. "How are you finding the Ball so far? I assure you the meal will be much more fun than all this talking and these canapes." She gave the prince her best smile, which to her mind made her kinda look like a rictus skeleton.

    But at that moment, the way the light fell her, the glint of her jewelry, the ruffles of her dress, and the broadness of her smile, even the quality of the shine in her hair, made her radiate, in just the manner her uncle wanted her to. A shining beauty at last, crafted by the best of europe out of someone who was normally fairly mousy at best. A fairytale princess, almost. If she remembered her lines. The crowd parted, and Samuel's smile froze on his face. She wasn't talking to Prince Sweyn at all.

    She was talking to his brother, Prince Christian.

    Using her skills, she moved closer, almost intimately, in order to talk more privately with the prince. "I hope you don't find Franken too dull. I assure you things were much more...imaginitive back home." For her, "home" meant Montelimar, but the word carried many meanings. She was doing everything she had been taught over many months, to come across as seductively as possible. In the cockpit of her brain, it felt a bit like her Decorum classes all over again, a routine running on automatic. In truth, this Prince didn't really seem her type, but she was keen to impress her Uncle, who had promised to divert yet more funds to helping the FTLM if she did well tonight.

    "I hope I'm not boring you?" she said coyly, noticing his wandering eye, and acutely aware that the Potenzan Princess was a dark sultry beauty who frankly made her feel dowdy and old-fashioned with her racy fashion and smouldering good looks.

    As she exchanged pleasantries with the Danish Prince, she noticed a stunning, almost Bishounen, youth, moving through the crowds behind him. Her heart almost caught in the mouth. This young prince wore wiesan millitary uniform, but she didn't recognise him. There was something off about him, suggesting effefimancy and perhaps homosexuality. Her uncle had warned her about this in the Eiffelandian delegation, but hadn't said anything about a homosexual Wiesan Prince. In fact he had said that the only Thiessen Prince attending was an old man. The rest were just a few noble hangers-on and the Princess Eleonore.

    Remembering herself, she remembered she was supposed to be listening to the Prince. "Forgive me, your majesty. I see it is time perhaps to start dining?" She blushed, recovering herself well. In truth, she found this young officer, even if he wasn't royalty, almost too reminisicent of the heroes of her favourite manga and comics, dashing 18th century noblemen thwarting plots and doing all sorts of exciting, romantic things. It was going to be difficult to remember her mission with him around. She would have to find out his name.


    Meanwhile, Samuel was talking with the Nicosian royalty, letting the ritual and formality of conversation with these minor royals distract him from what might have been a derailment of his meticulous plans. Rebecca had somehow ended up giving both barrels of her seduction spiel, so many months in the making, to the wrong prince. He was sure he had shown her pictures online of Sweyn, but apparently she hadn't been paying attention then. He concealed his irritation masterfully. No matter, Christian was at least robustly heterosexual. A Homosexual prince didn't bother him, but it made things more complicated, and he knew Rebecca was far too free-spirited to easily consent, no matter what inducements he used, to such an arranged union for long.

    He saw it was time now for dining. The Hall was packed with extravagant and first-class starters, prepared by a world-class team of sous-chefs at the explicit instructions of their Montelimarian gourmand. Every seat had been carefully arranged and prepared in accordance with court etiquette. Rebecca was no fan of such rich foods, but she had agreed to eat it, on the agreement that she could eat Fast-food takeout for a week afterwards.

    Samuel took the stage, as the strains of relaxing waltz music died, the orchestra ceasing for the moment.

    "Attention, Majesties, Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen. Dining will begin shortly. Please seat yourselves at your earliest convenience." He said suavely. He noticed that some of the press had turned up. Only Franken local had been permitted, but he made a mental note to check all press passes. He didn't want any disruptions to this evening.

    Unfortunately, it seemed that something quite disruptive was already brewing....
     
  2. Danmark

    Danmark Guest

    Sweyn's kindly eyes lit up and he held out his hand to greet the Schaumberger princess.

    "Charmed, I'm sure, your highness", whilst examining the great lengths she had gone to in order to present herself in an exquisite manner. He perceived a slight nervousness in her voice. He was very tuned into noticing such things having had to meet people from all walks of life in his duties but was skilled at putting people at ease. "The pleasure is entirely mine". She was clearly an attractive lady and he admired her regal deportment and grace. "This is how princesses should look", he inwardly opined. She was clearly a catch for a fortunate fellow.

    Ever the consummate regal professional and with well honed if not slightly gauche charm, the Crown Prince nodded his head respectfully to the princess from one of his own country's allies, whilst holding her hand by the fingers as she bowed. He grinned broadly and looked down at her. It was an unavoidable fact that all of the children of King Hans Gustav III, all five royal princes - Sweyn, Lauritz, Constantine, Christian and Jørgen - tended to be much taller than many other royals, and considerably taller than their father having inherited it from their mother. Their broad shoulders and shapely physique they inherited from their father though Sweyn was somewhat more slender than his younger brother, Christian, who had all the characteristics of being buffed and toned from an intensive military life, which had gained him no shortage of female - and male - admirers.

    Sweyn tried to make small talk to the petite German-accented princess but uncharacteristically for him he was finding it difficult, running his forefinger around the rim of the glass of wine he was holding in left hand. He suddenly became overwhelmed by a realisation that there was something about her that struck him - struck at his sensitivities. He was caught in a momentary inner storm before the clouds parted to reveal the kernel of his thought - she would make a very fitting consort not to some rarefied Wiesan royal house, but to him as his Queen Consort and be an escape from the nagging dilemma that had become more burdensome especially as his second brother, Lauritz, was already married and had two children. He, as a Crown Prince, had not even started and time was ticking away before his coronation. It made practical sense and she had all the hallmarks expected of a Danish queen - suitably royal, if somewhat junior to him, possessing a cultivated charm and regality, and would probably be acceptable to his parents and to the Danish people, despite the historical Danish distrust of Wiesans. The thought whizzed across his mind but then a feeling of dread leadened the skies of his mind again. He felt pangs of guilt, reservation, and self-loathing - he didn't really want to marry and felt compromised, torn between what was expected and what he wanted and he sincerely doubted he could ever love her in a natural sense, not as he could love a companion of his own sex. He felt he was using her as an easy escape from his inner angst and the tug of war inside his despondent heart. She would be bitterly disappointed, he felt, and that they would both be trapped in a loveless sham marriage of monarchical convenience. What a way for the elegant princess to start off marital life.

    Suddenly aware he had drifted off into a dream world he shook himself and tried to fill what he thought had been an uncomfortable silence and deflect the attention away from himself and lighten the atmosphere and introduce Princess Amalie to Prince Christian.

    "Your highness", gesturing with an open palm to his left "may I introduce my brother, His Royal Highness Prince Christian. I don't believe you've met before".

    Christian emulated his brother, taking the princess's hand by the fingers as she curtseyed. He looked her over examining her physique and examining her shapely legs. Drilled into him from a young age never to be rude and impertinent, he was not one to show his inner thoughts about her. But he had his thoughts nonetheless. Yes, she was royal, she had nice skin, she was indeed very attractive. She was a nice woman, but she was not for him. A few seconds of observation and he had come to the swift conclusion that she was a little too wooden, she lacked joie de vivre - she was boring. She failed to ignite his spark.

    Not so the Potenzan countess whom he saw magisterially gliding in his direction through the corner of his eye. Dark, sultry, Italianate - a bella donna. His spark was suddenly and dramatically reignited.

    Countess Franesca della Torre was quite forward in her directness, it seemed. No sooner had she curtsied impeccably before him, giving him time to examine her cleavage, and she was caressing his Kongelige Danske Marine medal between her fingers, rather suggestively he thought. His heart raced and he felt a frission of excitement. He was used to initiating the deflowering of many women and sowing his royal wild oats, earning him a reputation as a Danish casanova, but this was a new experience to him. She was clearly advancing on him.

    He looked down at his medal and the hand brushed against his breast whilst his light blue Scanian eyes locked onto hers. His pupils dilated and he ran his tongue over his upper lip. He clearly appreciated her style and forthrightness. He was captivated and felt a tingle between his legs.

    "That's my army medal. That's the crest of the KDM with the motto 'Sejr og styrke gennem mægtige løvehjerte og Guds hjælpe', which works out as 'Victory and strength through the hearts of lions and the help of God' on the obverse; my father the King is on the reverse. You like it, hmm?", he enquired with a twinkle in his eyes.

    He took a sip from his glass all the while continuing to look into her eyes and eyeing up the Countess's dress and all the while imagining undressing her.

    "The palace is beautiful - very Franconian, don't you think?", the Prince commented whilst scanning the vaulted ceiling and marble cornices. "The grounds are magnificent too, just like our Karlskrona Palace at home - lots of niches and hidden recesses away from prying eyes as I remember from being here before."

    "The weather is rather good for the time of year - very warm. Shall I show you around perhaps after the meal? There's some really spectacular spots". Prince Christian winked at the Potenzan Countess with a agenda in his mind hoping the Countess operated on the same wavelength as him.

    As he said this, another female, this one a Princess, drifted in his direction looking rather demure and young to his 21 years, but nonetheless attractive. She was none other than the Havenite Princess in who's honour the ball was being held - Princess Rebecca.

    His mind wandered momentarily and he thought privately to himself, "Two in one night, happy days".

    He extended his hand to the Havenite Princess as she bowed towards him, though she was technically his superior. He respectfully nodded his head at her in deference to her status, not that it mattered much to him in private - women were women.

    He examined her. She was a little shy, but that was expected as she was only 16 years old, but there was something about her nonetheless - namely that she was inexperienced and Prince Christian felt he could introduce her to the 'facts of life' quite adequately. Age was not a bar to him.

    He heaved out his muscular chest. He knew it was always a catch for the ladies, especially those with hormones rushing through their system. He had an instinctive knack for turning on the opposite sex, indeed from experience it rarely failed.

    "I'm most honoured to meet you, your Royal Highness", casting downwards upon her so tall that he was, though acutely conscious of Samuel Garland looking on.

    "You look particularly splendid tonight, your hair is very nice I must say and your dress, well... wow!", he shone at her clearly appreciating the lengths she'd gone to. His experience had given him ample ability to judge whether someone was attractive or not, and clearly Rebecca fit the bill, but not as much as the voluptuous and seductive Potenzan countess. Maybe due to his experience and age gap - it made all the difference - but Princess Rebecca didn't have the sexual allure that the Potenzan had. She had clearly worked hard or had been pushed, but Christian was never rude and was always magnanimous.

    "I must say that I really like your diadem, it reminds me of the one my mother wears. It's a pity about the events in Havenshire - you'd make a beautiful and proud Queen", the Prince ever the charmer hoped by saying that it would give her a sense of self-esteem that he felt she was lacking. Even so, despite her lack of confidence she was clearly ripe for the picking.

    "I say, do you think my uniform is a bit over the top? Do you like the gold braids?", Christian hoped to draw her into some conversation and sought to appease her teenage hormones.

    Still feeling a little awkward, Crown Prince Sweyn could see very well what was going on with his brother but felt resigned to the inevitable. He turned to Christian and whispered in his ear.

    "Christian, you're such a slut. If you must have your fun with whoever it is, please do it away from this crowd and please, please remember to do it with discretion, that's all I ask".

    He turned away from his private conversation with Prince Christian whilst smiling at Princess Amalie hoping she didn't notice, but feeling like a poppy in a cornfield. He glanced at the Eiffellandian Prince Ludwig - clearly they shared much in common it seemed and he regarded the Eiffellandian as a close friend, but effeminacy was not for him. He was obviously straight-acting. Sweyn brushed his hair with his right hand as he spotted some particularly dashing young gentleman but he felt particularly lonely for some reason tonight.
     
  3. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Rotterdam, Netherlands
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    Trier
    The 25 year old Prince Wolfgang was extremely intelligent. He was studying monetary economics and was the chairman of the Association of Economics Students in Weissenfels. Normally, such a position would cost you at least half a year of your study, but not for Wolfgang. He would finish his studies next year, exactly on schedule. His brains never halted. He knew very well how to make fun, but his brains never halted. Not even under the influence of alcohol.
    The Nicosian Princess Antonia was his girlfriend. Wolfgang knew about how the Nicosian Prince and Princess thought about royalty. He and Antonia had discussed about it once. Wolfgang agreed with her about a certain group within royalty who believed that the world was run by them. But Wolfgang had developed a modus operandi to cope with it.

    Wolfgang was very happy to see the Nicosian Princess Antonia. So he greeted her with very much enthousiasm.

    “I’m fine, thank you,” Princess Laura said to the Danish Crown Prince Sweyn. “Did you know that I work for an Eiffellandian charity organisation? We are currently very busy with organising humanitarian aid for Solaren. It takes a lot of time, but it is interesting to do. And of course I’m busy raising our son Philipp.”
    “Good to see you too, Sweyn,” Prince Friedrich continued. “We should indeed see each other more often. Let’s see that we can make time to meet once. How are things going for you?”

    Friedrich and Laura liked the Danish Crown Prince very much. A five years age difference is much during childhood, but the fact that Friedrich and Sweyn were both destined to inherit the Crown created a bond between them. They had done a lot together during childhood, and also later. Sweyn had sometimes visited Friedrich in Weissenfels when the latter was studying there. Later on, Sweyn met Laura as well, and the two became friends.
    Friedrich was by far not the macho type. Because of that, he had never thought about the fact that Sweyn hardly talked about girls and never had a girlfriend. Well, actually, he had thought about it, but soon he concluded that he would do more harm than good when he would push Sweyn to chase girls. So he never started to talk about that topic so that Sweyn would not get insecure about that. The guy would chase girls as soon as he would be ready for that. Friedrich never thought of the possibility that Sweyn could be gay.
    But Laura did. That strange thing called female intuition did its work. After that, Friedrich and Laura had talked about it. Both agreed that they wouldn’t mind. And both agreed that they would not ask.
    Also Ludwig and Sebastiano did. That strange thing called gaydar did its work. And also they agreed that they would not ask.

    Karl and Ludwig were very happy to see Archduchess Eleonore again. Both were quite surprised to see her in an army full dress uniform, but directly after that they concluded that that should be possible as well. In any case, Eli had done something unconventional again. Ludwig was not happy when Eli talked about him as “Ludwiga”, but meanwhile he knew who was saying it.
    Both guys were fascinated by the very special kind of person Eleonore was. They knew her good enough to realise that she would be up to do something shocking again. Something that especially Ludwig would never dare to do. He was not the type of guy that would try to get all the attention to him. The fact that he had already shocked the world did not change that.
    Karl saw the soft blush in Eleonore’s face when she hugged him, and that made him blush as well. He hugged her somewhat neervously as well, in a hug that was more destined to be a cuddle than a hug.
    “Indeed, I was teasing my little brother again,” Karl grinned. “And he deserved it ... But hear, dinner starts. Let me accompany you to the table.”
     
  4. Wieserreich

    Wieserreich New Member

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    When Eleonore was focused on something, the world seemingly stopped around her. As such, when she focused on her Hadamar cousins, the rest of the Franconian palace simply ceased to exist. After the awkward moments of staring at Karl, who in turn seemed to be staring at her, Eleonore chuckled nervously and turned towards Ludwig once more, her favourite cousin of all; the one she loved to tease, annoy and troll more than anybody else in the world, but perhaps one of the people she considered her closest friends as well. She grinned at him, the usual mischief drawn in her eyes.

    Eleonore wore her uniform's cap, neatly making herself look more like an effeminate guy, and looked back at Karl.

    "...What did Luigi do this time around?" she asked Karl, relaxing with the change of subjects. "You better keep in mind that Ludwig is my neighbourhood" she smirked triumphantly at Karl's direction, sort of going in the protective mode she adopted whenever she felt she was losing Ludwig's priceless responses to somebody else. Her words were not random either, though; Karl had called Eleonore 'his' neighbourhood back when she was harassed in the showers of the Lorraine barracks during her top-secret tour of duty, back in October or so.

    Her focus as it were on two of her several Hadamar cousins, Eleonore did not notice what (or rather, who) was staring at her back for a moment or two now.

    When the dining was announced, Eleonore moved to assert herself between the Karl and Ludwig, and boldly hugged both with her arms at variable heights depending on the back. "Shall we convince our old men to let us sit together, or do you two have social duties elsewhere?" she asked rather casually. Frequently visiting Trier, she did not hesitate speaking rather casually to those two as well as their siblings; though things could get a little awkward with Johann if the wrong thing was leaked.


    Crown Prince Sweyn's reaction forced Amalie to straighten her back with pride and grace, blushing openly at the complimenting. While charming and polite, Sweyn had not seemed nearly as polite and handsome when she visited him in the Danish capital a few weeks back. As the sole representative of the prestigious Weilburg bloodline in the place here, this was her firm, sacred duty, entrusted to her by her very own grandfather, the Duke of Schaumburg. It was something that would not fail.

    It seemed that the Danish crown prince was not one for small-talking, though Princess Amalia found this a rather cute trait. Sweyn seemed serious. The more they chattered, the more he seemed interesting. Arranged fawning or not, this was the first candidate her grandfather suggested that she clearly did not mind, that clearly attracted her, and that clearly hinted some sort of value that was outside the ordinary. Whatever that value was... Amalia was charmed, and did not hesitate to show it without losing elegance.

    While being introduced to the Danish playboy-prince, Amalia curtsied exactly as it was required; no more and no less, but her moves being rather careful on top of that. She had been more suggestive in her initial greeting towards Sweyn, but with Christian she was careful to not give any odd suggestion while still appearing polite and beautiful. "Your Highness, a pleasure to meet Lord Sweyn's brother" the petite German princess spoke in her sweet, accented voice, making a daring reference to the much higher-ranked man standing besides her and the playboy.

    It was not long before a Potenzan came head-over-heels for Christian. Amalie smiled very politely, even blushing at the somewhat overt gestures without realising. Daring woman, Amalia thought; Potenzans seemed rather straightforward. Her mind did not even jump to further conclusions, for she could not even imagine the possibility of something else happening beyond the bold first-talking, but the nature of this... it sufficed to make her look at Crown Prince Swen and smile a little awkwardly after the gesture.

    She politely allowed the two brothers to discuss, and only returned when Sweyn began scanning the room around him again. Without violating the man's personal space, Amelie leaned slightly forward and inquired with discretion. "Milord, is everything alright?" she asked with a very polite tone, hinting her interest. She paused briefly, before asking something rather bold for her rank. "...Would you perhaps mind if I sat with you for the dining? I am the sole representative of my House tonight" she said, quickly excusing herself for the boldness.


    Shortly after the dining announcement, the elderly Imperial Prince of and to Babelfisch approached Samuel Garland with a firm smile under his thick moustache. The two men had known each other for decades, though Samuel was fairly younger than himself. Prince Gottfried rested besides the Havenshirian royal, nodding as he surveyed Rebecca warmly, and then many of the more daring guests in a rather critical manner.

    "I still cannot believe how quickly kids grow up these days" Gottfried mused seriously. "Sophia would be so proud of her. So young, and yet having to undergo such hardships..." The Prince frowned, looking at his grandchild's uncle with deep thought. "You should encourage her to visit Thuringia more, Samuel" he spoke slightly, with a soft critical tone and a sly smirk. "Do not forget of her family there" he then nodded softly, before turning his eyes back at the guests.

    Whorish women exposing their soft delicacies to sluttish men, the Archduchess in drag next to a sodomist and his (admittedly rather decent) brother, the Weilburg kid finding a steady place besides the Danish Crown Prince and ignoring everybody else... The old man sighed unhappily and shook his head. When Rebecca was less busy, he intended to spend some time with her and hear of her news. His servants kept him updated with this rather bold blog of hers, and though he did not necessarily approve, he certainly enjoyed this new 'Internet' thing that allowed him to keep a remote eye on how his granddaughter grew up.
     
  5. Potenza

    Potenza New Member

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    Francesca was well aware of what lay behind Christian's eyes. She knew he had glanced down her dress when she curtsied (why else would she have done so?), and she could sense the fire that was hiding behind those Danish pupils of his. That little flick of his tongue across his upper lips let her know that she was already leaving a mark on him. While her brother Guido knew how to read the machinations of men as only a man can, Francesca knew it from a woman's perspective. She knew how to read a man and how to hit just the right button - where to touch, how to act, and how to speak.

    "That's my army medal," the prince had said, "That's the crest of the KDM with the motto 'Sejr og styrke gennem mægtige løvehjerte og Guds hjælpe', which works out as 'Victory and strength through the hearts of lions and the help of God' on the obverse; my father the King is on the reverse. You like it, hmm?"

    "Very much," Francesca replied. Her finger flicked up, letting the medal flop and then settle against the man's chest - almost as if she were playing with it as a toy. "Are you enjoying the palace thus far?"

    "The palace is beautiful - very Franconian, don't you think?" the prince replied. "The grounds are magnificent too, just like our Karlskrona Palace at home - lots of niches and hidden recesses away from prying eyes as I remember from being here before."

    "Privacy is an important thing," Francesca said, running her gloved finger along her necklace, as if inviting the prince to look away from the architecture and back to her, "it's important to find a place to be alone and think - away from those prying eyes. Or at the very least, away from the harsh weather."

    The prince said, "The weather is rather good for the time of year - very warm. Shall I show you around perhaps after the meal? There's some really spectacular spots." The wink he gave her let Francesca know she had indeed struck a chord. Her lips pursed and her dark eyes glittered, and she replied in a soft voice:

    "Without hesitation...but only if you would permit me one dance." She was not going to permit a man to have full control over the plans for the evening - and she was not going to give herself over with causing the man some pain and suspense on whether or not his burning lusts were going to be quenched with physical compliance.

    It was then that a skinny young woman appeared, addressing Prince Christian:

    "Greetings, your majesty. How are you finding the Ball so far? I assure you the meal will be much more fun than all this talking and these canapes."

    It took but a moment for Francesca to realize this was the Havenshire princess, Rebecca Garland. She did indeed look quite beautiful for her age, although Francesca - very much aware of the application of make-up - could tell much of this was a front. The hint of a crooked nose told her that the Franconians spared no expense in preparing this young princess to be paraded before the world's nobility looking her best. The girl's interruption, in any case, caused some anger to swell up in Francesca's stomach, and the countess's head leaned forward ever so slightly - similar to a tiger when it spots potential danger. As the princess spoke to the prince, thoughts were brewing in the Potenzan woman's mind on what to do and what to say, and when to say it.

    It was some time before the prince's eyes, clearly lost in thought, caused the young princess to ask: "I hope I'm not boring you?"

    Christian snapped out of his stupor, and began commenting on the young royal's dress. Francesca couldn't help but notice, however, that this time it was Rebecca's turn to be lost in another world, for her eyes were glancing towards someone who appeared to be an effeminate man straight from an eighteenth century opera. Of course Francesca, through her knowledgeable brother, knew that was no man, which gave her a broad smile across her lips. At some point the princess herself snapped out of a stupor, asking:

    "Forgive me, your majesty. I see it is time perhaps to start dining?"

    "Dangerous to not be aware of the little details," Francesca said, smirking down at Rebecca, "perhaps there are some things court tutors cannot always instill in a young woman."

    At the announcement that the dinner was starting, Francesca turned to Christian, saying, "I will speak to you later, my prince - unless they pair us at the table." She walked away, and as she did she ran a finger along the back of his shoulder, casting a quick glance at Rebecca. The language was crystal clear - her use of the phrase "my prince" as well her touching his strong shoulders sent a quiet signal of possession. She walked past the princess before stopping, backing up, and - as if to correct feigned forgetfulness - curtsied before Rebecca with a "Your majesty..." and returned to her trip towards the tables.

    Niccolo took out his pocket watch, glancing at it the moment he heard the announcement. He turned to Guido, saying casually, "Shall we go prepare for the feast?"

    "Gladly," said Guido, "let's hope our names are beside each other."

    The Cornaro household were likewise keeping to themselves, Prospero and Lia holding one another's arms with Plinio nearby. The couple glanced over and saw the Havenshire princess, Duchess Lia saying, "Ah, there she is. A lovely young girl, and seemingly so mature for sixteen."

    "Indeed," the duke replied, "I feel a tad bit sorry for her. The Franconians are throwing her to a pool of sharks. I hope she knows how to stay close to the surface."

    Plinio was visibly adjusting his tuxedo a bit, clearly uncomfortable. He usually didn't have to wear such nice suits except for special occasions, and he tended to hate the formality of it all. He also disliked most of the women who were here, and preferred the more common women at the University of Treviso. At least with them he could be as casual as possible and not worry about the manners of court. Most of his female friends could talk to him not as a count but as a peer, and he wasn't as relaxed as he wanted to be unless he was around those his own age and of lower rank.

    "Time for the feast!" Prospero said. "I'm sure it will be delicious. We haven't had a fancy meal in quite some time."

    "Well, you can only have pizza so many times," Lia remarked.

    "Maybe," Prospero said, pinching his wife on the nose.
     
  6. Danmark

    Danmark Guest

    Sweyn had escaped off back into a dream world again. He'd noticed a young liveryman, hailing from a working class or possibly middle class origin, some distance away and watched as he clumsily dropped a box of silver forks. He sighed wistfully as he surveyed the shape of the buttocks of the poor youth hastily picking up the dropped crockery whilst a senior liveryman admonished the novice for making a scene in front of all the royals making the poor man even more flustered. A sixth sense that he was being looked at from afar prompted the junior to turn around while still half bent down to see the immaculately attired Crown Prince studiously examining his posterior. He blushed profusely but there was an unconscious mutual understanding nonetheless that cut across social ranks.

    Sweyn shook and exclaimed out loud "My god, I'm turning into my sex mad brother!". Then he suddenly realised he wasn't alone and Princess Amalie was beside him as if waiting for some answer to a question he had never heard. He was back in the real world.

    "I'm so sorry, did you say something? I was just thinking of great affairs of State, please forgive me", he enquired apologetically and lying through his teeth whilst fixing the invisible mask of public duty back on.

    She repeated her request to sit next to him.

    "Why, of course, I'd be delighted. I perfectly understand. I'll have a word with this man here about changing the seating arrangements".

    He called over an official, the man bowing, and had a word in his ear.

    "That's sorted, let's take our seats. Apparently we're just over there" he pointed in the direction of the middle of the banquet table against the wall and called his brother, "They moved your place next to mine. Apparently you were going to be seated next to the Altaian Crown Prince" he informed the Schaumberger.

    "Christian, this way. Sorry to interrupt your hectic schedule but we're taking our seats now", he mocked his brother.

    They walked off together with the Crown Prince looking through the corner of his eye acknowledging the unfortunate liveryman who smiled meekly and shyly back at him.

    They took their seats, Prince Christian settled directly opposite him on the other side of the banqueting table sitting between two people he didn't even know. Christian was increasingly besotted by the Potenzan femme and he hated having had to let the formalities of the banquet get in his way. It was pretty dull to him and, anyway, he'd only really come for one reason and it certainly wasn't to gorge on fois gras and roast pheasant.

    He watched the magnetic Francesca drift away. He'd wanted to tenderly kiss her hand but that chance was rudely interrupted by the interjection of his older brother and 'formalities' which cut him off just as he was enjoying himself. Her hand running along his shoulders sent an electric current through him and his lips became warm and moist. The prince loosened the collar of his uniform a little as if to cool down and release heat but had his eyes firmly anchored on her, feeling like a naughty schoolboy. He was being ordered around and he normally didn't like being in that position, but he just came back for more every time. He pushed himself further under the table cloth and rearranged it a little to disguise the stirring in his loins her physical touch had caused him.

    He looked around the table - there was his brother, that boring Wieser princess, the two Eiffellandians. He smiled and looked around again. He saw Rebecca Garland looking at him and grinning with that grin of hers "She needs to get her teeth fixed" he thought to himself. He did a little wave to her and winked. She would have to try hard to gain his affections tonight.

    Seated next his close friend Crown Prince Friedrich of Eiffelland (they had apparently organised the seating by placing senior royals beside each other so the two Crown Princes naturally sat beside each other) and Princess Amalia of Schaumburg on the other, Crown Prince Sweyn looked on at his brother seated directly opposite him and shook his head, rolling his eyes to the vaulted ceiling. He had been observing the dalliance between his brother and the Potenzan temptress and knew where this was heading. Christian had already spawned several illegitimate children and the Palace had had to sanction several payments of hush money running into several thousands of Danish krone to keep a lid on scandal. The two brothers had a strong fraternal bond and Sweyn would always protect his siblings. He wouldn't intervene in Christian's life unless he was effecting national honour or making a great fool of himself putting himself in danger. Though brotherly love or not, Sweyn sometimes wished Christian would settle down and marry, which he showed no signs of doing yet, like the second-in-line Prince Lauritz "Then he can fuck as much as he wants without the scandal". He chuckled to himself as he saw a sense of humour in the whole soap opera being played out, "Looks like another cheque will have to be written out".

    He looked down and fiddled with the crockery on the table before him before looking up to watch the other assembled European royals chatting away, diadems and tiaras glistening in the light and enough priceless royal jewels on display that their cumulative value probably far exceeded the entire gross national product of most of Europe's communist republics put together. He lamented he did not manage to have a sister as he could have invited her and she would then be able to display some of the Danish crown jewels, a magnificent sight in their own right, though most were by right worn by his mother as the reigning Queen Consort. He picked up the name plate in front of him partly so he knew where he was sitting, he'd deduced, and to help others: 'HKH The Crown Prince Sweyn Magnus Henri Ragnar Nickolaus Maximilian Augustus'. How they had managed to squeeze all his names onto the name plate amazed him, that or someone was trying to go to great lengths to impress him.

    He observed Samuel Garland and came to the conclusion that he was a social climbing opportunist. He didn't like that and was astute enough to consider that a great degree of circumspection needed to be applied when dealing with him. But he felt a little sorry for Princess Rebecca and felt sympathy for her. She was a royal that had fallen on hard times, her country now run by council communists. Not that Sweyn had anything against council communists - he was interested in their political philosophy and found some degree of sympathy. But he was the progeny of an illustrious monarchy and his inclination was to favour monarchy, even constitutional monarchy like his own, and so Rebecca's plight found a ready and supportive friend in his heart.
     
  7. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    It was the first ball he was attending. So, not only Rebecca could have been called debutant but Andrzej could also be called one. It was the first time he represented and entire country and the first time in around 75 years that the Demian family would represent Altai in events like this.

    Andrzej was normally timid and he hated that he was blushing by nearly everything and this night was no exception.

    As he knew the majority of the princes only from Ludwig’s stories, TV or other photos, he remained near the two Eiffellandian princes, Ludwig and Karl. He was also pleased after he saw how much attention get Sweyn and the Friedrich for being Crown Princes, that he wasn’t so known by the majority of the other royalties. Now, that he was also a Crown Prince, or how the Altaics call the ruler and the heir: Veliki Knyaz. This was mostly to keep the old traditions, as the Demians kept their old titles since the times of the Slavic migrations during the 18th century. He knew that now, if he would get so much attention and knowing his blushing “problem”, the people seeing him so red would think that he is sick.

    After Eleonore came, the two greeted, he said with a smile, while seating himself between Ludwig on one side and the two Crown Princes on the other:

    “So, finally I get to know the cousin Ludwig talked so much about.”

    Before Eleonore could say anything he saw the name plate of Crown Prince Sweyn, grinned after he saw his own name plate, reading: M.S.R. Veliki Knyaz Andrzej Demian.
     
  8. Danmark

    Danmark Guest

    Sweyn recognised the Altaian Crown Prince Andrzej as he recognised the heads of state and heads of government of most countries, partly because it was expected of him but also that he had a natural good memory. We was a very well-read man. However, beyond facial recognition, he wasn't always able to say he actually knew the personalities behind the face and that problem cropped up again. A sensitive man, Sweyn could see that the Slavic royal was looking like a fish out of water and perhaps not as au fait with the rounds and rituals of royal occasions as some of the others seated around the banquet table, and so looked for some way to break the ice without making the Prince even more nervous. He wanted to help the Altaian and give him friendly encouragement - after all they were a unique club of three Crown Princes.

    It appeared that both sides used the Eiffellandian royals as a go-between, so Sweyn considered it appropriate to have a quick word in the ear of his close friend Crown Prince Friederich and get the low-down so he was at least armed with some foreknowledge about the man he intended to have a conversation with. He was sincerely interested in the Altai prince but a conversation would also partly serve as a neat diversion from having to get too personal with the Schaumburger lady who had managed to appropriate a seat with him. He felt he could have found a diplomatic way of letting her down gently when she asked to sit near him earlier and let her sit elsewhere as she was originally intended to do, but somehow he couldn't find it within himself to do it especially as she had been so very pleasant to him.

    The Danish Crown Prince leaned forward across the Eiffellandian, whilst having to hold in his military golden braids and tassles with his right hand to stop them dangling into his pea soup (he was a vegetarian) and smiled in a disarming manner, conscious of the shyness of the Veliki Knyaz, with an earnest and warm glow to his eyes.

    "I don't believe I've had the pleasure of meeting you before. Veliki Knyaz Andzrej, is it not? Do you come here often?"

    He knew full well that he didn't, but he hoped it might encourage a response and begin a conversation between the two. Even so, Sweyn felt a little awkward as he felt he was compromising Friedrich's personal space constantly having to talk across him to his Altaian near-neighbour.
     
  9. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    While Sweyn addressed him, he said in his mind: “Stop, just relax, they’re all normal people, just relax.” When seeing the Prince Sweyn he remembered how Knyagyna Tatyana, his mother talked about how friendly must the Demians be with the Danes after the family went into exile in Elsinore in the second quarter of the 20th century.

    Now thinking of Rebecca and how she was prepared for being a queen and this ball was an exam for all she was prepared. Seeing her he observed the difference of the Altaian monarchist mentality, in which the Demians lived a simple life in exile and the Havenite monarchist mentality, in which even him was surprised how much the Garlands protest and “yell” against the People’s Republic. So, now the Demians were fatalists and believed that after the 1935 revolution they had loosed their throne and will be forced to live simple lives but miraculously, the people wanted them back and they were taken by surprise. The Garlands on the other side, are fighting to take back their throne and prepare their heiress to take her place in Havenite politics, but an important question still existed between them and the would be coronation: “Does the people of Havenshire want them back?”

    Interrupting his train of thoughs and returning back to real life, he breathed deeply and after hearing the Danish Crown Prince, he responded, trying to open a conversation, but still not knowing what would interest the Danish Prince:

    “No, it’s my first ball, but also the first ball in around a hundred years in which the Demians would be invited. And I don’t know why I am blushing so much tonight, but, I believe that everything changed too much and too fast last year. From a simple student to a crown prince and everything was radical. Now, everyone tells me to behave, because I represent Altai. But we are still simple humans that were born in families that have to represent their nations. Look now, in nearly all monarchies, the king or queen is only a symbol, has no power, but still everything is very tiring. “
     
  10. Potenza

    Potenza New Member

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    The Cornaro royal family were settling in to their table. Plinio was glancing at his name placard, making certain they had spelled their names right. Once a Potenzan left their home country, the way that foreigners (save for perhaps the Talemantine) spelled their names was up for grabs. Thankfully, the organizers had spelled it right.

    "I need to learn that piano tune they were playing earlier," Prospero commented, placing his handkerchief on his lap, "maybe spruce it up a bit."

    "You are no musical savant, Prospero," Lia said, smirking towards her husband.

    "All right, all right," the Duke of Treviso said, "maybe not 'spruce'...perhaps 'butcher' is better?"

    Guido and Niccolo were at another table, sitting beside each other with Francesca beside Guido. The Venosan duke placed his cane gently beside the table, letting the head of it rest over the table edge. Niccolo took the glass of water next to the empty wine glass and sipped it gently, having acquired a bit of a thirst on the way to the palace. As he did, he turned towards Francesca and said:

    "I must confess, countess, that for a woman of your beauty, I am amazed you have yet to acquire a husband."

    Francesca turned her dark eyes towards Niccolo, pursing her lips into a smile as she replied, "I have yet to find the appropriate man, your highness."

    Guido, sensing that Niccolo was hinting at something, came to his sister's rescue with, "I'm amazed someone of your intelligence has yet to find an appropriate wife, Count Niccolo."

    "He that is married, careth for the things of the world," Niccolo said, suddenly quoting in Tiburan the Paolo Vergerio translation of 1 Corinthians 7:33, "same with the affairs of government. I've had little time for love because my first and foremost love is the state. A wife would only detract me from my true bride."

    Francesca gently ate the salad that been placed before her before the final meal as she listened to the count's words. She lifted her eyes towards the direction of Prince Christian, and saw that he was staring at her. Men tended to look at her at ceremonies, of course, but when she had her mind set on someone, that was a different affair. She sent her fork into an olive, pressing the sharp ends through the little fruit and then mechanically lifting it up to her lips. Keeping her eyes on Christian, she stuck out her tongue ever so slightly, resting the olive on it and wrapping her lips around the width. Then in an instant she pressed the fork forward, chewing and swallowing the olive and looking back down, continuing to eat as if nothing had happened.
     
  11. Großlausitz

    Großlausitz New Member

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    As the Kingdom of Franken was neither the official host nor officially recognising Princess Rebecca's exiled government, it had been decided to have the Duke and Duchess of Rhönland attend her debutante ball. The Duke was Prince Nikolaus, King Alfred IV's second-oldest son, and married to Princess Kristina, who was a scion of Aren royalty. Furthermore, they were accompanied by all the heads of the major houses of Franken (Click me). Since these lords all held - officially ceremonial - the five hereditary Great Offices of State, it was a diplomatic way of demonstrating Franken's respect for the young host. Coincidently one part of the Franconian delegation was seated near the Potenzans. Margrave Andreas IV von Oberrhön-Greifswald, Lord High Treasurer, immediately remembered Count Niccolo and Count Guido from the festive Christmas celebration at the Knýtling ancestral castle of Gründlach. He especially remembered Lord Guido's fondness for good and realistic pieces of painting and artwork. "Your excellency, it's a pleasure to meet you here again. How have you been doing?" Meanwhile, Prince Nikolaus and his spouse were placed near the host's table.
     
  12. Potenza

    Potenza New Member

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    Guido looked over and recognized Margrave Andreas IV from that Christmas celebration at the palace in Franken not too long ago.

    "Ah, Lord High Treasurer," Guido said in his modest German, "it is good to see you again. I know that you're already aware of the Count Niccolo di Grimaldi," Guido motioned to the count, seated at his left, who nodded politely to Andreas, "and this is my sister, the Countess Francesca della Torre." Guido motioned to his right, where his sister was. Francesca looked over and nodded politely before returning to her salad, keeping to herself at the moment.

    "I've seen a few improvements to my status in Potenza since last we spoke," Guido continued, "aside from being Lord Speaker, I inherited the title of duke from my father after he passed away a few days ago - unfortunately. I now carry not only the title of duke as head of the Torriani House, but I am Duke of Venosa, the southwestern regions of Potenza. We had the coronation just this morning, before I arrived."

    "Things are changing quickly in Potenza," Niccolo remarked rather casually, running a gloved finger around the rim of his glass of water.
     
  13. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    While Ludwig seated himself between Eleonore and Andrzej, introducing both to each other, he also looked at Prince Sebastiano, who seated himself somewhere else with his brothers. Because of a concatenation of coincidences, the Talemantine and Eiffellandian princes had landed into separate conversations. Ludwig also had the feeling that Sebastiano was kept away from him by his brothers, but he didn’t know if that feeling was right.
    He had also noticed that some people clearly rejected him, and he exactly knew why. He himself didn’t mind. He had to follow a different path to lead a happy life than most other people; if others didn’t want to understand that, then that was their problem. But he also realised that he was in a luxurious position with a family that supported him. That was different for Sebastiano, and if his gaydar was right, it was different for Sweyn as well.
    It was a bit awkward that Ludwig’s boyfriend Sebastiano could not sit next to him, but that was something to think about later. Now he enjoyed making fun with Eleonore, Karl and Andrzej.

    Karl hadn’t noticed anything of what Ludwig had noticed. At every event like this one, he enjoyed the idea of seeing Eleonore again. He was also a bit confused about Eleonore’s appearance. Not because she was in a kind of drag; he was already used to something with her. No, it was something else. And maybe that was what lead to him staring at her at a certain moment before they seated themselves at the table.
    Eleonore was his favourite cousin as well. There was never a dull moment with her, and she and Karl had a similar kind of humor. But while Eleonore was a provoker, Karl was a naughty boy. All in all, that made a good combination.

    Meanwhile, Johann and Wolfgang had joined the Nicosian princes Phillip and Antonia. While Wolfgang and Antonia were discussing about many different topics, Johann and Phillip looked at the women together, especially that one voluptuous Potenzan Princess.

    Friedrich and Laura entertained Amelie while Sweyn talked to Andrzej.

    OOC 1: Sorry for this short post. I promise a longer one as soon as possible.

    OOC 2: Upon request by Talemantros, Post 16 of this thread has been changed.
     
  14. Großlausitz

    Großlausitz New Member

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    The Margrave smiled gleefully: "Very well, I'm delighted to see that you were elevated in rank even if it's sad to lose a loved parent. Thus you will enjoy the same rank like me, albeit with more actual power, I surmise. My title does not entail any political privileges, but by virtue of my hereditary office I have permanent access to The King and The Prince Regent. Have you been able to enact your political ideals in Venosa yet, Lord Guido? And may I congratulate you upon having such a beautiful younger sister. Your radiant smile is enchanting, m'lady." As many a Franconian senior lord Andreas von Oberrhön-Greifswald was well-versed in courtly conduct.

    The Duke of Bamberg, Sebastian III, who was also seated at the Margrave's table, turned as he was hearing his peer employing his copious charm upon the Potenzan countess. The Lord High Steward vividly recalled his meeting with Count Niccolo, too: "Countess, Duke Guido, Count Niccolo, I'm elated to see you again. Even more so, as you brought beautiful company. How is your political campaign doing, Lord Niccolo?"
     
  15. Havenshire

    Havenshire New Member

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    Rebecca blushed when she noticed where the handsome Wiesan nobleman was sitting. It appeared he was, in fact, according to the name-tage, the Princess Eleonore. She found such thoughts distracting, and resolved to forget that she had ever felt such stirrings in her at the sight of a woman in men's clothing. Now that the name was clear, it seemed obvious. Had she deliberately misunderstood to conceal her own lesbian stirrings? It was a question to be reflected on, in private, long after this night, if ever again. Think about men. Think about Crown Princes of Danmark.

    As the appetiser was served and people began to eat and converse amongst themselves, she found to her satisfaction that the Danes were sat very close to her, along with the Franconians whose discreet funding and support had made all of this possible. The man she had been flirting with was apparently Prince Christian, not Crown Prince Sweyn, who anyway seemed to be engrossed in conversation with another Wiesan princess. After eating a few bites, she took a deep breath, and prepared herself for the task ahead. She would focus entirely on Prince Christian, then. She knew what her uncle would say in these circumstances, and resolved not to fail him. She could dream about handsome women in teutonic blue uniforms another time.

    "Pardon me, your highness, but how do you find Franken? I regret that we are ourselves only recently come to this country, though we have had investments here for some time." She smiled politely. A weak opening gambit, but she had to get his attention, and then keep it. Stop him from staring at that Potenzan hussy. She gave her best smile, and leaned forward carefully, offering a view of her cleavage, which, whilst not much, was framed by a diamond necklace that had once belonged to an Aren Queen. A subtle reminder, for those who appreciated such things, that Potenza did not have the blood of centuries of Northern great powers running through the veins of its leaders.

    "I assure you that there are treasures to be found here, and natural beauty for those who are connisseurs of rarity." She smiled, choosing her words carefully, locking eyes with him.

    She tried to keep him engaged, but found herself being distracted, as he was distracted, by protocol, and the need to talk to others. She could sense her uncle's penetrating gaze even from here, however.

    She made polite small-talk with the Franken representatives, and shot a dreamy smile in the direction of the princess Eleonore, when she briefly glanced to the top of the table. Her eyes conveyed a glimmer of recognition, before returning to her own animate discussion, apparently she had history with the Eiffelandians. Interesting.

    When the Potenzan duchess talked with the Danish Prince, Rebecca simmered. She found herself growing irrationally jealous. It wasn't that she particularly liked Christian, for all that he was handsome, but damnit, this catholic hussy couldn't sweep into her party and steal this from her!

    When the main course was served, she took extra care to eat with as much delicacy and sultriness as was possible in the circumstances. Normally she was very sloppy, since noone dared correct her on eating manners usually, and in any case she enjoyed a certain middle-class casualness when not being trained by her uncle or attending functions like this.

    But she was determined to surpass this Franchesca della Torre. She ate a salad, whilst Rebecca ate red meat. She gave as predatory smile as she could to Christian, but seduction was something Franchesca was apparently born to. A clumsy pasty mouse like her with a small chest and frizzy hair couldn't play this role. She realised quickly that she would have to change tacks.

    She couldn't be more vampish than the Potenzan, but perhaps she could be more...coy. She decided to play to her natural character. Shy, retiring, a blushing virgin. Perhaps that would get his attention...

    She resolved to begin this strategy immediately, in the interval between main course and dessert....


    Meanwhile, Samuel found himself distracted from his hawkish observance of his ward by, of all things, sentiment. Seeing his old friend, the Reichsfeurst von Babelfisch, reminded him of better, simpler days, when he had fucked his way across the noble houses of Germania and Gallia. He smiled, remembering fondly the clandestine homosexual encounters conducted behind closed doors, with everything from blushing Imperial Cadets to Sarmatian Envoys. He had never known if the Reichsfeurst shared his predilections, but he was sure the Graf, Rebecca's uncle, knew, but had never raised the matter. In anycase, Samuel Garland's days of wild parties were long over. He hadn't had a homosexual liason in years, content to channel his energies into running his businesses, securing Havenite expatriate rights the world over, and raising this young girl into a real queen.

    A pang as he remembered the loss that had made all this necessary. Sometimes the grief came, in the form of a crushing black cloud of despair. His brother, his vibrant, brilliant sister-in-law, his father. All killed in one tragic instant. At least his mother had been spared that pain. She had died of cancer not many years before. It had been a dark day for him, and he'd drowned his sorrows by becoming more wild. It was in part due to a fight over his drinking that saw him confined to Montelimar to look after young Rebecca, when they boarded that damn plane. He'd spent a fortune in the years since tracking down those responsible. Most had died in suspicious circumstances, but not by his hand. Only the Central Intelligence Bureau could have been so thorough covering its own tracks, he had thought. Damn Communists.

    He decided to mingle amongst the others. He smiled. Chances were some of the older nobles present might recognise him. He had been quite the socialite in his day.
     
  16. Potenza

    Potenza New Member

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    It took a moment for Guido to register what the Margrave had asked him, and then he laughed softly, "I think, your highness, that you're referring to the Grimaldi count here." He motioned towards Niccolo, who wiped his mouth before responding:

    "Yes, yes, I've been a little bit distracted from any possibility of 'political campaigning.' For the past few months I've been busy assisting my brother, the duke, in the building up of the Duchy of Turin and making certain it can survive with the degree of autonomy that it now has. The reinstatement of the duchies was my idea, you know. The grand duke wasn't all that thrilled with it himself, but the other nobility seemed to like it."

    "They're getting something back they lost after the war of unification," Guido cut in, "how could they not enjoy it?"

    "Yes, but there's strength in letting the nobility have a say in the affairs of democratically elected local governments," Niccolo continued, "that's the point of my discussions in my book on Statducalism. A consistent government is the perfect compliment to an inconsistent government. And now that we're seeing examples of it working in Potenza, I think I'll finally have some more validity to begin the international Neo-Reactionary movement." Niccolo turned towards the Franken officials, "If you gentlemen, of course, would enjoy starting a chapter of it in your own nation. I think now is the best time to reveal to the world that the nobility is far from dead. Especially when we have that psychotic sow who calls herself a president in Europaland, or the Post-Delegationist terrorist movement that appears to be growing. Europe needs to realize that truth and error are not two things you can meld together, any more than you can oil and water."

    Francesca continued eating her food quietly. She had heard the compliment from the Franconian nobles, but had merely responded with a polite nod, letting her male associates do the talking. She was also aware of the Eiffelland boys looking at her, but she paid them no mind. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the Havenshire princess moving towards Christian, trying to enter the world of court seduction. "How very sweet..." Francesca muttered under her breath in her native Tiburan. It was obvious that Rebecca was trying to attract the prince's attention away from the Torriani countess...well, two could play at that game. With exact movements, Francesca raised her gloved fingers and flicked the lock of her hair back over her shoulder (which, of course, gave a more clear view of the exposed parts of her upper body). As she finished her hors d'oeuvres, she ran a finger along her necklace, going from her neckline to her neck and back again, in slow, rhythmical strokes.
     
  17. Wieserreich

    Wieserreich New Member

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    Princess Amalia blinked with embarrassment at the Crown Prince's admission, which admittedly came entirely out of the blue. She rolled her eyes politely and made an understanding nod, the 'I will keep your secret' kind of nod. She understood the delicacy of the situation, and if it came out that Prince Sweyn was a sex addict... He had certainly managed to keep it quite secret however. The Schaumburger royal looked over at the direction the Danish prince had been looking at, examining the women over there, and then smiled back at him.

    Although Amalie had grown slightly jealous of the incident, she had to admit she felt proud that Crown Prince Sweyn had accepted her bold request and chosen her over whoever else he had embarrassedly looked at a few moments back. The Franconian looked at the Dane and smiled before being guided to the proper location, behaving as a proper princess of Germanian royalty was expected to behave.

    "Than you, milord. You are most kind" Amalia replied both with politeness and an honest smile. "Rather thoughtful for my original seating, I suppose. It would have created windows of opportunity for several royal houses" she observed, musing about Altai and its recent misadventures in the 'other side of the world'. The truth was Amalia never found out much about the war, other than the fact Altai had attacked her cousin Charlotte's country with no casus belli, and eventually 'justice had triumphed' to quote her uncle Friedrich, Charlotte's father.

    Not long later, themselves properly seated, Amalie would begin engaging in more bold discussions, so as to get to know Sweyn a little better... if it weren't for the need of protocol. Sweyn leaned over to the Altaic prince whose first name she could not pronounce correctly, and Amalie smiled politely that way as well. Her family, the Weilburgs, did not do very well with the idea of heathen royalty, especially since the said heathen royalty had recently launched a surprise attack on a regime related to their House by blood, but this was nevertheless not her own issue but her grandfather's. Amalia nodded with a smile.

    "It is a solid beginning milord" Amalia replied to the Altaic prince's remark about this being the first ball the Demians had been invited to. "Given effort and opportunity there is no doubt that this invitation can most certainly pave the way for more to follow" she said diplomatically as she sought to prove to be an exemplary paragon of her bloodline, her words never interrupting either Sweyn's or Andrzej's. Nevertheless, inside her she craved for a little more attention from the Crown Prince, and figured she would have to act when the time would be right.


    Eleonore sat besides Karl and Ludwig, a genuine smile of triumph in her face. Her father Franz and her mother Lena were seated not far from there, the eldest son of Emperor-elect Karl having picked a strategic seat among seniors and similarly-ranked individuals, while leaving most (but definitely not all) youths do about their business after he and his Arnen wife had properly greeted each other and caught up a little bit. At the same, other Wieser royals had similarly been seated in equivalent positions; with the exception of the Weilburg girl, who was not too far from Eli, most seemed content to pair up with old friends and people of their age groups.

    Like that old man Gottfried, who seemed to spend most of his time around the Garlands.

    "So, Karl" Eleonore said casually after being seated, "how did your naval tours fare?" she asked with a sly smirk, referring to her cousin's pirate-hunting adventures in the Royal Navy. "Any new adventures or importance, or is it all about petite Solaris piratines you do not want the rest of us to hear of?" Eli grinned in the end, nudging her cousin discretely with an elbow. She was being far too casual, far too casual - but this was only before her cousins and parents, and never when third people were involved.

    Just as was the case with Andr... z... And... Andy of Altai, when he sat a few moments later. She politely turned at the Altaic prince's direction and made a formal greeting appropriate both for a lady as well as a junior officer of the Imperial Air Service. "Your Highness, a pleasure to meet you" she introduced herself as she offered her hand in a way neither intended for an outright handshake, nor the traditional hand-kissing. "I am Eleonore of House Thießen, a pleasure to make your acquaintance" she added with a soft smile, carefully omitting the additional customary 'daughter of Franz, son of Karl the Fourth, elected Wieser Emperor, son of Friedrich Wilhelm the Second, by the Grace of God Wieser Emperor' that might have been expected from a stuck-up traditionalist... like her grandfather.

    In Wieserreich it seemed to always be the grandfathers messing things up with unnecessary traditions and unreasonable demands, typically those born in the era between 1930 and 1940.


    OOC: There is more royalty attending than I can roleplay, so I am going to make a list with everyone in case anybody wishes for their characters to interact with them. You can find information on most houses and some individuals in my Wiki. If you wish interaction, just approach them and I shall respond.

    • Archduke Franz and Archduchess Lena, Eleonore's parents, for House Thießen. Franz is the grandson of Emperor Friedrich Wilhelm, Lena is sister to the King of Arendaal.
    • Archduchess Eleonore, great-grand-daughter of the Wieser Emperor and miscreant. Enough said.
    • Princess Amalia of Schaumburg for House Weilburg, grand-daughter to Duke Gustav IV and first cousin to Queen-Empress Charlotte.
    • Prince Michael of Schwarzenberg, Prince-Consort Dowager of Braunschweig and uncle to the new Chancellor of Wiese, for Houses Gießen-Wetzlar and Schwarzenberg.
    • Princess Anna, Duchess Consort of Mecklenburg and Archduke Franz's sister, for House Wolfsburg.
    • Crown Princess Victoria of Thuringia, for House Hersbach.
    • Imperial Prince Gottfried of Babelfisch, Sovereign of House Babelfisch, grandfather of Crown Princess Rebecca and father of Wiese's incumbent foreign minister.
    • Countess Anna-Maria von Croÿ and Countess Marianne de Croÿ-Harcourt, for House Croÿ.
     
  18. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    Andrzej knew Eleonore only from Ludwig’s stories and by how he imagined her, he was amazed of the formality of her greet. He knew how conservative generally was the Wieserreicher royalty was and he also believed that her grandparents are demanding her to be so formal. But he was also hoping to know the Eleonore that Ludwig talked about, an Eli that does not care about royalties and all those formalities that even he is seeing them as inutile and artificial. Simply said, Andrzej like that Eli he heard about from Ludwig found this entire synthetic charade unnecessary.

    Before responding to her greet quickly looked around the room to see where her parents are. After he saw them occupied talking with other people, he choose to break all those formalities and opted for the handshake.

    “Andrzej of house Demian, also a pleasure,” se said smiling, “but I believe there’s no need of such formality, as all those are very uncomfortable.”
     
  19. Danmark

    Danmark Guest

    Sweyn laughed a little at the Altai prince's reply in a friendly manner. He knew that the Demians fled to Christiansborg, or Elsinore as it been briefly known back then, some decades back but that was before he was born in the time of his grandfather, Hans Gustav II.

    The looked over at Andrzej and it struck him how young he was and how much responsibility had suddenly been thrust on his fledgling and unprepared shoulders. His nervous demeanour and out-of-placeness were obvious and a complete opposite to his own experience, having been prepared and groomed for the role he currently held since childhood and having been carrying out official duties for at least the last eight years, and having had to live with sashes, uniforms, and public appearances for nearly all his life. From birth, it had been drilled into him that he was the Crown Prince, that he should remember his P's and Q's, and never put a foot out of line in public. He had managed to have a fairly normal life when he was younger and shielded from much of life's vissitudes until he reached adulthood, but it wasn't quite a normal life in the true sense. It never could be.

    "I suppose for you it is quite a blow to have your life turned upside down like that", Sweyn acknowledged while scrunching his bottom lip a little trying to think of the right things to say to be encouraging to the poor soul. He winked, hoping he was giving him 'royal brotherly' support and attempting to open himself to the Altaic prince.

    The Crown Prince thought of other topics to draw Andrzej into. His mind scanned through his repertoire of knowledge like a quickly page-flicked encyclopedia. And he thought he would turn to a political vein.

    "So, what is your perspective on the conflict your nation has had with Talemantros? I'm sure the establishment of Zamosca would have been a blow. What's the political current in Altai on that issue?"

    He had strayed into politics which was something he tended to avoid, but it was the most opportune topic he could think of and one of a few he could think would encourage a major conversation. He somehow suspected Crown Prince Andrzej would oblige.

    He turned to look at Princess Amalia who had been busy in chatting away. He took in a deep breath and composed himself, fixing back on his 'front', and smiled at the demure Wieser benignly whilst observing her with his chocolate eyes and long eyelashes. He kept thinking that maybe she might be his bride to impress the public. A triumph to seal his coronation but he still felt compromised between duty and his own affiliations. He quite obviously 'buttered his toast differently' and struggled to admit his sexuality in public. It was a major block to him and a major anguish. He feared judgement and rejection and was torn inside.



    Prince Christian had been briefly observing his brother. He knew something had been troubling him and that he looked depressed, and that he had slipped back into 'pro-mode', but thought he would ask him later what had been the trouble.

    Unfortunately for him, he was still inconveniently stuck between two anonymous troglydites dripping in jewelry and except a brief conversation out of politeness, he hadn't felt driven to go beyond that. To be fair, he really wouldn't have cared if they were suddenly sucked into a black hole - they were the usual boring aristocrats that he wouldn't normally give the light of day too and that he'd had to spent a lot of his life having to be nice to in public.

    His attentions had been firmly fixed on the Potenzan beauty several rows up at his 11 o'clock of line of sight for most of the past hour, the jabbering aristocrats separating them he hardly seemed to notice at all. He watched whilst she placed olives in her mouth and gracefully toyed and savored them with her tongue sucking out the pimentos before gently swallowing them, sending lustful pulses racing through his mind. He knew she knew that he knew. He was enjoying the culinary tease show she was playing out for him and he sat there with his mouth ajar with his eyes sparkling with a knowing grin engraved on his face, whilst skilfully sliding himself a little further under the table again to conceal the Viking horn from the gaze of those on either side of him.

    When the various courses were brought over to him by liverymen, they had returned almost untouched. He kept looking at his watch frustrated that time was ticking along so slowly and wondering when it would be over so he could break away to making his re-acquaintance with the sultry and, he had started to think to himself, tempestuous madonna.

    A liveryman came to take the latest unfinished course away and to replace his now empty glass with fresh stocks of bourbon. Even though he no appetite for eating, his appetite for bourbons was never diminished. He picked up the fresh glass from an attending liveryman and peered over to Francesca and sipped whilst his eyes peered lustfully over the rim of the tumbler and whilst his smiles were masked by the brown liquor. He had a strong stomach for alcohol but not eating had made the effects of being ever so slightly influenced a little more acute but also heightened his passions and made him even more daring.

    He took another brief sip and looked from the corner of his eye. Princess Rebecca looked more attractive than she did last time he looked at her, or so he thought, more voluptuous as he peered at her through his beer-goggles. He laughed at her comments jokingly as entered into an attempt at wooing him.

    "Oh really? What treasures are those then, hmm? Do tell." his eyes twinkled.

    He watched as she tried to act subtly, leaning forward and somewhat unnaturally parting - some might say ruining - her dress to reveal her somewhat modest cleavage which she sort of waggle-danced in his direction with her necklace ungracefully getting jammed in between. "No experience, this one" he chortled. He was sure that she had some sort of 'Wonderbra' support to make her look more tantalising. She was throwing herself on him - he just knew - and was trying a little somewhat cack-handedly doing so. But for him it was nothing new. It wasn't for nothing that women fell for him swooning over his good looks and princely status desperate to bed him - not that he'd ever had a problem bedding women, earning him a reputation as a pillager of women. All the time he had had to bat them off like flies and could pick and choose at whim.

    He looked at Rebecca, "Hmm, looking better" he considered - but then she smiled. Despite all the alcohol, some primeval sense told him that something was amiss - something just wasn't right about her. It took him a minute for his slightly alcohol-affected brain to figure it, but then it became obvious - it was those teeth.

    "Is she wearing metal braces? I'm sure she is, you know!", he wondered squinting to see if he could glimpse of a flash of metal screwed into her mouth. "My god! She is!".

    A badly disguised look of derision swept his face and he shuddered at little before trying to disguise his laughter by snorting into his glass.
     
  20. Huaxia

    Huaxia Moderator

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    Horace De Vesci, and his brothers had mingled among the royalty at the ball, mostly being quiet and out of the way. Since the exile of the Havenshire monarchy the Talemantines were their earliest supporters, granting them pensions and a palatial estate in Talemaniki that the Garlands still maintain. Since then the war over Montelimar has seen the tie between the Garlands and the De Vescis strained with Talemantine support for Engellex. Horace was here to show the Garlands that no matter how much they may find themselves on opposite sides of politics, that Talemaniki saw them as the rightful rulers of Havenshire and would see them rule again. Having the support of the oldest monarchy around always helped.

    Horace looked around at all the people gathered for the occasion, the germans, danish, french, Altaics, and Potenzans. Ah the Potenzans the closest group related culturally to the Talemantines, but not quite. The Potenzans exuded a sense of sensuality that was also found in the Talemantines, but there was one thing that the Talemantines had that the Potenzans could never capture, that exotic feel. The tropical lands of Himyar gave the Talemantines the exotic flavor of a foreign land in the south, with the heat and beaches and most importantly the people. Talemantros was a land of confusing identities, on one hand a strict moral society government by the church and monarchy, but on the other it was advertised to everyone else as a place of wonder and where every fantasy can be fulfilled. This had been carefully crafted over the years to cloud then nation in an air of mystery, and mystery always drew people in.

    Talemantine history was littered with trysts and love triangles with the state dealing with randy royals long before most of the modern states existed. It was still true with the modern Talemantine royalty, especially Horace. For the past several years the Monarchy has been using the emperor's grandchildren to cast the institution in a new positive more youthful light, and Horace was one of their centerpieces. He was portrayed as the embodiment of what it meant to be Talemantine. He was the athlete, with sculpted tone muscles, from his arms to his chest, abs, back, butt and legs, and a natural all body tan, nearly every girl in Talemantros had posters of him shirtless in gym shorts running through the parks of Talemaniki, or pictures of him at the beach in a swimsuit that had slightly less fabric than one would find in other countries. He was the soldier, with broadcast photos of him in military uniform on marches, and videos of him in combat training missions. He was the leader, conversing with senators from around the nation; leading charities and working with the people to make their lives better. He was the heart breaker, carrying with him an air of charm and grace along with sexual prowess and sexual passion causing women, and some men, from models and entertainment stars to the average woman of the street to swoon over him. And Horace played up to every part.

    Most royal families had that one family member who was know for their partying, for the Talemantines it was the reverse where nearly all the imperial grandchildren had a party streak, some more than others, and they had the one who stood out of the lime light. Horace was no exception to the Talemantine rule and was one of the more prolific partakers in Talemaniki, with pictures out in clubs and bars and with whomever he was with for that light. He had been given a reputation as a womanizer going from bed to bed, more like his same bed but with a new partner every night. The palace accepted this and used it to solidify his masculine persona. However, he was protected with any negative story, picture, or video, showing the Talemantine Caesar in a bad light was quickly squashed no matter if it showed him as too drunk or if his temper got the best of him by shouting at some unfortunate person, including any "lies" about a possible bad sexual experience. Anything that could put a chink in the carefully crafted image of the heir to the Talemantine throne.

    Now here in Franken, Horace was expected to exude poise, grace, and statesmanship in representing the Talemantine crown, not try and bed one of the "lucky" princesses. He was dressed in a black suite with a silver gray waistcoat and white tie, A purple sash was worn over his right shoulder and across his chest with medals of the varying orders to which he belonged pinned on his left, and the golden signet ring denoting him as Caesar of the Talemantine Empire displayed upon the ring finger of his left hand, and his blond hair was perfectly styled for the occasion. Horace's two brothers, Grand Princes Luciano and Sebastiano were similarly dress minus the sash and some medals, and in Sebastiano's case no medals at all. Unlike Horace and Sebastiano, Luciano had dark black hair, where his siblings had their mother's blond locks. Luciano was to be on his best behavior, as being third inline to the throne, made him less likely to inherit and had more freedom that Horace or their sister Theodora.

    The Talemantines had kept a low key during the welcoming and then took their place at the table. Horace Caesar took his place across from the Danish Crown Prince. It appeared that the heirs in the room were seated near one another, and from this vantage point Horace could easily see the Danish Christian in a triangle between the Potenzan countess and the Havenshire debutante. Princess Rebecca stood no chance against the sultry Francesca, she was definitely too young to compete with the refined skill of seduction. That was a skill of all Talemantine women of court, it would be interesting to if the countess could compete with his sister Theodora over a man. He'd seen his sister turn a harden soldier into putty in her hands with just the look of her eyes. A smirk slide across his face as he watched the three unfold. It was then that he turned to the Danishman in front of him and spoke. "So Prince Sweyn, how has Danmark been these past few months?"

    A few seats away Luciano continued to talk with his neighbors, the Wiesers, Eiffellanders, and Frankish, while his little brother Sebastiano remained silent and barely looking anyone in the eye.
     

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