The Pearl of the South


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The Bard wrote:
"Sea-mail? Who is it from, Nimora?"

Would that have actually been delivered to me while we were at this gathering? I was thinking that it would be waiting back in my rooms later.


I think that would be correct. Messengers usually don't interrupt royal gatherings. He would probably wait unitl Nimora and Mirathan (or his assistant) were free and hand deliver them


The delegation from Sandreef arrives to attend Mirathan's coronation. Melusine and Joren are in attendance as are four scowling male sea elves riding large hippocampi steeds and dressed in intricate mother-of-pearl shell armor and carrying long trident lances.

A fanfare of conch horns sound out as they approach the city


... wrote:

The delegation from Sandreef arrives to attend Mirathan's coronation. Melusine and Joren are in attendance as are four scowling male sea elves riding large hippocampi steeds and dressed in intricate mother-of-pearl shell armor and carrying long trident lances.

A fanfare of conch horns sound out as they approach the city

The Sandreef delegation is set up in their suite at the palace. The guards may stay in the barracks.


Already dreading the undoubtedly uncomfortable confrontations to come.


Nimora watched Mirathan talking to a group of what looked to her like merchants across the room while the queen admired the new armlet that Kaelar had given her.


Nimora Orlbereth wrote:
Nimora watched Mirathan talking to a group of what looked to her like merchants across the room while the queen admired the new armlet that Kaelar had given her.

Making sure he is not overhead, the prince approaches.

"He won't rule long, you know. He does this out of duty."


Prince Lerithan wrote:
Nimora Orlbereth wrote:
Nimora watched Mirathan talking to a group of what looked to her like merchants across the room while the queen admired the new armlet that Kaelar had given her.

Making sure he is not overhead, the prince approaches.

"He won't rule long, you know. He does this out of duty."

"What exactly is that supposed to mean?" she asks, curiously.

Really no hostility in that statement. She's asking out of genuine curiosity.


Nimora Orlbereth wrote:
Prince Lerithan wrote:
Nimora Orlbereth wrote:
Nimora watched Mirathan talking to a group of what looked to her like merchants across the room while the queen admired the new armlet that Kaelar had given her.

Making sure he is not overhead, the prince approaches.

"He won't rule long, you know. He does this out of duty."

"What exactly is that supposed to mean?" she asks, curiously.

Really no hostility in that statement. She's asking out of genuine curiosity.

"He will rule thru the building, then as long as it takes for people to accept that I am not so young as to be a puppet."

"Then he will abdicate."

"He seems to prefer the outside world."

"Sad thing really. He'd make a great king."


Prince Lerithan wrote:


"He will rule thru the building, then as long as it takes for people to accept that I am not so young as to be a puppet."

"Then he will abdicate."

"He seems to prefer the outside world."

She smiles a little as she watches Mirathan. "There are many things to like about the outside world. New and interesting things to see every day. But make no mistake, he loves this place. And his family. That really comes through in his drawings."

She turns her attention fully to Lerithan. "And what about you. What is it you prefer?"


"I prefer action. Sitting around, pretending to be interested in some merchant's dilemma or some noble's ego is not my oyster."


Prince Lerithan wrote:
"I prefer action. Sitting around, pretending to be interested in some merchant's dilemma or some noble's ego is not my oyster."

She laughs, softly. "I know just what you mean. I have learned more patience lately in that regard, but it is still so difficult sometimes. Politics can be so stifling."


Nimora Orlbereth wrote:
Prince Lerithan wrote:
"I prefer action. Sitting around, pretending to be interested in some merchant's dilemma or some noble's ego is not my oyster."
She laughs, softly. "I know just what you mean. I have learned more patience lately in that regard, but it is still so difficult sometimes. Politics can be so stifling."

"He is very much like our mother. A visionary, a dreamer. The Pearl needs that in these dark times. But it also needs to show strength, so people feel safe and our enemies know it."


Prince Lerithan wrote:


"He is very much like our mother. A visionary, a dreamer. The Pearl needs that in these dark times. But it also needs to show strength, so people feel safe and our enemies know it."

"He sees things the way they ought to be," she agrees, glancing at Mirathan as she said it.

"It sounds to me like what Pearl needs most is the both of you together."


Nimora Orlbereth wrote:
Prince Lerithan wrote:


"He is very much like our mother. A visionary, a dreamer. The Pearl needs that in these dark times. But it also needs to show strength, so people feel safe and our enemies know it."

"He sees things the way they ought to be," she agrees, glancing at Mirathan as she said it.

"It sounds to me like what Pearl needs most is the both of you together."

He blushes.

"I shall continue to serve with the General, rebuilding our army and keeping us safe. In time the Pearl will be as we were."


Prince Lerithan wrote:


"I shall continue to serve with the General, rebuilding our army and keeping us safe. In time the Pearl will be as we were."

"One should always strive to be better. At least that is what my father would say. That is how progress happens and all that. He can be both charming and annoying, but occasionally he's actually right," she added with a smile.


Nimora Orlbereth wrote:
Prince Lerithan wrote:


"I shall continue to serve with the General, rebuilding our army and keeping us safe. In time the Pearl will be as we were."

"One should always strive to be better. At least that is what my father would say. That is how progress happens and all that. He can be both charming and annoying, but occasionally he's actually right," she added with a smile.

The prince smiles in kind.

"I'm afraid I must attend to our other guests. There are some tritons that we need to thank."

"Thank you for the brief chat. By your leave my Lady Nimora?"


Prince Lerithan wrote:


The prince smiles in kind.

"I'm afraid I must attend to our other guests. There are some tritons that we need to thank."

"Thank you for the brief chat. By your leave my Lady Nimora?"

"Of course. It was a pleasure meeting you, Prince Lerithan."

Her smile lingers as she watches Mirathan across the room, observing how he interacted with all those present.


Nimora Orlbereth wrote:
Prince Lerithan wrote:


The prince smiles in kind.

"I'm afraid I must attend to our other guests. There are some tritons that we need to thank."

"Thank you for the brief chat. By your leave my Lady Nimora?"

"Of course. It was a pleasure meeting you, Prince Lerithan."

Her smile lingers as she watches Mirathan across the room, observing how he interacted with all those present.

As Nimora watches she sees Mirathan's become very drawn, which he tries to hide from the merchants. In less than a beat of a heart Telestial brings him a chalice, and tastes its contents. His face calming, he quickly makes his goodbyes, heading to a floating chair to rest.

good night


The Queen and Prince take seats near Mirathan, and the Knights take up position around them. A drum begins to sound, followed by the main doors of the hall being thrown open. Dolphins and a troupe of merpeople pour into the room, swimming over the assembled guests and spreading colored ribbons throughout the hall. An intricate water ballet forms from the chaotic entrance to the delight of the guests.


Nimora is quite charmed by the display. She watches with interest, always appreciative of a well-orchestrated dance, and smiles as the ribbons fall over the crowd.


A woman in a gown of living coral and with a hermit crab nestling in her hair emerges from the omniportal.
For a moment, she flaps around in panic, opening and shutting her mouth, then regains her equilibrium and simply gets on with breathing water.
She seems perfectly at home in the environment, drifting through the water at a serene pace, without any apparent physical effort required to so move.
Where her shadow falls, buildings heave and rumble as buttresses of living coral twist and strengthen, plots of farmed seaweed suddenly run rampant, and foodstock fish go into mating frenzies.
The thrum of a distant elder pulse throbs like a faint drumbeat through the water column, and the temperature in the city rises ever so slightly.
Craftsmen in her vicinity at their jobs find themselves suddenly and weirdly (slightly disturbingly in some cases) inspired.
She passes almost unnoticed however, whilst she drifts randomly through the city.


Lucinda spots an interesting looking building and heads for it. As she goes, small fish begin to gather in her wake, coming together forming a living train that swims after her. Since she is still beyond the ability of most people to notice, this spectacle causes some puzzlement in onlookers.


The unobtrusive sea-elf, passing herself off under the title of Perdita Ignota, who has a giant clam on the dressing table of the boarding house room which she operates out of looks up in response to a telepathic remark from the clam.
She glances across to the doorway out onto the balcony of her room, and to the coral gate which usually bars it but which has just mysteriously swung open.
She swears, and goes for the shortsword under the dressing table, but it is too late.
A woman with a gown of living coral, a hermit crab in her hair, and a train of fish enters the room.


Lucinda looks around the room of the palace, noting that it seems to be completely empty apart from a giant clam mysteriously floating in mid-water, and the great and terrible Herald of Krakilos, whom she instinctively blocks out the sight of. She heads across to the giant clam, pats it on the top, and speaks to it.
Oohh, who's a cute little oogie-woogie clam then?


The clam silently seethes, furious at being so addressed, but aware that for some reason, its mistress seems to be very respectful of the woman who has just entered, and has in fact dropped to one knee shortsword out and positioned vertically, with both hands cross over the hilt and point on the floor, and with her head bowed.
Great Herald of the Eldest. I am honoured that you choose to favour me and my endeavours with your presence. If you would have the courtesy to bless my blade for me, I would be glad.


Lucinda looks around the room, blocking out the sound of the Herald's voice. It seems a very *dull* room, which could do with some brightening up.
She waves a hand, and a blue and green lightnings streak through the water to for some reason crackle up and down a short length close to the floor. Then they fade away, leaving glowing runes and glyphs lined up in a neat row above one another. Lucinda smiles at the funny sight.


The sea elf gasps with the shock as the lightning strikes her shortsword, embracing it, and then drawing in to leave glowing glyphs and symbols of great power along the length of the blade. The Herald smiles favourably on her.
Thank you for this boon. My work here is slow and difficult. I have a job at one of the eateries of this city, helping to prepare and serve food. There was an attack by undead here a while ago. I was obliged to discard my disguise for a short period, and at a crucial moment of the battle to appear, as if I were the spirit of one of their great departed warriors, returned to rally the fight against the enemy. I appreciate that it was necessary for the Seventh Sign to happen somewhere else, and that the attack here was but an unfortunate side effect of that, but it was a nuisance to have to present myself in such a fashion. Even until recently there was still some talk in places, but it is dying away now, with the news of the forthcoming funeral and coronation - and the gossip of a wedding.


Lucinda surveys the room carefully, one hand resting on the mysterious clam as she does. She checks carefully for any corners or angles which Hounds might come forth from, all the while ignoring the Herald of The Lord of the Waters and her words.


I am currently experiencing some difficulty with an 'admirer' - a member of the criminal underworld who requires some effort to keep at arm's length without compromising my situation, the Princess continues. If you would have any suggestions as to how he might be dealt with, that would be of great aid to me.
I am confident that when called upon, I shall be ready to do my part, but unfortunately, she grimaces at the thought of some of the other Heralds, I am very much reliant upon the deeds of others before I can take my turn.


Lucinda suddenly feels very tired. She waves a hand, conjuring the illusion of furniture, goes across to the bed, and lies down on it. She draws her train of fishes down over herself as a protective blanket, and promptly goes to sleep.


After a while, the clam dares to telepathically comment to its mistress.
//So that's the Herald of the First?// the clam thinks.
//Yes// the Princess thinks back.
//Well that figures// the clam replies after a very long pause.
//Why did she just lie down and go to sleep like that on your bed though?//
//I expect we'll see in good time// the Princess responds, pulling up a chair, and preparing to spend as long as it takes on guard over such an important visitor.


At dawn, the coral and crystal coffin holding the remains of King Mirathan the Second is placed in the Great Hall of the palace. On it is placed a trident of silver, and a net of spun crystal. An honor guard stands at each corner of the coffin; one each from the Red Octopi, the Manta Rays, the Sisters of the Trident, and the Blue Eels.

Throngs of weary citizens line up to pay their last respects to the noble king. The lines seem endless. Men, women, and children. Soldiers, craftsmen, and nobles. The healthy, and the still-wounded. Sea elves, merpeople, tritons, and all manner of water dwellers. Many weep openly, even some warriors, while others softly sing ballads of honor and love, celebrating the life of yet another friend that died whilst fighting an epic battle for the survival of his people. Buildings can be repaired, crops resown, but sometimes even Magic yields to Death’s power. At eleven bells, as reckoned by those that sail the surface of the sea, the processions are stopped and the funeral rites begin.

The new king and his family sit nobly thru it all, projecting strength to their people. Only those closest to them can see the tightness of their expressions, the fatigue in the corners of their eyes, the wounds hidden beneath their skin.

The long life of the king is summed up in too short a time, focusing on how he lived rather than how he fell. The blessings of all the water gods is begged by the high priest, along with a prayer to the Sea herself.

At 12 bells, the funeral concludes and the family retires to the crypt to say their private farewells. The crowds are slow to leave, fearing the end of an era lies outside the doors of the palace.
__________________________________________

Three hours after the farewells are said to Mirathan the Second the coronation of the new King begins. The mourning period has ended, at least on the surface. A new king is needed. It is time for the realm to look to the future.

The scene in the Great Hall is totally changed from the funeral held there a mere 3 hours ago. While still a noble occasion, happiness practically exudes from those in attendance. Outwardly their dress has changed from subdued colors to ones of every variation of a prism. The crowd is eager to turn their faces to the future. Mirathan’s companions are offered places equal to those closest to the family, causing a few stares.

The coronation is over almost as quickly as it is begun. Many reasons lie behind this decision, but the attendees are too polite to discuss them.

The first speech given by their new king is one of unity, family, honor, strength, and ultimately love. Throughout the Southern Seas the Pearl is the shining beacon for all good people. Mirathan the Third extols his people to rise above the pain of their recent loss, look to the needs of their neighbors, and share their strength with those weaker than them. Only in the Light of Love can the free peoples of the world, both water dwellers and those that live above it, combine their strengths to defeat the Black. He praises his father, and the rest of his family, for being such a big part of the city’s prosperity. Counting on their support in the future. He promises that the glory days will return soon. He calls on their allies to not waver in the face of despair, and promises that the Pearl will aid them if they have need, thanking them for their aid in the recent trials. Like the coronation the speech is fairly short, but the emotion and sincerity behind the words is felt by even the most doubtful person hearing it. "I am but one man, but a man of a great people. I thank you for this honor.", is the conclusion.

A new reign has dawned.

That evening a Coronation Ball is to be held at the Palace.


Nimora felt so helpless as she sat through the funeral. She wished she could have met Mirathan's father. From all that she heard, he seemed like a good man, someone she would have liked and respected. Seeing the pain of his family now was heartbreaking.
And then the funeral was over and she had to go back to her suite and let the maidservants peel her out of one dress and into another. And she could not for the life of her understand why anyone considered it necessary to spend so much time fussing with hair. She tried not to think too much about the message she had recieved from her mother while she was forced to sit there and let them fuss over her.
The coronation was as joyous an event as one could hope. And Mirathan did beautifully. She had seen a few telltale signs of nerves, but she doubted they had been noticeable to many. She was so immensely proud of him. His brother was right, she thought. He would make a good king.


Kaelar stays in the background all the while, frowning durning the funeral, smiling faintly as Mirathan delivers his speech perfectly. He is happy, something he hasn't really been in a long time. He begins to leave, but stops at the gates to the city. He pulls to card from within his robes and flicks them toward the city. One each spins into the rooms Mirathan and Nimora, and lay there waiting for their return. They express his sadness at leaving so soon, but he must for this is not his world. Champion or not the sea is really Mirathan and Nimora's to rule... together should his guess prove true. He wishes well and he will return, but there is something on the surface he must attend to first.


The Sandreef delegation sits through the funeral and coronation with poise and grace, although the nomads cannot but help a bit of boredom creep onto their faces. Melusine appears every inch the royal mourner, and after the funeral works the coronation and the afterparty like a political pro. She looks to intercept Nimora, whom she has been casting glances over to throught all the various events.


... wrote:
The Sandreef delegation sits through the funeral and coronation with poise and grace, although the nomads cannot but help a bit of boredom creep onto their faces. Melusine appears every inch the royal mourner, and after the funeral works the coronation and the afterparty like a political pro. She looks to intercept Nimora, whom she has been casting glances over to throught all the various events.

eek!


... wrote:
The Sandreef delegation sits through the funeral and coronation with poise and grace, although the nomads cannot but help a bit of boredom creep onto their faces. Melusine appears every inch the royal mourner, and after the funeral works the coronation and the afterparty like a political pro. She looks to intercept Nimora, whom she has been casting glances over to throught all the various events.

Nimora is too swept up in the proceedings for Melusine to get close to her during the funeral and coronation. But after the coronation and before the ball she is able to get through the crowds.

"Hello, Mother," Nimora says nervously.


Nimora Orlbereth wrote:


"Hello, Mother," Nimora says nervously.

Melusine smiles widely and places a double buss on Nimora's cheeks

Dearest Nimora, I had no idea that the person you were rescuing was the Pri ..err King! You should really qualify these matters!

She glances back where Joren and four nomad men in mother-of-pearl armor stand chatting.

I have you prospective husband with me. Unless there is something you wish to tell me about your relationship with His Majesty, Mirathan III?

Melusine looks over Nimora, and her obviously royally-stiched clothing with an appraising eye.


In the back of the crowd, amid the warrior gatherings, a lone lady of the Order wanders. She doesn't speak with anyone in more than casual greeting, but pays close attention to Nimora.


Melusine Orlbereth wrote:


Melusine smiles widely and places a double buss on Nimora's cheeks

Dearest Nimora, I had no idea that the person you were rescuing was the Pri ..err King! You should really qualify these matters!

She glances back where Joren and four nomad men in mother-of-pearl armor stand chatting.

I have you prospective husband with me. Unless there is something you wish to tell me about your relationship with His Majesty, Mirathan III?

Melusine looks over Nimora, and her obviously royally-stiched clothing with an appraising eye.

"I already told you, Mother, that I love him. I would do anything for him. I hope that he feels the same about me, but that is the most that I can tell you about our relationship. No promises have been made. How could they be? I made a promise to you. I would have promised anything to save him."


Nimora Orlbereth wrote:

"I already told you, Mother, that I love him. I would do anything for him. I hope that he feels the same about me, but that is the most that I can tell you about our relationship. No promises have been made. How could they be? I made a promise to you. I would have promised anything to save him."

Melusine clucks

Oh my headstrong willful girl. If you had TOLD me that you were in love with the heir of the Pearl of the South, rather than 'Mirathan' which is just a name. I would have been most pleased to broker something with his family. Really, child, you must no be so headstrong and impetuous! Now I have committed your hand to Blurghoot, and if we attempt to disengage it is going to cause all sorts of ruckus.

Melusine sighs

I don't need to tell you that the Free Companions of the Depths hold the Pearl of the South in a bit of contempt. They are proud nomad warriors after all, and are very aggressive folk. They do not owe our new king Mirathan any fealty. I'm not sure what I can do. If you had perhaps expounded on Mirathan's identity more ... But that is tideflow over the reef now ..


You do realize that I'm shouting at the 'TV screen' as this disaster plays out, right? :P


The General wanders the gathering, making sure the guards are doing their duty, and renewing political connections. The guards don't react to his presence. They are the elite, and have no need for a nursemaid. But, the routine helps the General look better to the politicians. It's an old game they have perfected between them.


Melusine Orlbereth wrote:


Melusine clucks

Oh my headstrong willful girl. If you had TOLD me that you were in love with the heir of the Pearl of the South, rather than 'Mirathan' which is just a name. I would have been most pleased to broker something with his family. Really, child, you must no be so headstrong and impetuous! Now I have committed your hand to Blurghoot, and if we attempt to disengage it is going to cause all sorts of ruckus.

Melusine sighs

I don't need to tell you that the Free Companions of the Depths hold the Pearl of the South in a bit of contempt. They are proud nomad warriors after all, and are very aggressive folk. They do not owe our new king Mirathan any fealty. I'm not sure what I can do. If you had perhaps expounded on Mirathan's identity more ... But that is tideflow over the reef now ..

Nimora pales.

"Then there is no honorable way out of this? Is that what you are telling me?"


ROAR


Lucinda dreams. She has a happy dream, where a merfolk called Blurghoot falls into a magical vortex just outside his home, and is sucked through to the city of the Pearl of the South, where he ends up in hand-to-hand combat with a thug about to knock on the door of the apartment in the palace where Lucinda is staying. They fight hand to hand with starfish, jellyfish, and rubber ducks, and kill one another.
Argh, dinnertime!


The Princess does open the door once the sounds of fighting break out in the corridor outside.
For some reason the thug who has been bothering her is fighting a merfolk completely unknown to her. They each have some sort of large starfish clamped over their face, and appear to be fighting one another with jellyfish (using the stinging tentacles as lashes) in one hand and a bright yellow squeaky rubber duck in the other.
She hurriedly ducks back inside her room, as do any of the other boarding house residents who investigate the fight.


Presently the sounds of the fight die away. The Princess cautiously opens her door again, and looks out. The thug and the unknown merfolk are lying on the floor, faintly moving in the currents, but showing no signs of life.
Each appears to have stabbed the other through the heart with their squeaky rubber duck.
The jellyfish and starfish have apparently either swum away or gone back to wherever they came from.
The Princess closes the door again.
Someone else is bound to report this to the guards, and she's going to have to ready herself for the inevitable round of questions.

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