Music filled the crisp night air and echoed off the stone walls of the courtyard. The smell of pork and aged wine wafted through the crowd of dancers who swayed and clapped their hands toward the night sky, that same sky which had blessed the land with bountiful rain that summer season and held the promise of full bellies in the winter to come.
Lucius did not often join in the dancing, though he was rarely absent from such festivities as they were a rare event and considered by most a short lived distraction from the harshness of reality. Luciusí own reality however, was considered privileged by the kindest of people and spoiled by the rest. His father was the Lord of this land and annually indulged his surfs in an unheard of honor, an invitation to his house to celebrate the harvest moon.
Considered by most to be a fair man, Luciusí father Richard, was as well known for his generosity as he was for his fierceness in battle. Born a commoner himself, Richard had risen to the rank of knighthood when he gallantly defended the surrounded king on the battlefield. Richard lost his sword hand that day, but traded it for a place in the Kingís court, and an unmatched tale of honor.
There were those who thought ill of Richard and supposed him arrogant and corrupted for all his fortune. And though the lord was known for his firm hand upon his subjects, no one could deny the certain grandeur of his story.
His only son, Lucius, was not a reflection of the glory before him. A tall and ruddy young man, Lucius preferred the craft of woodcarving to the clashing of steel. Neighboring lords held it as a testimony to his lowly bloodline and relished an excuse to further discount Richard as one of their own. As for Richard himself, he raised the boy much like one of his subjects, firmly and justly. Richardís wife, Camilla, was a woman of breeding, a second cousin to the King. Luciusí own mother had perished from fever while he was still very young.
Camilla alone seemed to have the ear of her husband, often to the displeasure of her step-son. Richard relied upon his wife to guide his family toward a future unlike the one he himself had faced as a boy. A future filled with promise and freedom. A future he intended to insure for his son.
Up to this point, Lucius had resisted his step-motherís attempts at shipping him off to court. Though she shared her husbandís hope that Lucius would establish himself as a nobleman, they had differing ideas on how this would come to be. Camilla often reminded her husband that his son was not a warrior like himself and was more likely to end up a clergyman than to be hailed the kingís champion.
Lucius knew he would never be a fighter, much to the disappointment of his father. Like all boys, he had entertained fantasies of proving himself on the battlefield and winning the respect of his countrymen. His first carving had been a wooden sword. He named it Dragon-Slayer and took it upon himself to terrorize his nurse with it. Sometimes he let the servant boys he played with win a battle reenactment, valiantly meeting his end with stoic pride. At the time, death had seemed a very grand idea to his young imagination. It was not long after when his mother passed, and with her, his naive fondness of ďa glorious deathĒ.
Lucius knew his father would soon present him with a choice: a life at court, or military station. The young man often dreamed of what his life might have been had he been born a commoner like his father and his fatherís father before him. He knew better than to reveal such musings to his family, as his father spoke incessantly of the mercy befallen his bloodline the day he raised his sword for the king. Lucius often watched the young men of Ironhand and had decided long ago that though his father may not have understood it, there was no equal to the life of a man who chose his own fate.
A life at court may have afforded him more time alone and freedom to return home as he wished, but Lucius was wary of his suspicion that a life at court would bring with it the swift expectation to advance the Ironhand name through marriage. Camilla had already scouted out prospective mates for him and had hosted dinners for their families.
Were it not for Camilla, The other Lords might have refused company within Richardís household. However, she had a trained tongue that spoke intriguingly of a union between the prosperous Ironhand and its adjoining lands. Most attributed the thriving wealth of Ironhand to the eagerness of Richardís servants who worked his land with a vigilant loyalty matched by no other subjects throughout Morroland. Nevertheless, his rivals considered it an evil omen that an outsider, a mere peasant, should rise so quickly and continue to flourish. While the kingís favor rested with Richard, he was untouchable and some of the Lordís had begun to consider an alliance as a means of advancing their own households.
Wandering up and down the wall, Luciusí eyes scanned the crowd thoughtfully. He noticed a handful of young girls starring at him from a distance, their giggles rising from hushed whispers as they crowded around one another. Lucius pretended not to notice them. A smile stretched across his face when he spotted Hector, his childhood friend coming towards him.
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I accidently posted this before I got to explain my intentions... This was written (and is owned) by myself and I am seeing if it will spark some inspiration into anyone who reads it. If so, then PM me or e-mail me at the address listed at my RP look-up (See below). If not, then enjoy the rest of your day.
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(So, who's interested?)
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