Visionary Tales
If this is your first visit to the New VT, you'll need to create a new account. Visit the archive to view posts from Old VT.Archive site available at http://archive.visionary-tales.com

A Lowly Wo[M]an

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline PendragonXeno94

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 868
    • Karma: +14/-0
  • The Hoarder of Notebooks
    • View Profile
Huffing to herself, Cassandra dismounted her horse before beginning her trek toward the castle gates. Of course, of course this was the worst time for her to be in the predicament she was in. Some hapless baron kept begging for some of the finest spices and silk she could get her hands on and only paid her for a fraction of what she asked for. All because she was low born. The gall. As she ran a hand through her short nutmeg hair, her green eyes scanned the crowd in front of her, ignoring the stares as she walked by. She knew her hair made her look more like a young boy than an actual woman, though she didn't particularly care. The freckles dotting her nose and cheeks didn't help her, either.

The winding cobblestone streets and small stalls did nothing to lighten her mood nor the sight of the castle's spires and walls towering over everything. She could only hope that the king would see reason and actually listen to what she had to say. Because of the baron, she had been looking forward to this trip so she could try and set things straight. Once she reached the gates, she sighed before a guard approached her.

"State your business," he told her.

"I am Cassandra Ostar, and I'm here to settle a dispute with Baron Hawke."

The guard ordered her to wait, going past the gate and emerging some time later. "Follow me, then."

Giving the guard a nod, she trailed behind him, not even giving her surroundings much thought. She just wanted this over with so she could move on and run her business.
The dragon becomes me...


Offline Aeon

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 182
    • Karma: +10/-0
  • Teal Knight
    • View Profile
Court. What a boring, tedious task this was. Hearing the problems of the nobles and peasants alike was not the problem, nor was the issue resolving the matters or offering solutions, but rather King Ryker of the Drogan line found the most ridiculous matters came to his attention. Really, could these individuals not solve the matter of a few stolen eggs or lost herd on their own? While he appreciated the fact his people were eager to come to him with their wants and grievances, particularly as his reign was so new as it was due to his late father's passing, it made for a poor taste in his mouth. He had much to attend to, far more important things really such as securing the borders from foreign threat and getting soldiers home and paid properly for their service. Such was life; he was forever busy, and just when he believed there to be a moment's peace from hearing these affairs and he imagined a moment where he could escape to other duties, one of his Kingsguard came to inform him of yet another visitor to his court.

He restrained the sigh that dared to break free, though only just barely. "Send her in then, but this is the last of things I will hear for the day. I have much to look into." The guard nodded, moving outside to collect the woman before bringing her into the heart of court. Highborn and servants alike were...Somewhat surprised really as they noticed the young merchant in her strange fashion coming into the room. The King, however, was intrigued if only for the fact she was different. Bright grey eyes narrowed, focused and intent. This was a look that could level the most oppressive of aggressors and had done so on more than one occasion already in his rule, but here the expression was tamer, curious.

"What brings you to court, Miss...?"


Offline PendragonXeno94

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 868
    • Karma: +14/-0
  • The Hoarder of Notebooks
    • View Profile
Cassandra made her way into the heart of Ryker's court. While she wasn't in as fine of garments as most of the individuals in the room,  she kept her gaze forward and focused on the king. She knew that his father has recently passed, but she wasn't here to give her condolences. Why would he care if she was lowborn? Instead, she stopped a few feet from where he sat and gave a small curtsy. Paying no mind to Baron Hawke, who glanced over his shoulder in shock, she spoke.

"Cassandra Ostar, your majesty," she said. "I have a dispute with Baron Hawke. His lordship came to me and requested some of the best spices and silks I could find for him. After locating what he asked for, he only paid me a small portion of the amount we agreed on. I will not be cheated out of-"

"Your majesty," Baron Hawke chimed, taking a step forward. "Do you expect a lowborn to actually tell the truth? We never agreed on a price and she insisted I am holding out on her."

Taking a piece of paper out of her pocket, she held it out for one of the servants to take and bring to the king. "The paper has the price the baron and I agreed on, which he signed."
The dragon becomes me...


Offline Aeon

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 182
    • Karma: +10/-0
  • Teal Knight
    • View Profile
The King took the offered parchment, perusing it for a moment. What the young woman spoke of appeared to be true, at least so far as he could read. There was of course no guarantee this was not a forgery. Even still, there was no current proof that she had been paid what she was stating, or that her wares had been up to par to merit such a cost. All he had was the word of a merchant against a noble.

“Baron Hawke, this is indeed your signature.” Mere fact; he had seen the noble’s signature from time to time. There was no mistaking it. Even so, he was not going to incite further chaos by adding in his own suspicions to the mix. Still, he did have to be fair.

“What is it that you are owed, Miss Ostar?”


Offline PendragonXeno94

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 868
    • Karma: +14/-0
  • The Hoarder of Notebooks
    • View Profile
"You can't just take her word for it!" protested the baron.

Cassandra rolled her eyes. "I have no reason to lie, your majesty," she said. "I have a few witnesses to confirm the baron signed the agreement." Sighing, she began to compose herself once more. "The baron still owes me sixteen hundred gold."

"Absurd! It's your word against mine!"

"The only thing absurd at this moment is your attitude, your lordship. If you didn't like the spices and silk that I waited three months to arrive from the far east, then you should have told me instead of giving me three hundred for it."

Baron Hawke scowled at her. "You've got some nerve, Ostar."
The dragon becomes me...


Offline Aeon

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 182
    • Karma: +10/-0
  • Teal Knight
    • View Profile
The King arched an eyebrow. "Pray tell, what may I do then? It's a great deal more than paper she's claiming against the fact. I advise you to consider your words carefully." It was a dangerous path the Baron was walking, assuming the King's own words and opinions when he had made no such claim to take her words as anything but the facts she presented.

"I've very little patience for idiocy and you are teetering on the threshold of my mercy in that regard." He waved a hand. "Miss Ostar, take your witnesses to the master of the coin who will address this further. Since you do not have your witnesses in court today he will be more readily available to ensure this matter is addressed properly. Baron Hawke, you may present your counter evidence at this hearing as well. I expect to hear no more talk of this today; it will be addressed on the morrow. Now then, is this the last of it?"


Offline PendragonXeno94

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 868
    • Karma: +14/-0
  • The Hoarder of Notebooks
    • View Profile
Baron Hawke huffed. "Apologies, your majesty." Ryker was already proving to be more in a mood than his father. Granted, he had just lost his father, but there was no reason to be spoken to that way. After he waved a hand at him, he took a step back.

Cassandra, on the other hand, felt rather pleased that the baron was put in his place. She didn't particularly want to come back in the morning, but she knew that he had to be tired of dealing with everyone day in and day out over silly little things. "No, that is all, majesty. I will bring my witnesses in the morning." With that, she gave him another curtsy. "Thank you, sire." She made her way out, eyes still on her as she was escorted back to the gate.

The baron had stepped out for a moment and signaled one of his guards. "I need you to do something for me," he whispered. "When Miss Ostar is on her way here in the morning, I need you to take a few men and ambush her. Do whatever you want, but make it look like she died at the hands of highwaymen."

With a nod, the guard left him before anyone found him away from his post.

Cassandra made the somewhat long trek back to her cottage and she slumped in a chair when she arrived home two hours later.

"Miss Ostar?" a young servant girl asked. "Did you get your problem settled?"

"Unfortunately, I have to bring you and Darius with me back to the castle in the morning. The king wanted witnesses just to make sure what I said was true."

"Ooh! Does this mean we get to dress up in-"

"We won't be there very long, Laela."

Laela sighed. "Oh..."

"Go get some rest. It will be a two hour ride tomorrow."

"Yes." Laela ran up the stairs, leaving Cassandra to her thoughts as she thumbed through the book that still rested on the table.
The dragon becomes me...


Offline Aeon

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 182
    • Karma: +10/-0
  • Teal Knight
    • View Profile
With both offended parties having left the court, King Ryker took his leave of his throne. He'd heard enough troubles for the day, and this was only one task of many he needed to accomplish before day's end. And as it was the day was already half over so he'd better get started. With a bit of a sigh, he strode off toward his privy council's meeting rooms to discuss navel movements and potential strategies in combating the same. He remained essentially locked away in the same meeting for the remainder of the day, retiring to his chambers for the night. He'd of course resume the same affairs tomorrow at some point, but for now he was granted rest.

Come the early morning, the King was up though not within the castle. It was high time he had a moment for himself, and what with the recent mourning for his father he'd had precious little time to do as he pleased. As it stood, no one yet in the kingdom should have even been aware of the form he had been able to take since birth--that of a large, sleek black dragon with powerful, wide wings. Only a handful of people knew within his council but it was time, he felt, to remind the people what his line was capable of. This was as much a show of strength as it was for the promise of the future. He was not his father, no, but rather his own King by right and the people would know as much.

It was for this reason he flew with the dawn, enjoying the comforting updrafts in an open, unopposed sky where few ever dared to look up.


Offline PendragonXeno94

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 868
    • Karma: +14/-0
  • The Hoarder of Notebooks
    • View Profile
Seeing the day's first light creeping in view, Cassandra had Darius and Laela help her with the carriage before they set off. As was such, she had both of them sitting with her up front as she drove the carriage back to the castle.

"Is the king supposed to settle your dispute today?" asked Darius, keeping his eyes locked on the road ahead.

"I hope so," sighed Cassandra. "I was hoping to get it settled yesterday, but I suppose I should've listened to you and brought you and Laela with me."

"It's alright, m'lady. You didn't know." He glanced over at Laela for a moment before continuing. "Maybe we can move with the gold you'll be receiving."

"Why would I? I rather enjoy the countryside." Pulling at the reins, she brought the carriage to a halt as she noticed another carriage on its side.

Darius instinctively got off to inspect it. He peeked into it and walked around it, shrugging at Cassandra and Laela when he found nothing.

"Well... what have we here?" a man asked, ambling toward the carriage. "It seems you like you need to be relieved of your valuables."

All three companions began to reach for their swords.

"Oh, no need for that. We'll take good care of you all." Four more men leapt from behind him and began to pull the women out of the driver's seat.

"Let us go!" yelled Laela, kicking one of the men in the shins.

Cassandra drew her blade and managed to pierce her would be captor in the leg with the tip. Getting on her feet, she was joined by Darius and Laela withe their weapons drawn.

"Ah, now this'll be interesting, lads..." The man drew his sword and licked his lips before lunging at Cassandra.
The dragon becomes me...


Offline Aeon

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 182
    • Karma: +10/-0
  • Teal Knight
    • View Profile
It was pure luck he had flown over the main roads back into the castle. As a result, the King easily spotted the skirmish below. Sharp eyes narrowed, pupils slitting. This was the mark of an ambush predator and, while the night suited him more so, it was easy enough for him to take cover in the clouds. He had been looking for an opportunity to reveal his identity to his people. Now was a prime opportunity it seemed. Especially once he recognized the merchant woman whom had come to his court just yesterday. This was likely an attempt to avoid payment on the Baron's part, though of course this couldn't be confirmed...Unless he let one of these bandits live to tell his tale.

The sharp, eerie sound of wind and air splitting as he made a sudden, steep descent announced his presence, though it was doubtful anyone would recognize the sound. It had been some generations yet that anyone had seen a dragon in these skies, and no one living today would know the sound of one. At least, no one who lived outside of the castle. He landed in a flurry of dust and debris stirred up by the power of his wings. Large, wide jaws parted, a heavy roar vibrating his chest. He stood tall, larger at the shoulder than the most burly of draft horses, and over eight times in length.

Black wings flared, a low, menacing hiss coming from his mouth as his tail connected with one bandit, knocking him to the ground. Another fell to his claws, this one lost in a show of blood.


Offline PendragonXeno94

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 868
    • Karma: +14/-0
  • The Hoarder of Notebooks
    • View Profile
The eerie sound of wind gave everyone pause as they nervously looked around them. They soon felt a chill down their spines before the earth trembled beneath their feet. All eyes glanced up at the large, black dragon as Cassandra put her arms in front of Laela and Darius, making them take steps back with her.

One bandit flew a few feet from being connected to the dragon's tail and tumbled onto the ground. Another let out a bloodcurdling scream as the dragon's claws descended upon him. The three left standing turned their attention to the dragon, sheathing their swords in favor of pulling their bows out and firing as many arrows as they could.

Cassandra took this moment to get Laela and Darius into the carriage and hiding there. She wasn't foolish enough to try and fight a dragon... but she thought they had been long dead.
The dragon becomes me...


Offline Aeon

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 182
    • Karma: +10/-0
  • Teal Knight
    • View Profile
"Loose your arrows and I will burn you where you stand!" The fury was palpable. For anyone to assault the King, knowingly or not, was a death sentence. Cassandra would perhaps recognize the voice--she had after all heard it only just yesterday evening. This didn't guarantee she would feel any safer for the fact, but he did find it wise that she had taken her charges inside the carriage for protection. It was the only thing she could do in such a situation.

Bright, white blue light emanated from parted jaws. It was the beginnings of a powerful surge of fire, a burst of white hot plasma that threatened to break free. He would not needlessly kill them, but should they fire his scales would protect him and their hides would sear easily enough. They would not escape.


Offline PendragonXeno94

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 868
    • Karma: +14/-0
  • The Hoarder of Notebooks
    • View Profile
Cassandra looked up at the dragon as it spoke. She recognized the voice, though she surely thought that- No, it had to be the king. She didn't have time to dwell on the thought as the bandits continued their assault and sent a barrage of arrows on him.

"We can take it down!" the leader shouted, trying his best to hit the dragon with his arrows. "His lordship will have its head on his wall!"

Seeing the bright, white blue light, Cassandra ducked her head and waited for the rest of the highwaymen to be incinerated. Knowing their deaths were imminent, she didn't dare watch.

"You think anyone's gonna believe us about seeing a dragon?" Darius asked, poking his head up enough to view what was happening.

"I doubt it," Cassandra replied.
The dragon becomes me...


Offline Aeon

  • Full Member
  • ***
    • Posts: 182
    • Karma: +10/-0
  • Teal Knight
    • View Profile
Arrows loosed, bouncing harmlessly off of strong scales. Several bursts of concussive force fired off, hot plasma blasts striking the ground and flesh alike. Pained screams could not even enter the air before they were silenced under the suffocating heat of fire and smoke. As he had planned, one attacker still lived. Knocked out of course, perhaps in a great deal of pain from potentially broken ribs, but he would live. They would have a witness to whom had ordered the attack and then both parties could be properly punished.

"You can come out now. The rest are dead, and this one here won't be getting up anytime soon."


Offline PendragonXeno94

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 868
    • Karma: +14/-0
  • The Hoarder of Notebooks
    • View Profile
Cassandra has Darius and Laela duck their heads as the dragon let loose a flurry of hot, plasma blasts. What she found odd was that there were no screams or cries of mercy. However, when she barely looked out, she saw that all but one attacker were not spared. When she heard the dragon tell them that it was safe to come out, she warily stepped out of the carriage and had her companions follow suit.

"Um, your majesty?" she asked. "It's not you, is it? Aren't dragons supposed to be... dead?" She kept her distance, constantly looking up at the dragon as she stayed close to Darius and Laela. "But thank you all the same. We could have handled them on our own, but-"

Darius furiously shook his head.

Cassandra sighed, rolling her eyes. "But we're lucky you showed up when you did."
The dragon becomes me...