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  1. Sir George took his leave. As promised he informed the first pair of Lifeguard and the first pair of Guardsmen that he came across, told one of the pair to first alert the others, and then to send for their commander to be woken. He then proceeded to inform the royal households. With Nicci's face clean and her muddy form covered with his justacorps, Ranelagh was fairly eager to leave the dead body and the damp of the morning. He had, after all, passed out in it and found himself chilled by more than just the air. He was content to let one of the highest officers of the Lifeguard manage the dead bodies and interrogations. Nicolette's friend, on the other hand, seemed far less bothered by it all. Then again, she had not tripped over the body and become covered in stinking mud and blood and water. "Whyever would someone wish to tamper with a dead body?" Ranelagh asked, clearly no assassin himself. "With guards about and more to come...but perhaps you are right. Best safe?" This was why he overhauled the Irish Treasury, not secretly assassinated foreign dignitaries... "Your lady friend seems quite intrigued and can make sure none come along while she looks by the fountain?" Lord Langdon, was already off looking for a direction of fleeing. Being no expert, if Ranelagh was fleeing such a thing, the nearest exit would be the direction! "Come mademoiselle, I shall see you cleaned up and safe," he held a hand out to Nicolette. Then he added to Anne-Elizabeth, "Do you wish to accompany us or look here before the rest of the Lifeguard arrives?" The brothers Langdon would find disturbed areas both heading toward the palace and toward the exit leaving the palace. It might be hard to tell when such things had been disturbed. It was a highly traveled area. Careful eyes would spy blood leading away in the direction that Nicolette had previously indicated she had heard someone and given chase. No footsteps or crunching of branches could now be heard. It was likely if the killer was intent on leaving the grounds, they had left them already, unless one of the two brothers ran to try to get ahead. Anne-Elizabeth would see quite a bit of blood in the fountain. Without much light and with the darkness of the blood, it was difficult to see if there was anything in the fountain. (OOC - at this point, Anne-E needs to decide whether to stay and investigate the body story-line or go with Nicci and Ranelagh. Totally up to you )
  2. As if on cue, a servant came in and said, "My lord, there is a gentleman from His Highness the Duke of York arrived, who bids you accompany him to the palace."
  3. Defiance

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  4. Unfortunately for Davina's maid, Chatham did not quite have time to pick Kingston's pretty handkerchiefs as another arrival came upon them with far more purpose. "Good morning, my lords, ladies," came the bright voice of young John Ashburnham, sans Royal Majesty, though his opulent clothes were as majestic as a young man's might be. "Apologies for the delay. Due to the mud, His Majesty has made alternate arrangements of venue, and there was not time to send runners to everyone. There are some pages to help wipe off shoes and boots and take anything which might require cleaning just inside." With an army of white kerchiefs, much to Davina's chagrin! Though the company would not know, said pages were also having a look for anything strange about their persons in taking their cloaks and the like. "His Majesty prefers no blades in his private company," the young man also informed Chatham*. Such instructions were quite typical to receive from someone in the King's household before any small private audiences, but any seasoned courtier might notice something a bit more to it. There was little time to ask, because Ashburnham next turned his attention to Kingston and said, "A word, my lord? His Majesty may wish you to stay afterward. If you require a note sent anywhere in your absence?" He drew Francis aside whilst the others were getting an efficient cleaning of footwear and divesting of outerwear.** (OOC ** - in case anyone is wondering, the King will want Francis to sit with Nicci after this as a result of the earlier thread since Francis is responsible for her, and until they know more will want her protected at the palace since it's possible someone might think her a witness.) (OOC * - I didn't check to see if you said Chatham was wearing a sword belt or anything, but in case he is )
  5. Mary raised an eyebrow at Lisa, "Well, of course they did, dearest! I do not suspect you would like it if one of your husband's bastards became more popular in society than your own son one day? There is a reason why the nobility do not accept those born outside marriage, no matter how pious and likeable they are. You have a good heart, but I am not very certain the girl will find much better prospects here, unless you plan to conceal it. If you do, you and your husband may be held to account of it down the line. It is a very great risk with things being as they are." Things had to be dire for her to speak quite so bluntly about such a topic. Bastard children were not even topic for conversation in most households. If a man was intelligent and a proper gentleman, his wife knew nothing at all of them or their mother(s). "And best that it stays that way," Mary said of Nicolette's impression of Margaretha. Listening to the younger ladies thoughts about the rumors and activities, Mary nodded along some but also exhaled a burdensome breath. "Some intrigues are straightforward. Some are great nets where things are not as they seem. There were threats at Windsor, even an attack, but what is happening now is very different from that. I do not think this is simply about a foreign attack but one from within. Our King would not allow himself to be influenced or frightened by foreign threats, but he, and York, and perhaps even Cumberland have been less visible and accessible. The King is not meeting with a full Privy Council. The Marquess is not in attendance of them. He has only been seen among his closest friends and family other than his household. This is not usual for His Majesty. Not even in times of threat." "We do not know, for certain, what role anyone is playing, nor what they can be extorted or bribed to do. These are very dangerous times for prominent families, even if no one has done anything wrong." As to what great role the French were playing, "The war is delayed because the French are paying off the King behind the back of the Dutch to delay. Henry knew that from the Privy Council meetings from before he was excluded." For a moment, Mary was quite surprised that Nicci did not know that. Buckingham surely knew that and Buckingham was both close to Nicci and Louis. Then again, for all that was said in truth to malign the Duke, he was loyal to the King's interests for one reason or another. The Worcesters were old enough to know that the King had a very long history of pulling close old friends at dire times, and Buckingham was the oldest friend of them all. After reflection, Mary said, "If the Duke of Buckingham is not sharing such things with his closest allies, the situation is exceedingly dire. It means that to do so would violate an oath not to speak of certain things with anyone. My husband suspects his brother-in-law, Norfolk, has taken a similar oath. When such persons start unequivocally adhering to not sharing information even with family, it means they are afraid they will also be tested. This is, truly, not simply about those across the channel..." She was half tempted to join her husband and tell him that, for it was more startling than they had hypothesized, and they usually plotted together anyway.
  6. Defiance

    EASTER 1678 | Good Friday Service *closing*

    "Most my courtiers do seem to enjoy attempting to please and amuse me. Why not allow them the opportunity," he agreed, chuckling. "Even this one does on occasion." He tilted his head toward his lounging duke with a cheeky smile. "And only when it involved you, my dear." George scoffed and chuckled himself. "If I second you, it would be in the guise of being a good servant to my master the king." In other words, he would say the King wasn't lazy because it was the proper thing to say. However, Buckingham was never quite so simple. "Rowley, on the other hand, is a very lazy lout with most things but drink and woman." The King was quite used to receiving the cute-looking supplications of a mistress or lady-friend, so he was well-prepared the moment there was a tone of vulnerability. He put an equally gentle and indulgent look on his face. He was used to ladies asking for all manner of thing, mostly houses and titles. "Ah, so it is that you require a new horse?" Charles chuckled. Now that was very easy! He had been prepared for something significantly larger so was chuffed. "We cannot have you unable to perform!" He thought for a moment and then said, "Your Kingston is no equine extraordinaire to aide in this, but luckily George would love a day to examine the finest of horse-flesh with you." He snorted as he noticed the eyeroll of Buckingham, who obviously thought that meant he would be footing the bill for his sovereign too, not just enjoying the horse-flesh. "Have Kingston collect from Jack once it is settled. It must come from the secret funds," he told the duke, if only to do the opposite of what George expected. Shortly they arrived at their destination and walked to a little clearing that had been set up for a secret, impromptu, rendezvous. If Nicci paid any attention to the surroundings at all, she would note that it was quite protected, moreso than perhaps was usual. It could be being away from the palace, but there did seem to be more care than their King typically tolerated. In truth, while the King and Nicci enjoyed their private time, Buckingham might not have felt the need to stay if times were usual. Instead, the duke moved off far enough away to not be a voyeur and passed the time conversing with Captain Herbert, who had been their faux footman. (OOC - feel free to take liberties in summarizing a close 😄 )
  7. The Marquess could say very little about Basildon's prospects for a large family. If Lisa truly was her mother's daughter, she would be as fertile as any a man could wish, for his lady wife had given him many healthy boys and girls. "As to Arundel. I can only suspect, but my suspicion is his anger with his father over abandoning the faith fans the fuel of his own faith. I think him a hypocritical man-child either way, for I do not believe Arundel to live a particularly moral or religious life..." It was candor, surely, but it was also obvious fact. Arundel made no true attempts at even hiding it. "It is all very unwise. There is not any old family which does not have many Catholic ties, and it is the old stand-by of our country to make blood over our enemy's religion, real or imagined, if there is opportunity to strike." Worcester nodded along with Basildon's assessment of Buckingham. In the current situation, the Duke was a needed ally. He then smiled, "Yes, well, it is quite easy to find oneself in such circumstances with the intrigues at court. I do not think things quite so dire to merit exile." He chuckled at the idea. And besides, retiring from court for a time would only be like leaving the scent of blood to the sharks. The elder man took a long sip of drink before answering about Norfolk and the Hill boys, "The boy that came out first was given a loaded pistol outside, by some hooded gentleman, and told to shoot you dead if you came out without his brother." The Marquess then added, "That leads me to believe that entire ordeal more test than rescue, one that had you not passed, you would not have survived. The design is of Buckingham, to devise a way to prove you uninvolved, but the action of doing so is of His Majesty and must mean that the suspicion is that this involves more courtiers than Danby and that steps are being taken to find out whom. Now that the Queen is pregnant with an heir, any who were taking actions before in response to a potential York succession in the future may be caught out in conspiracies. I think the delay in the ships is to discover how far such conspiracies may have gone into the Dutch court and English court."
  8. The man was no one Langdon would recognize by name, but he could have seen the man in the company of the Dutch contingent. He could not see a cause of death without moving the body. "We had only just arrived. I heard the mademoiselle's screams. Etherege and I were drunk in the gazebo with His Majesty and some others last night...only a few hours ago I would think...they left us passed out there where we awoke to the screams of the mademoiselle." Etherege added in agreement to Bradley's testimony, "Whosoever's done it was strong enough to haul about a man in water or hold him to it as wet as that fellow is, so I should think that rules out the ladies of culpability." Trust a writer to pick up the details that added to a storyline. Though the pair looked a wreck, neither of them was wet. That went for both he and Ranelagh and Nicci and her friend! Agreeing with Etherege and younger Lifeguard, Ranelagh said, "Perhaps you might prevent any from leaving the palace ground that have not yet left? Or as the boy says, investigate the direction of the fleeing..." The non-Irish sounding Irish earl the added, "Mademoiselle, I think you have interrupted as this was happening or just after." He took a breath, "Sir George can alert the Lifeguard by the royals and the households if you wish to leave your man here free to secure the area or pursue, Lord Langdon. Surely, I should see to the ladies...whilst you glean what you might?" Ranelagh knew nothing of dead bodies. Sir George only killed them off in plays. At that moment, Etherege supplied to Anne-Elizabeth, "Frighteningly often, actually, my lady. Where the fates of worlds are decided oft resides Death." Etherege then added, "I can go if you wish," to Ranelagh's suggestion. They were both part of the King's household, though Ranelagh was the one the status of Gentleman of the Bedchamber. "His Majesty shall want to know of the details and of the ladies whilst you pursue this business and He was supposed to have an audience out here this morn."
  9. Defiance

    NEW: PC/PC marriages

    It hasn't needed to be a rule for awhile which is probably why you never knew it existed. Back in the day we had too many married and related PCs (much of it before my time), and there was a lot of problems that cropped up when drivers disagreed or disappeared, or one driver in the pair was super domineering and, well, we made the rule so we weren't constantly mediating either IC or OOC or watching a PC get bullied or stifled by their IC relation or spouse 🤣
  10. "Egads, no, we know you can do that easily enough. Ask him in the most serious manner you can muster once the ladies have their wrestle," the Rowlified monarch commanded with a chuckle. He was a man who preferred novelty and variety, with a short attention span for most entertainments that were not clocks (or other complicated inventions and mechanical devices). "Deadpan," Buckingham added. "As if it's no jest involved." If she could make the cub squirm, all the more impressive. He was so considerate of the ladies, even the libertine ones! "Ahh! Speaking of, here he is!" the King declared. He so enjoyed putting his gentlemen in amusing situations. "Sit down Kingston, the ladies are to impress us with their prowess." The ladies took up their positions. "Take hands ladies," Buckingham narrated, clearly quite used to doing so for the King's amusements. "Ready! Begin!"
  11. (OOC - Yes, both groups are getting slightly different information on purpose, and also to prevent Nicci from Monday timeknots although whatever info she does get here, she can use in the Monday thread, because I'm curating what info I give. You will all simply have to assume that you can't spent Sunday evening plotting when you get home, bc that WOULD be a timeknot, so any sharing of info needs to be Monday onward.) "How sure are you of this Dutch girl that you have brought back with you?" Mary asked candidly. She was not the fawning sort of woman; after all, Lisa had not gone dashing around in breeches and with wit to match most men because Mary was a delicate wife as example. Her marriage had been a marriage of equals, a mutual choice, an alliance. "What is going on, I do not think, has much to do with the French. The Duke of Chevreuse is not a diplomat. He is an emissary of King Louis, personally. He and that Saint-Aignan, which is why they were sent after Monsieur was caught up in the last scandal. That Chevreuse is back is no coincidence. He sent them last time to assure the King of his safety from such things from Le Roi, and I think the return is for similar reason, but these new rumours about the Dutch...and the delay for deploying our ships for the war against France?" She and her husband had theorized quite significantly together since Lord Worcester was, for some reason, not in the inner circle on this matter. Such a change signaled some danger, for even a little suspicion had ended many people.
  12. Worcester chuckled at Basildon's return joke about confidentiality. "Though none can say Beverley is much of a talker at all." The Marquess was placing bets that in the long run the adage about the quiet sort would prove true. "If one makes intelligent marriages, self-interest and common interest can make sweet bedfellows," the Marquess added. "Having a few children, in that respect, is quite advantageous if one has the means to support them all in making useful matches that align in ideology." It was little secret that the more relations one had at court, the safer one was in almost every aspect of life. "Norfolk is such right now, but my nephews, his sons, I cannot say so much for...that is what we were discussing before your arrival, on top of other matters," Worcester revealed. "If His Majesty has an heir and a few spares over the next few years, it shan't matter that they cling to Catholicism so publicly, but if not it will matter greatly." Thus, it was quite a matter of concern for the two heads of their family. For Norfolk, it could collapse the entire ancient duchy, and for Worcester it could rob him of a powerful ally bought with his sister's marriage. "The awkwardness, though, is quite simply that Norfolk does not know what you and I know about Lisa, but also what makes all of this so much so the more dangerous for all of us, especially with her Dutch ties and time spent there now. His Majesty knows every family that would have enough claim of royal blood to be problematic for the Duke of York if that should come to pass and the mob does not wish it; Monmouth was not just removed for burning some effigy for the self-same reason. He also knows that two of such are mine and Lisa's, and I can tell you that I was not with His Majesty at Windsor after the season ended and he met with some advisors over these plots. I am generally not mistrusted, after all I sit on the Privy Council and control half the Marches that provide our largest vulnerability, but there we are. Can I assume I am correct that the King has not made any overly intimate overtures toward yourself lately, even with the Duke of Buckingham's intervention? You have gained your position, but have you had any close contact with the King?" The elder man took a long sip of his drink, "Norfolk told me something interesting of your night with the Hill boys; something which he could not fully understand at the Woolsack that day, but if I understand it correctly knowing the King...all of us need to be very careful."
  13. The first thing Ranelagh saw was Nicci (also the King's mistress) full of blood. "You are full of blood!" he gasped. "And mud. Here----." And then he saw the wet, bloody body. "Bloody Hell." Nicci put a handkerchief over the barely exposed face. "How...How did you find it? How are you all wet and..." he asked, looking between the odd trio, mostly at Nicci, as he took off his justacorps. "Did you lot see anyone?" He held out a hand to her to come away from it, ready to put the overlarge article of clothing over her. Mostly, he ignored the young Lifeguard aside from saying, "I am fairly certain he is not the one who needs air." There were many young gentlemen of some blood learning their soldiering amongst those ranks and some had been learning longer than others! Etherege looked around, but obviously the murderer was not now going to pop out. However, Lord Langdon did. Etherege was just about to say something to that effect when the boy yelled he had the situation under control. The writer could not help but chuckle, guessing the reason for the outburst was the appearance of a superior. "George, you should send word that His Majesty should not attend his engagement outside this morning. Ashburnham should still be with him I would think." Ranelagh knew because they had all been in the little nook of the garden the night before. "Oh Good! Langdon, looks to me you have a questionably dead Dutchman...or German..." His eyes cast at the drab clothes again as he considered it could also be the second.
  14. Defiance

    Post-Move: Added Features

    Bumping this so anyone who has returned knows how to use the board features like account linking etc
  15. Defiance

    General Updates

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