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  1. Hope

    A Mornings Ride, April 13

    A clatter of hoofbeats beyond the gates slowed then reverberated in staccato upon the cobbled drive of Brookfield house. There arrived the sober form of Sebastian, clad in dark umber riding costume, broad brimmed hat and bucket heeled boots with butterflies*. He rode a sturdy roan mount. Seeing Beverly and Mountjoy he gave a nod on slowed approach, while his breath was strong still of movement he called, "Good morning fellows! You have not been waiting long?" Punctuality, whilst important, was less of issue the further from a clock one was. And fortunately for Sebastian there was none in sight. * ref:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Danckers_de_Rij_Władysław_IV_Vasa_(detail)_02.jpg
  2. Hope

    Away & Here Notices

    Welcome back home
  3. Hope

    The Night Before Christmas

    Best ever, well done! And wishing all a Merry Everything this season
  4. Hope

    Away & Here Notices

    Snap. My dad has cataract surgery booked for the 19th of January, only takes 20 minutes apparently, and the recovery time is fast too. We're all quite excited about it Hope you can get a prompt surgery date sorted for yourself too Amethyst. Meanwhile you could try the talk to text thing like I do these days (I just use Google keyboard) . A little simplification like this makes a big difference when you've got a physical struggle on. You'll definitely need to read the screen for proofreading though. Best wishes
  5. "So long as they are not sonnets of bear hunting." She returned with a soft tease on her bedtime reading material, "you know how the subject excites me." He spoke her name directly then. This was the verbal equivalent to underlining the importance of what you had to say. Ursula gave her attention fully to Charles, and as she met his eyes she saw a profound depth of sincerity. Intensity too. He was magnificent. "Yes Charles?" However strong a woman she was, and independant, there was a particularly unexpected and erotic joy in heeding him this way. Without question. And the words he went on to say were completely favourable. A soft smile grew on her face. "Thank you, my love." She accepted, "that you can be my strength for me in this moment... It is more then I could hope for." After his thumb wiped away a tear trail, Ursula turned her face to kiss his hand. She was relieved that he would present the letter to The King (knowing he'd not actually tell the king he was a fool if he accepted the resignation!) Charles then wished to know the more practical things, such as what follow-through was being done? "I am not sure, aside that Duke Buckingham wondered if Davina might be returned as a double agent. Personally I think it was rather kind-hearted of him just suggest that, allowing her and opportunity to redeem herself. So as the situation currently stands, the response is for her to be placed in The Tower - the question being 'shall the conspirators make contact with her?' The King and Duke wish more than removing the current threat, but to also find the source and crush it." "But those are matters well outside of my expertise, so that I did not contribute much at all to that discussion. Perhaps you shall have opportunity?" Physically dealing with that sort of thing was men's work truly!
  6. Hope

    Hope Birthday Poll

    Thankyou for the giggles ❤️
  7. She'd slipped into using his solicitor jargon without thinking, then smiled as he teased of her choice in reading material. "It works so well as bedtime reading, I drift off in no time." She teased in reply, though the serious matter they were speaking of could not be left behind. Returning to the topic she nodded at his thoughts... "You are correct, it should be directly to the King, but I do not know that I can face him." Usually such a strong woman, it was very difficult to admit that weakness. For a moment she wondered I'm taking up Charles earlier offer, "Would you deliver the letter to His Majesty, you might have opportunity to express your further thoughts, while I do not feel in a position free to suggest any 'stay of sentencing' till after the birth." Her husband's tender kiss and embrace weree much-needed, leaning into him the weight of the days cares eased. Tentatively. With trust in him, while not wanting to be a burden. But perhaps that didn't disturb him? A further tear slid silently down her cheek, it was all too confusing to understand. Ursula embraced, willing herself to not worry about anything else.
  8. "I was not meaning you, and you know it!" Mall laughed to Francis' quip. Their serious conversation was interdispursed with touches of humour, all three punctuated a smile here and there belieing the gravity of the topic. But perhaps that was the Hallmark of the Merry Court, even of England herself. "Well Gentlemen," she stood as they came to a manner of consensus of the looming protective pride, closeness and care CR would raise his child with, "I ought now return to the ladies coterie. If you don't think me too premature, I shall congratulate Lord Mountjoy on his new arms." Charles was continuing his winning streak, though by the look the Duchess delivered Francis as she spoke indicated her challenge for him to prove her wrong. Ooc: after decorum Mall departs, feel free to wrap the thread at your leisure.
  9. "Yes my Lord." She felt a level of relief that Charles understood, quite possibly she was more upset at the thought of telling him than his Royal Majesty. It was her husband's opinion of her that she valued most highly of all. "Though I do not know adding a sub clause upon timing in the situation is an acceptable practice..." She paused with that concern then added, "...while I would not want to add any additional stress to his Majesty during this time." "Mostly I do not want to be seen as self serving." The puzzle of 'Why Buckingham' mystified Charles equally, who then tried to work out why Davina had gone to the Duke. "I have not witnessed Davina being chummy with Lord Kingston either, it is a tenuous string of connections that would link her to the Duke as a confidente." She was not convinced of it, "I wonder if rather she thought she was giving Buckingham a gift of intelligence, and she would then be rewarded and some way by him. That perhaps she had some manner of designs within his household? This was, in my view, a shift in allegiance." "Never the less I'm certain any plans she made with that information has backfired upon her, her mistake was to treat it lightly. Yes but given the Dukes involvement in this, I would think to put my letter of resignation to him to relate to the King. My instinct tells me that my jury shall be the pair of them." But all those grim concerns melted into nothing as Charles took her hands. And he spoke, words that no poet could ever match, words that caressed her heart so tenderly. Her breath caught, and eyes flooded with emotion. "Can you be anymore perfect..." Her voice was a small thing, dwarfed by her feelings, "how can I deserve to have you." Ursulas hands, just kissed, moved to cup his cheeks as she kissed, "You are the Rhine itself, the source. While those stones may be lost, even then their existence must endure, indestructible as the Earth itself. As is our love."
  10. "Tattoo or earring, there is naught that can save a sailor from drowning in the drink, which I dare say is where most these superstitions were invented." Mountjoy will certainly fond of allocution, but while it was not the snappy sort of repartee she was most partial to, Mall began to appreciate the rhythm and understated humour there. Charles addition of his early experience with the former provided greater insight to his preference. She gave a nod, then was please none the less at his response on getting him into trouble with the Margavina. "Then I suppose I shall also," on the next topic, which pulled the duchess is eyes to look towards door to the Queen's inner apartments. She was just as aware as anyone else of the importance of a child, an Heir. But the suggestions that playing a bodyguard into time definite was not met so stokicly by her. "If history has taught us anything, it is the King's life that protects his children. But even our own Carolus Regis, who knows that better than anyone, does not shy from enjoying the fullness of life. Perhaps I shall be proven wrong, but I do not see your future to be sentries gentleman." Meanwhile Francis comment on babies brought her eyes to fall on him silently. Hed unintentionally opened himself up for a tease, but that particular barb was simply not funny to her closest family members.
  11. "You make true points, my devotion to Her Majesty and the unborn babe is surely without question. And this is of course the most important time not only for her, but for all of England." "But I accept in my single mindedness to attend to those duties, I became unapproachable to any of the ladies. Ladies who did not see me as their Shepherd guiding and giving assistance, but rather the wolf. There can be no other explanation for Mistress Wellesley's secrecy of the plot against the Child." "Would you believe she went to Buckingham." Just why she had chosen the duke, Ursula could I could not understand. "I am decided Charles, I shall submit my resignation in the morning, along with my profound apologies that the events took place under my watch." Voice strengthened ashy made that statement. She knew it was the right thing to do. If everything else was a mess, she could at least exit nobily. "Then it is to His Majesty if he wishes me to stay. But it is his confidence is lost in me, wish I could understand, I would not presume to remain." Then there was the matter of the rhinestones, a matter that had been a huge upset to her for weeks. But Charles spoke softly of it, and with understanding, forgiveness too. She reached to hold his hand, "The next day, after we had rowed, and there was some event we were going to. Separately but then together to meet. I wanted nothing more then to be able to wear the rhinestones, as a message to you." Her eyes welled up again. "Please Charles, know I am not ungrateful of them, even though lost. And the tale you told me, did you carried them with you always as a memory of me during your travels. That means so very much to me." Which did not change her belief that one of the ladies in waiting, most probably Davina, knew where the rhinestones where.
  12. Hope

    To the Tower with Her?

    Ooc: I'd remind players that your mods are actually very kindly folks, and always think ahead to provide PCs with options where they can both challenge and excell. While not wanting to give anything away: I'd remind people that 1. this plot is actually a Blackguard plot, so you must realise that some machination needs to be done to hand it back over to him (out of Hope and Defiance modding). 2. We are a fictionalized game, and our society forgives and forgets far quicker than the real life would never have allowed (my own George and Darlene are examples of this, like seriously Darlene tried to stab somebody repeatedly in the ballroom and nobody's ever mentioned it since) 3. And any challenge that a PC has undoubtably makes their friends want to help, these things are actually unifying. So essentially Id like to say calm down, trust your mods, don't panic, enjoy the drama! Its so much more interesting to be neck deep in a plot - these times end up being the very highlights of your characters written life!
  13. Their relationship was really maturing recently. Though both were most comfortable with reserve, in recent times they'd gone through a turbulence of emotions (and there was a forgotten fragment of fine China and the far corner to prove it). His embrace was what she needed at that moment, as she indulged her grief of knowing what she must do. How was Charles going to take the news? She knew he would be her champion, but even he could do nothing about this. Would he be disappointed in her? Which was an awful thought in itself, and waylaid her mustering of spirits for several more minutes. But with his arrival had begun the countdown to disclosure, seconds that were measured as unstoppable the tick of the clock. Within her mind the correct length of time to keep him waiting was already long past. That measurement, the overdueness, would be shouting to his mind also. She had to pull herself together, before his patience ended. I would be so much easier to muster herself, if what she had to say wasn't so bad. Charles seemed to possess an impossible amount of patience. Ursula's face nearly crumpled again as he dabbed her eyes and reassured. "You stretch the truth My Lord, my eyes cannot be pretty after weeping like this." "Today, we discovered one of the Lady Maids was approached by Jesuits last week, they gave her a while of poison, an abortive, instructing her to treason. This happened days ago, and she did not approach me, but kept it a secret." "I have failed, this is my duty to protect the Queen and to see that her household is running smoothly. Engendering the trust of the various Ladies there is surely the primary requirement. Oh. I've heard the whispers of the youngsters, tones of resentment, but I chose to think nothing of it. In some few weeks ago it was a small group that tried to trick me for a permission. Which frankly angered me rather than giving me a pause to think I have been overly harsh. "But now this. There is a plot to kill the heir to the throne, possibly the Queen too, and I am not trusted to receive that information? Instead, she went to the Duke Buckingham." "She made a complete fool of me, before His Grace and His Majesty, for her I had no idea what had been going on right under my nose. Poison! I'm left with no other option but to retire, it shall be expected, the maids vote of no confidence in me has now been transferred to The Royalty." She'd not being able to look at Charles face and she confessed, but now did. She was laid bare to her bones, and with a sadness profound. "I have no doubt now, to who stole my ribbon, the one you gave me, with the Rhinestones. I have had everybody turning the Palace upside down trying to find it, for I did not want to admit to you that I'd lost it. But now, well now I'm certain this is the doing of the ladies in the household, one or all of those ladies that all hate me."
  14. The problem with stone castles is it there's no telltale creaking floorboards to alert you to an impending arrival. Though perhaps she should have heard the click of the door beyond the hall. The problem with crying, is the way it defens your ears. Charles sudden entrance had Ursula trying to pull herself together, a handkerchief was snatched and dabbed, and an effort made to stifle the shudder of an inward breath. She might almost I have pulled the reforms off too, except for the overwhelming care and his tone that triggered her upset all over again. Ursula burst into tears and embraced him, "I am the worst Mistress of Robes ever, I've been deceiving myself, thinking I was structuring something wonderful, but today at all came tumbling down. It's all over Charles. Is all over for good"
  15. When Charles returned from his walk, Padeen was quick to help him with his cloak. The servants eyes housed a concern he was not certain how to address! "Err, her ladyship is returned, and is ahhh, in the drawing room." Which was not remarkable information by any accounts, other than the look of concern he gave his master. ....The scent of Ursula's perfume was a faint memory on her form, as she set with head in her hands sobbing.