Final Fantasy: The Steam Wars
The Yastan Kingdom
The early morning sun rose lazily just behind the Castles highest towers. Normally there would be almost no commotion to interrupt the serenity of the scene, but this was no ordinary morning. Today was the first proving of the year and preparations were well underway. It was only one of four days in a year that the fortress opened its doors to the merchants and migrant tribes the kingdoms citizens had formed in the wake of the Magic Wars. It was a hard life living in the wastes but thanks to not being tied down a single settlement taxes were low and the king and queen often sent soldiers out to guard the few permanent settlements the people were able to build.
The only non royalty permitted to live within the fortresses walls were mages in-service to the courts and the royal army. Both position highly coveted by the lowfolk.
Which is why these provings are so important for the country. It's how the soldiers keep their numbers up and how the low folk support their families.
While only a few are actually chosen in the end participation is free and rewards are offered to the to applicants regardless if they are chosen.
From the high tower of the castle Prince Kierran watched the festival set up and pondered the recent events in the castle. War ministers were coming in and out of his fathers offices day and night bringing news of border skirmishes with The Imperium and the Empire both. In his youth he'd once believed they could all work together to heal the damage they had wrought on the world but time had tempered his naivity,now he had his eyes set on conquest and he'd been told his new fiance had a very special trait. One he could take advantage of and finally bring an end to the fighting.
Reaching behind him Kierran lifted his dark purple cape from the table and fastened it over his left shoulder the girl would be arriving soon and he simply had to be presentable.
A young man with ash colored Hair raced through the commotion of the laborers setting up for the festival. On his back was a large sword covered in an oiled tarp to protect it from the dessert sands.
Rafe was one of the many nomads who had come to join the Royal army and thanks to his newest find in one of the battlefields on the border he knew he had an edge even if it currently only had three shells. The shells were all he could find that still had power. Fire, Wind, and a barrier. He wasn't even sure how strong they were just what type of power the shells contained.
Rafe came to a halt at a large door leading to a small long house, where all applicant came to wait their turn in the lists.
Anastasia stared out, and saw the car, coming closer to the castle. for a moment she closed her eyes and there was a small sigh and she looked at her hands, and a little ball of energy appeared, and she stared at it.
Her magic had brought her to this, she was forced to get engaged with the prince, something she rather did not want, but on the other hand, with his help, she could bring the good of magic back to this world.
For a moment she was shocked when the car came to a standstill, and the door opened, she looked at the guard and stepped out hesitantly and walked with the guard into the castle, for a moment she stopped and looked at the castle, then looked at the guard and walked back again, into the castle. She did not feel comfortable at all, a few servants stared at her and walked quickly, once at the enormous doors of the throne room she stopped and stared at the doors, and put her hand on her chest, and saw how the doors opened
Last edited by Pidipuuu; 02-25-2019 at 06:52 PM.
Twelve years of living in the south and she hadn't gotten used to all the technology. The first time she had rode in a car she had been terrified. The years hadn't improved much, she was still uneasy riding in them but could now mask her feelings. That first time she had a death grip on the door handle and had been scolded by her tutor. Now she had her hand on the hilt of her sword though her knuckles were still white. Trying to take her mind off the car she looked across the car to Anastasia who was playing with a ball of magic. Anastasia amazed her with how easy she could control magic. Her whole life she had been told magic was being kept from them by the gods but it wasn't never explained why. It didn't make sense that Anastasia could do it with such ease. The gesture said so much without any words being spoken. Anastasia was nervous or uneasy most likely with why they were here. She was set to marry a prince that Kaede didn't know much about but what little she had been able to find out she didn't like the guy. She hadn't said anything to Anastasia about it as it wasn't her place. She was here for her safety not to offer advise. Should the prince try to harm her then she would step in.
The car pulled to a stop and a guard opened the door assisting Anastasia from the car. Kaede let out a low growl she liked to exit the car first to ensure everything was safe. Today she was forced to exit last, playing catch up. She attempted to scan the area but this guard started leading the princess away. Kaede was forced to quickly follow suit with her head on a swivel and her hand still on her sword. She was out of place among all the other guards with their modern weapons though she did see a sword from time to time. Inside the castle Anastasia stopped at the doors to the throne room seeming frozen. She stepped forward toward the princess and lightly placed a reassuring hand on her back gently urging her forward.
Another round of bullets hits my skin. Well, fire away
Cause today, I won't let the shame sink in. We are bursting through
the barricades and reaching for the sun.
We Are Warriors
Cassiel watched the mage through the window of a grungy bar. He was polishing a glass and narrowed his eyes. "Feckin' mages. Thar's a reason they've gone all but extinct, an' I for one, am glad." he muttered under his breath. He went back to serving patrons, though he was curious. He took off his apron, and whistled loudly. "Alright, ev'ryone out! A've got stuff to do. A'll be back soon." he waved his hand dismissively as the drinkers grumbled, then went to the back room. He pulled on his cloak, and slipped out a window. He scaled the small bar's wall, and scampered onto the roof. He leapt to a nearby building, and climbed that too. He sat on the ledge with a small spyglass, watching the mage and what, her keeper? He wondered what she was doing, not for the last time.
(quick note @AngelDellaNotte; The world is still very medival I feel like you might be confusing Diesel punk (mad max) with SteamPunk (think, Lost Exille) The tech is still very new and things like Cars and guns are very crude so swords, spears and such are still the standard.))
Kierran Stood in the center of a large reception hall holding two glasses of watered wine. He felt it appropriate to greet his bride to be with some refreshment after her journey through the dessert and he'd chosen this room since it would have a good view of the proving grounds as well as the festival itself.
"I am the crowned prince, My name is Kierran." He started pausing as he noticed there were two women entering the chamber. "....Oh, my apologies I was only expecting one guest today. Would you mind introducing us Lady Anastasia?" Kierran asked while appraising Kaede openly, taking her measure and taking his time to evaluate this unforeseen development.
However he never let it trip him as he walked over to Anastasia with practiced posture and offered her the spare glass.
"I must apologize but there are no other glasses as I had expected it to be just the two of us until after the festival." He said to the wild looking woman who had accompanied his bride.
Down in the dark of the lists Rafe peered up at the castle through one of the breaks in the hastily constructed wooden shelter. He had heard there was a special visitor this year and thought he might catch a glimpse but so far no one had shown up. Letting his gaze fall Rafe saw a strange man climbing out of the window of a local bar and climb to its roof holding what looked like a small spy glass.
"What the?" Rafe muttered wondering why a thief would be out and about so early in the morning with the sun rising high. "Well whatever, the fights don't start for a while and maybe I can make my name known a bit early."
Rafe thought pushing back through the fighters waiting in line to head after this strange man.
A day before leaving
Anastasia stared at the priests who were busy with the gardens, and just shook her hand and used her magic to land on a beautiful but small follower on her hand, and she stared at it and stroked her little breast with a finger. the bird, and then looked over her shoulder at the guard in the corner, which she had from the very beginning, they were perhaps the same age, yet she had a lot to her guard, and she smiled a moment and looked at the little creature again. "I do not understand that my father agreed to marry that prince," she said softly and watched as the follower flew away and sighed for a moment, staring at the sky, lifting a piece of her dress and starting to walk and nodded friendly to the priest's.
She was accustomed to the fact that it was often very quiet, because some of the priests had taken an oath not to speak, not until the magic was fully restored, but they were always close to her, to possibly assist her, if anything happened, but they also knew that her Guard would fight for her life
She always liked being in the gardens, it reminded her of home. Granted it wasn't the same it was nature. Kaede didn't like always being trapped in the tall buildings that were common down south. Most often when they went outside it was into the city which was a sea of buildings with a few trees and bushes thrown around mostly for decoration. It wasn't natural. She watched the princess with a smile on her face. Anastasia was a good person she could see that and was glad that she was bound to someone like her. It would have been hard if she hadn't so perfect. Her attention shifted to the priests, they were different than the priests back home but like the garden they were familiar and made her feel at ease.
For a moment she heard her name and she sighed, and plucked a piece of hair behind her ear, and then walked over to the young woman who accompanied her, to her father for once, she sat down, and in silence they began to eat the only voice she heard was a priest who read one of the old books, something that was very common at every time, but she knew that this was her last time with her father, because she would leave in the morning, to her fiancÚ, a man she did not know, only from stories, and had never seen.
During the meal she sat there eating quietly. When she first came here she never ate with her charge both her and tutor would eat with the other servants. It tutor had said it wasn't proper but as soon as Kaede's training was done Anastasia had insisted that she join her. Still she rarely spoke unless spoken to unless it was just the two of them. When it was it felt like just two friends sharing a meal and not a princess and her bodyguard.
After the dinner she also stood, and to her surprise also her father, who walked up to her and lay his hand on her cheek, stared at her and gave a tender kiss on her forehead, and then walked away, she sighed for a moment. looked at her personal guard. "Do you really think this is best for everyone?" she asked and walked up to her, staring at her, "Do you promise to protect me at all times?"
"It isn't my place to say." Kaede said, her words going against how she felt. She wanted to tell Anastasia she couldn't marry a man she didn't know and didn't love. However as a guardian it wasn't her job to advise but to protect. Without really thinking she reached out lightly touching Anastasia's arms to comfort her. Then moving onto to the next question, a question she could answer with her own feelings and not her duty. This was a time when her duty and her feelings were the same. "With my life, your highness. You never have need to fear I will always be by your side."
for a moment she sighed, and looked at her again "I do not know if I can do this, marry someone unknown" she said and walked towards her departure and saw her stuff packed up and she sat down "Come drink tea with me" she said friendly, and asked one of the priests to bring tea
She nodded then sat across from Anastasia no doubt looking strange sitting at the dainty table in her leather armor, furs and a sword at her side. The priests brought over a delicate tea set and set it before them. They served the princess first then Kaede. She lifted her cup and took a sip letting the bitter liquid touch her tongue and savored it for a moment. The tea was a Kytan blend She smiled at the priest and nodded her thanks to him. He was one of the silent priests, he nodded and walked off with return smile. "Following your duty is never easy. It is a choice each of us need to make." Kaede said.
she laughed for a moment, and tried to hide it, holding her hand over her mouth, and took a sip of her tea and stared at her, and put her cup down and stood up and went to the window and stared outside. "I'm going to miss it here" she said calmly
The next day the bothe left the home, for a whole new live
For a moment she felt how Kaede pressed her into the room, and she stared at the prince, and strangled before him, and glanced at the floor, as he walked towards her, she looked at him, took the glass, and smiled. a little bit out of politeness, and then looked at Kaede "Sorry, but this is my personal guard, she is at all times on the side" she said calmly and took a small sip of the water, and looked outside to the festival and smiled "I have never seen a festival like this", she said and looked back at the prince and felt a little shiver down her back, feeling that it was colder here, like the place where she lived
He watched as the Very Formal Man was put off by the mage's keeper, but quickly regained his cool demeanor. He laughed. "Feckin' royal bastard." he took a swig from his his hip flask, and continued watching. Though he couldn't hear them, he was quite good at reading lips, and got a pretty good idea of what was going on. The royal bastard was marrying the mage, and from the look of her, she was not happy about it. He watched with great interest, not even noticing someone watching him. He wondered if he could get inside. Probably not, but... He decided against it when he remembered the gaurds had guns. Or was it crossbows. He couldn't remember. "A wonder if tha gaurd feels useless. Ta mage is a mage." He thought aloud.
Kierran grinned slightly at the awkward explanation and her guarded behavior. "I don't blame your nerves. Arranged marriages are far more often arranged for matters of state rather than over matters of the heart. Your gift is a rare mystery and if it wasn't My family then surely the Empire would have sent for you or, gods forbid, the Imperium." He explained gesturing out to the festival. "And this is as much for your benefit as it is for outs, Today is the proving festival. A chance for anyone to join the royal army and rise above their meager stations in life. My predecessors began this practice some time during the magic wars, if our histories are accurate. Our armies ranks needed to be bolstered and the displaced commoners who had lost their homes needed new lives." He explained watching the festival start coming to life around them. "To be honest Lady Anastasia, your power may very well save us all by ending this stagnant war. With you aligned with our kingdom we'll have a much stronger position in peace talks with the Empire.... and I'm afraid you'll become a brilliant standard for the soldiers to fight for against the Imperium... we've never heard back from any of our messengers send over their borders.
For a moment she looked over her shoulder at the prince, his eyes in his eyes had something, he looked for power for her feeling. but on the other hand, he would certainly care a lot for his people. she looked out again "As long as no people will lead my magic, I want to help people, I want peace in the world, and have restored magic," she said calmly and turned to the prince.
"I do not know how I can help you with my magic, my prince, but promise me, do not make false use of my gifts," she said, stepping closer and staring at him with her clear eyes, and she stroked tenderly. with her soft hand over his cheek
"Abusing your power isn't something I intend to do Anastasia. Honestly I'd prefer to settle things peacefully as well. But the Imperium have gone beyond reason I'm afraid." He said turning to look out at the horizon. "They seem to think that Magic fading away is the gods will, and have actively begun to hunt down mages in their own lands. My generals report that their soldiers single out any mages among our troops when they can." He said before standing straighter. "Wanting to resolve things peacefully is a noble goal my lady, but as the leader of my people I have to view things a bit more practically. But I'm not going to force you to use your powers on the front lines, I'm sure there are more constructive ways your powers can be used hear in the capitol."