A New Spring

Discussion in 'Private Roleplaying' started by Alaenera Vaeltaris, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Alaenera Vaeltaris

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    The delicate plum blossoms in the Scarlet Garden were in full bloom, signalling the passing of winter and the arrival of spring. A pair of tiny swallows sat on the fragile, yet sturdy branches of the plum tree as they sung their birdsong.

    A season of birth and renewal, Alaenera was usually excited for spring - but not this year. In less than a month, she would be leaving Jinqi, the place she had called home for almost a decade, and sailing west, to the land of her birth. To a foreign, yet familiar land - somewhere she could only vaguely recall.

    In her mind, this experience would be a grand adventure and a chance to help the principality by finding new trading partners and exchanging culture with other places. Then reality hit. Everything had seemed so exciting until she realized she would be leaving what felt like everything she had ever known behind.

    Alaenera breathed a deep sigh and headed towards the Temple of the Ancestors - a place where one could mourn the dead by offering fresh fruit and burning incense. Although she had no bodies to inter within the chambers, it was where she felt the closest to her parents whose faces she could vividly imagine through her brother's descriptions and drawings.

    Mother was beautiful and kind and father! Father was handsome, brave, and strong! Her brother who was six years her senior would tell her. They both had blonde hair and purple eyes, both of which are classical Valyrian features. Father was a man of the sword and had the muscles to show for it! He was my hero - a man who I had always thought I would grow up to become. Then he died. And I had to become the head of what was left of our House in a foreign land where our name meant nothing. So that is when I gave up. I knew I could never become him.
     
  2. Alaenera Vaeltaris

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    The strong scent of incense permeated the Temple of ancestors and wafted out into the garden. It was a stern aroma that was commonly associated with death and religion in the principality of Jinqi which unsettled her every time she smelt it.

    Taking a a small copper coin with a square cut out in the centre from her embroidered silk pouch, she exchanged it for a small bundle of incense then entered the Hall of the Departed. Inside in hall, a statue of one of Jinqi's local deities towered over the worshipers. Carved out of stone and accented with gems and jewels, the statue had an imposing presence.

    Borrowing a flint from a worshiper, Alaenera lit her incense and held the bundle to her head in an almost praying motion and bowed, towards the statue, slowly, and deeply three times.

    Goddess, mother, father, please watch over me on my journey and protect my elder brother while I am gone, she prayed. What she feared most was misfortune befalling her brother, her only living family member, and never hear his deep voice that recounted stories about their mother and father, feel his warm embrace that had comforted her in her childhood, or see his strong figure that had always protected her, ever again.

    While the West intrigued her deeply, it was also foreign and unknown to her, and therefore, intimidating. Ironic, as that was the place of her birth and her House's origin.

    Breathing a deep sigh, Alaenera walked up to the statue and planted her incense in the gilded trough in front of it and exited the temple into the garden.
     
    #2 Alaenera Vaeltaris, Oct 2, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  3. Alaenera Vaeltaris

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    Passing by a pond, Alaenera caught a glimpse of her reflection on her way back to the Jade Palace. Her black hair dye had started to fade and her blonde roots were beginning to grow in.

    Should I continue dying my hair or should I just let it fade? she wondered to herself. Black looked hash against her pale skin but now that she had become accustomed to it, she felt her natural hair colour looked a bit off on her. Alaenera continued to ponder whether or not to maintain her dark hair colour as she entered the Jade Palace, deep in thought, as matters relating to her appearance were serious and demanded careful consideration.

    "XiaoLong," Mu Liang called out to her when he spotted her entering the palace grounds.

    "Ah Liang, and brother," a wide smile spread across Alaenera's face as she greeted the prince and his personal guard with a deep bow, bending her elbows so that her hands overlapped in front of her with her right hand on top.

    "If he is not interrupting anything, guaren (寡人 which translates to this lonely one and is used by royalty or nobility as a pronoun instead of I) would like to invite XiaoLong to join him and his bodyguard for lunch in his private courtyard," Liang smiled warmly.

    Delighted by the invitation, Alaenera bowed deeply once more. "Xiaoren (小人 which roughly translates to this lowly one is the formal way to refer humbly to oneself in the when speaking to someone of higher status) humbly accepts the prince's gracious invitation and would like to thank the prince."

    Being able to spend time with her brother and the prince was a luxury for Alaenera, as although they all lived within the same palace, the palace was enormous so it was not uncommon for her to spend days going about her regular schedule without crossing paths with her brother or the prince.
     

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