Author Topic: To Prevent a War- A One to Rule Them All Challenge Behind-the-scenes 9/4/18  (Read 79172 times)

Offline oshizu

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Re: Lasting Legacies- a modified RKC Announcement 8/9/18
« Reply #90 on: August 10, 2018, 11:24:03 PM »
@Shewolf13

I'm confident that you will find a feasible solution to your seasonal dilemma for rotational gameplay.
What a pity you won't be able to rotate through your 10 households while staying in the same season, though. :/

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Lasting Legacies- a modified RKC Announcement 8/9/18
« Reply #91 on: August 10, 2018, 11:41:24 PM »
@oshizu

Yeah, I can find a solution.  It's just not the one I prefer at the moment XD Perhaps Deaderpool will be able to make it so we can set season length longer, like we are able to with being able to set age span length.  It's a hope, at least XD



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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Lasting Legacies- a modified RKC Announcement 8/9/18
« Reply #92 on: August 23, 2018, 12:04:20 AM »
Author's Note: Sorry for the delay everyone and apologies for the update XD I feel very rusty but hopefully some of the adorable pics make up for the rather random update.  It's definitely been a while, but hopefully I'll get into swing of things before too long.  I have been doing some planning, and quite a lot of maintenance with the file as well as for future updates. 

Don't forget to check out the Important Links Post if you want to check out family trees as well as some of the news that is happening in the background in the other kingdoms ^^  I might even do a post for that after One to Rule Them All has been concluded ^^

Without any further ado, onto the update!

3.3: Fatherhood

The hallway was dark.  Adrian blearily padded his way, barefoot along the hardwood floor, rubbing at his eyes.  He held in a yawn as he reached the end of the hall.  He turned the door knob and quietly entered. A soft smile turned the corners of his mouth upward as he looked into the cradle near the door.  His little girl smiled up at him, her green eyes staring up at him.

3.3 #1.jpg

"Hey pretty girl," he murmured, reaching in to gently lift her up into his arms. 

3.3 #2.jpg

She cooed softly, snuggling against him.  Adrian wrinkled his nose.  "Whoa, little lady.  That's quite the uh- odor.  C'mon, let's take care of that, huh?"  Changing her diaper was taken of care quickly (he'd gotten fairly good at the process, surprisingly).  She was already falling asleep in contentment as he lowered her back into her bassinet.  He found himself just staring down at her, a habit he had been doing frequently since she'd been born.

A part of him still couldn't quite believe it, couldn't quite believe the miracle of her.  Another part was more than happy and despite having to get up in the middle of the night to change her, feed her, or even just cuddle her, Adrian couldn't remember a time he was happier.  "My little Jadya," he murmured softly as he brushed a gentle finger over her cheek before he returned to his chambers.

He found his wife up and already dressed.  "Love, you didn't have to get up.  I got Jayda."

Marisa smiled at him and they clasped hands.

3.3 #3.jpg

"Found I couldn't sleep without you there.  I should get up anyway.  You've been taking the later- or earlier, depending on how you look at it- shifts with her, allowing me to get some much needed sleep." 

He kissed her cheek.  "I like spending time with her.  You take a lot of the day shift while I'm running around."

"Well, you are an important man, after all," she reminded him.  "A diplomat's work is never done."

He grimaced.  "That's the truth.  I even enjoy people, but there are days..."

Marisa laughed.  "Well, just think, once you're done, you get to come home."

"That's my favorite part.  Come home to my girls."  His gaze was fertive as he looked around.  "So- Jadya's asleep again.  You and I should uh- go back to bed."  He waggled his eyebrows at her, grinning.

A snort escaped then she pursed her lips.  "I could be- persuaded, I'm sure."  He took her hand.  Even though she had just dressed, it was simple enough to rectify.

"I love you," Adrian murmured to her as they climbed into bed.

3.3 #4.jpg

She laughed in answer as they disappeared beneath the covers.

*****

"There's my girl!  Whose granma's favorite little girl?  You are!"  Ferina cooed down at her granddaughter as she lifted the precious bundle up into her arms.

3.3 #5.jpg

The little girl had quickly stolen all the hearts in the house.  Ferina was only too happy to take her turn, normally in the guise of letting her son and daughter-in-law get some extra sleep.  It was nice to have this time with her.  Jayda let out a little yawn and stretched in Ferina's arms.  "Oh, you sweet little thing.  Go to sleep."  Singing a soft little lullaby, she lay her granddaughter back in her bassinet.  When Jayda was once again sleeping peacefully, Ferina leaned down to kiss her forehead and then left the nursery.

She came downstairs and stopped.  Daichi, their butler, stood there.  "Madam," he murmured, though there was a look in his eyes, more than the look that one should give their employer.

Ferina smiled.  "Daichi, dear." 

3.3 #6.jpg

He reached out to grab her hand to press a kiss to it, but they both froze when they heard footsteps on the stairs.  He squeezed her hand quickly and then let it drop before he moved away, most likely to go about his duties.  Ferina looked off after him, letting out a little sigh.  When her daughter-in-law emerged out of the stairs, she smiled.  "Good morning, dear."

"Morning, Ferina."  Marisa's expression was bright and sunny as she moved to the counter.  "Shall I make us some pancakes?"

"That sounds delightful."  Though Daichi was fully capable of preparing the meals, Marisa enjoyed using the kitchen.  It wasn't a hardship to eat her food and in fact, she was a good cook.

3.3 #7.jpg

Ferina adored her daughter-in-law.  Marisa was a sweet thing, it was true.  Her kind spirit was surely something her much more volatile son needed, but Marisa wasn't a pushover.  Far from it.  And it couldn't please Ferina more.  The two were well-suited. Most importantly, Marisa made her boy happy and that was all that mattered.  She so often found the two of them in an embrace of one sort or another.

3.3 #8.jpg

She hoped that meant another grandchild before too much longer.  Ferina thought that Jayda could use a brother or sister.  She had been careful not to mention it to her son.  The poor boy kept going completely red in the face anytime the subject came up.  Ferina wasn't quite sure how she had managed to raise such a prude.  Then again, it didn't seem to stop him.  She grinned.  Her boy was no longer a boy.  He was Lord Rosa, truly and properly.  Not only was he proving to be a wonderful husband and father (he absolutely dotted on his wife and daughter), but he was also an important man in the kingdom. 

He had just gotten back from a visit to San Myshuno.  He said the city was like another world, in many respects, but he enjoyed his visit to the art center there where he was helping with a program between the Newcrest Museum and the art center.

3.3 #9.jpg

Visitors from many of the other kingdoms visited and wanted to chat with the man responsible for the display.

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But Ferina knew he much preferred to be at home these days, with "his girls" as he put it. Jayda already had him wrapped around her little finger and she couldn't even speak yet!  All she had to do was smile up at her father and he was putty in her tiny hands.

"There's my little one. Say hello to papa!"

3.3 #11.jpg

Of course, time was flying by.  It always seemed to and it only got worse.  Before they all knew it, Jayda was out of her bassinet and beginning to walk around!

"Come to daddy, sweetie!  You can do it!"  Jayda teetered on her little legs, her brow furrowed in concentration, but she flashed her father an impish smile.  She was the spitting image of him, but with her mother's eyes.

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Just like her mother, she knew just how to get what she wanted from her daddy.  All it took was that little look.  "Mother, can you believe it?  She's already starting to walk!"

3.3 #14.jpg

Ferina smiled at her son and rubbed a hand down his shoulder.  "They grow up so fast.  It seems to happen before your eyes."  She felt a few tears burn at the back of her throat.  Here he was, all grown up himself, absolutely delighted that his own child could now wobble on unsteady legs to him.

"Oh mother," Adrian murmured.  He leaned over, the baby between them as he kissed her cheek.

"Don't worry about me, my boy.  Just realizing how fast the time does go.  Look at you here?  Look at that little girl of yours.  I can't help but be so happy that you are happy.  You've become such an amazing man, Adrian.  I'm so proud of you."

His jaw worked for a moment and then he cleared his throat.  "Thank you, truly. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you.  I don't think I've ever thanked you for it."

She shook her head.  "I'm your mother.  Would you expect that little girl to thank you for being a parent to her?  Then you don't need to thank me. "

Adrian smiled gently.  "Yes, mother."

"Good boy."

*****

"Sir?" Daichi approached Adrian, one hand behind his back, his back ramrod straight.  "There's been a delivery from Lord Xavier. He has sent a gift for his niece.  I've taken the liberty of having it delivered to the back yard as it was too big to bring inside."

Adrian clapped the butler on the back.  The man had worked for them since he had been a young boy.  He was very much a part of the family, or at least Adrian had always thought so.  "Thank you.  Let's go see what Donovan and Ayla have sent for our little girl, huh?"

"Of course, sir.  It's over here, by the pool."

In fact, Donovan and Ayla had gifted Jayda a little pool of her very own.

3.3 #15.jpg

It would be a bit before she would get a chance to play in it though because Adrian and Marisa were taking Jayda to visit with her aunt and uncle.  It was one of Adrian's rare days off and it had been some time since they had seen the Xaviers.  "We'll be back in a little while, mother.  Enjoy your nice quiet day."

Ferina smiled.  "I will, my boy.  Enjoy yourself."  She bid them good bye and watched them leave.

*****

The car ride was a quiet affair.  "Simolean for your thoughts?" Adrian asked his wife.  She had been uncharacteristically silent so far and was staring out the window, her brow furrowed.

Startled, she jolted.  "Oh, it's nothing, my dear.  Just haven't seen my brother in a while.  Can't believe how fast time seems to be flying."  She smiled for him and took his hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze.  But inside, she was concerned.  She had had to run back into the house for something before they left and had come upon a rather surprising scene.  Daichi and Ferina had been engaged in a passionate kiss!

3.3 #16.jpg

Marisa didn't find anything wrong with it, honestly.  Ferina had lost the father of her child before she even knew she was pregnant.  She'd married to keep her secret safe and then had to bury her husband while her son was still a young boy.  She'd been alone, raising Adrian mostly on her own for far too long. Women had needs, just as men did.  No, what concerned her was her husband's reaction when he found out.  She didn't imagine it would be a pretty sight.  Her dilemma was whether she should tell him or let him find out on his own.  For now, she'd leave it.  She would have to come to a decision eventually, though.

*****

By the time they returned to the house, Ferina and Daichi had both retired.  Marisa held a very sleepy Jayda in her arms.  "I'll put her to bed, love.  Why don't we go for a dip in the hottub tonight?  Once we get her down?"

Adrian thought about it for a moment.  "That sounds like a great idea."  He kissed her cheek and then did the same to his daughter.  "I'll see you out there."

She carried Jayda up the stairs to the nursery, changed her into a sleeper, and lay her down.  The little girl was asleep before her head hit the pillow.  Marisa smiled down at her as she leaned over and kissed her forehead.  "Sleep well, my little angel."

3.3 #17.jpg

She changed into her swimsuit and went downstairs.  She found her husband already in the hot tub, his head laid back against the side.  She didn't say anything as she climbed in next to him.  He looked at her out of one open eye, grinning.  She arched a brow at him and sidled over.  She swung a leg over so she was sitting on his lap!  "You look far too comfortable," she observed.

3.3 #18.jpg

"Hm, going to help with that?"

"I think I must.  Your mother mentioned that Jayda needs a younger sibling.  We should get on that."

It had the desired effect: he went beat-red and began to sputter incoherently.  Marisa laughed even as she fell backward into the water, pulling him forward.

*****

Adrian slid onto the stool, letting out a yawn.  "Morning, mother."

Ferina nodded to her son.  "Morning, my boy."  She was already up and dressed, while Adrian hadn't bothered quite yet.  In fact, he was contemplating a cup of coffee to help wake himself up.

He was still contemplating when his mother cleared her throat.  He looked over at her with a frown.  "Is something amiss?"

Ferina pursed her lips and let out a short breath.  "No, not really.  But I have a confession to make. And I know it won't make you happy."

"A confession?"  He really wished for that coffee now.  His brain was having issues keeping up.

"I should have told you weeks ago, but I told myself it was none of your business.  But the truth is, it is your business, if for no other reason than you are the head of this family.  I do want to say though, that I am a grown woman and your mother.  So just remember that."  She pulled in a breath and blurted out, "Daichi and I have a relationship!"

Adrian could only sit there in shock for a moment, blinking.  It hadn't quite seemed to penetrate yet.  When it did, he jumped up, his hands over his mouth.

"Mother!" he exclaimed.

3.3 #19.jpg

"He's our butler!  You-  What were you thinking?!"

Ferina's head went up and her eyes crackled.  "I think I am a grown woman."  Her voice was cold, brittle as ice.  "I think I am your mother and I think I can see whom I please.  Do you have an issue with him being our butler?  Or just being a man who I might be interested in?"

Adrian opened his mouth, trying to think of what to say.  His thoughts were so jumbled and he couldn't make heads or tails of what he was feeling.  But his mother's face was a mask of fury.  She stood up, her spine ramrod straight.  "I will remind you that while you may be Lord Rosa, I am still your mother.  Good day."  She strode away before he could think to stop her.

His forehead made a thunk sound as it connected with the counter and he groaned. There was nothing for it.  When his mother was in that kind of mood, it was better to let her be.  He'd try to talk with her later on, when he could make sense of her news.  He wasn't sure he was quite ready to think about it yet himself.

To distract himself, he retrieved Jayda who was just waking up herself.  "Hey little girl!  Ready for some breakfast?"

She looked up at him, not quite awake yet. 

3.3 #20.jpg

He laughed and scooped her up.  It was far easier to concentrate on Jayda than on his "conversation" with his mother.  He'd have to consult Marisa about it, see what she thought.  She was good at putting things into perspective.  First though, he'd get his little one some breakfast, deal with all that adult stuff later.  That and when she wrapped her arms around his neck, everything else fell away.  He was whistling as they came down the stairs, tucking everything else away for the time being.

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: To Prevent a War- A One to Rule Them All Challenge New Post! 8/23/18
« Reply #93 on: August 25, 2018, 12:32:13 AM »
Author's Note:  Did a bit of changing, including with the title of this particular topic.  I've made the decision that when this challenge is over, it will remain separate story from the RKC.  Basically, what it means is that the RKC will get a new topic and this one will eventually marked as complete.  I made that decision to help keep things more organized.  The RKC is going to be a large topic with a lot of stuff going on, so thought it would be a little easier ^^  Thanks to everyone who is reading!

3.4: Family

"I-I don't-"  Adrian let out a sigh.  "I probably could- and should have- said something else, but I just- it came as such a shock."  He looked at his wife holding his hands up, then they dropped.  "I messed up.  I know I did."

3.4 #1.jpg

Marisa took his hand in hers, leaning close.  "You love her.  It's only natural to worry, to be a bit shocked."

3.4 #2.jpg

She hesitated a moment.  "To be honest, I suspected something.  I didn't say anything to you, I probably should have, but I thought it was your mother's business."

Adrian pursed his lips, his brow furrowing.  A sigh escaped.  "No, you're right.  You're absolutely right.  It IS her business.  I-I can't help but worry.  She's been through a lot and- I just don't want to see her hurt."  He shrugged.  "And I can't help but feel being involved with someone that works for you is a bit- risky, but they are both adults and Daichi has always seemed more like family anyway..."

Marisa patted his hand.  "I think you may be worrying more in that case than you need to.  They both seem happy with the arrangement." She hesitated.  "Your mother is older.  We never know how long any of us has on this world.  She's lost a lot in her life; I think it's about time she does something for herself.  If Daichi makes her happy, then let them go."

Adrian looked at her tenderly, their hands clasped together.

3.4 #3.jpg

"I married a brilliant woman," he murmured, kissing her lightly.  "Thank you, love."

"You should go talk to your mother."

He nodded once.  "You're right.  I owe her that much, at least."  He kissed his wife's cheek and then stood up to get dressed.

*****

Adrian came downstairs.  He saw his mother sitting at the dining room table, all by herself.  He frowned.  He'd never noticed the air of lonliness around her before.  Maybe things were finally coming into perspective.  The revelations about his father had made sense.  There had always been a sense of something- different.  He had never quite been comfortable in his own skin.  He had never known why until that moment.  Finding out who his father had been had made him appreciate being a Rosa and in that moment, he knew who and what he was, and even wanted to be.  But he hadn't given much thought to how it must have all been for his mother.  She had essentially been alone since the death of his step-father.

Deep in thought, he set his plate on the table and took the chair on his mother's right side.

3.4 #4.jpg

"Please, mother, don't leave," he murmured.  "I-I was hoping to speak with you.  And to apologize about our conversation."

She was silent, looking down at her plate of food, barely touched.

Adrian sighed.  "I shouldn't have said what I did. I just- I worry about you.  You're my mother and I love you.  I just don't want to see you hurt."

"Oh Adrian," Ferina let out an explosion of breath.  "Your mother is old and getting older. I just- I wanted companionship.  Daichi gives me that.  I-I know very well what I am doing.  I know it must seem as if I am taking advantage of someone in our employ but-"

"Oh no, no mother, that's not how it seems at all!  I'm sorry if that's what you thought I meant."  Adrian shook his head.  "No, I realized that I've never thought how much you've been through.  Even knowing about-about my father, I didn't really think about what it must have been like for you all this time.  I just- it came as a shock.  You're my mother."  He reached across the table and placed his hand over hers. 

Lady Ferina had swallow, twice, before she could speak.  "Oh my boy.  I was afraid to tell you.  I-I didn't want you to think less of me."

"Never!  I love you, mother.  You've sacrificed everything for me.  I-I'm the happiest now that I've ever been and I-I finally feel like I belong, like I know who I am.  And it's largely because of you."

Tears slowly tracked down her cheeks.  Adrian stood up and pulled his mother up, giving her a hug.  "If a relationship with Daichi makes you happy, mother, then by all means.  You have my blessing and what's more, if you need any kind of privacy, you just have to let me know."

It surprised a laugh out of Ferina.  "My dear, I do believe you didn't even blush at that!  I'm so proud!"

Adrian pursed his lips, but couldn't repress the chuckle.  "Let's just not- mention it too much, hm?"

Ferina threw back her head in delight, then leaned forward to hug her son hard.

*****

"My little angel is up, huh?  Time for breakfast!" Adrian came down the stairs, his sleepy toddler in his arms.  She blinked and let out a little whimper.

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He changed her and put her in her highchair then set a bowl of cereal in front of her.  She yawned and then looked down at the bowl for a moment.

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With a delighted shriek, she reached in to grab some of the little bits.  Adrian winced a little as she covered herself in the small amount of milk that had been added.  "Oh my.  Time for a bath."

"I'll give her one," Marisa volunteered. 

"Mama, mama!"  Jayda raised her hands upward so her mother could get her out of the chair.  She nuzzled her cheek against Marisa's as her mother took her up the stairs.  "Bye papa!" She waved her little hand at him. 

Marisa smiled, her heart melting.  She ran the bath water and stripped her daughter out of her soiled dress then plunked her into the water.  Jayda froze for a moment, blinking rapidly.  Then she raised her hands again.  "Baff, baff!"

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Marisa laughed as she soaped up her daughter's hair.  She was becoming more adpet at speaking, though they were working on pronunciation of many things.

She was always crawling around the house and had even begun to brave the stairs!

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She was growing so fast.  "No, no sweetie!  Don't splash too much.  Mama has to get ready.  You are going to be spending today with Grammy.  Your Papa and I are going to go out for a little while, ok?"

"Out, mama?  Out?"

"Yes, sweetie, out."  Marisa leaned down to kiss her daughter's soapy forehead.  Once the bath was finished, Marisa got dressed while Jayda played in the nursery, stacking her blocks.

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With Jayda's birth and Adrian's increased responsibilities from the King, the two hadn't been able to really be by themselves very much of late, so Adrian had suggested they take a few hours and go to the Oak Barrell.  Neither had been there in some time.  Ferina had only been too happy to watch her granddaughter and encouraged them to go.

Marisa was looking forward to it.  In fact, she was bursting with more good news and thought it would be a great opportunity to tell her husband.  When they arrived, they stood hand in hand.  Adrian moved to go inside, but she stopped him.  He looked at her in concern.  "Is something wrong?"

"No, not at all.  In fact, everything is very right.  I've been waiting to tell you since you've been quite busy lately.  But I thought now was a perfect time and I can't wait any longer.  I'm pregnant!" 

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His eyes widened.  "You are?!  Really?"  He stared down and realized that he could detect a barely descernable bump in his wife's abdomen.  "You're pregnant!"

Marisa laughed.  "Yes, yes I am!"

He drew her into a tight embrace.  "Oh that's wonderful!  Jayda will have a little brother or sister!"

With bright grins on their faces, the two wandered in, greeted by several of the regulars.  The two enjoyed their visit quite a lot, though getting back home was even better.

*****

"Good morning dear!  How are you feeling?"  Ferina smiled at her daughter-in-law.  She had been ecstatic to learn she'd have another grandchild to spoil.

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"The morning sickness isn't really any better, sadly," Marisa replied.  "But at least it subsides before too long."

Ferina nodded in commiseration.  "I was sick the whole time I carried Adrian.  The only thing that seemed to help was crackers."

Adrian grimaced as he came into the kitchen.  "Hm, is it safe in here for me?"

Ferina laughed and patted her son's arm.  "Perfectly safe, my boy.  You were worth it."

Marisa grinned as she began to collect ingredients from the fridge. "Luckily, I can eat more than crackers.  In fact, I think I'll fix something up."

"You do that, dear.  I'm going to go fetch our little girl.  I can hear her start to move about upstairs."

"Thank you, mother."  Ferina left the two in the kitchen.

Adrian watched his wife as she prepared food, mesmerized by her.

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"Look who's up!" Ferina came into the kitchen, holding her bright-eyed granddaughter, followed closely by Daichi.  Adrian and Marisa greeted them all warmly.  Ferina set Jayda on the floor so she could toddle to the counter, looking up while Daichi and Ferina slid onto the stools.

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Breakfast was a fun affair.  Jayda babbled to any adult that would listen, telling what Adrian thought must have been quite a grand story- if only they could figure out what she was saying.  Eventually, though, her eyes began to droop.  "Ah, seems it's time for her morning nap," Adrian observed.

Marisa looked over at her daughter who was sitting on the floor, rubbing her eyes. 

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"Yes it is.  I'll take her since I'm letting my food cool."  She scooped up her daughter in a practiced move, even though her protruding belly seemed to get in the way every now and again.  "Let's go, angel."

Jayda yawned and clung to her mother as they went upstairs.  Marisa lay her down on her little bed and tucked her in.  Then she slowly sank down onto it herself and pulled out the book Jayda insisted be read to her every day.  Making herself comfortable, Marisa held the book up and then winced, reaching down to her stomach.  Their second child was doing some form of arobatics in her womb, or at least that's how it felt!

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"Your brother or sister is making themselves known," she whispered as she opened the book and began to read.  It wasn't long before Jayda was out like a light.

"Think she'll be happy to have a little brother or sister?"  Adrian stood in the doorway of the nursery, leaning against the frame.

Marisa's grin was rueful.  "Well, she won't have much of a choice, but I think she'll make a great big sister, don't you?"

Adrian went to his wife and gave her a hand standing up.  "Yes, I truly think so."  His arm slid around her waist as he rested his chin on her shoulder as the two of them looked down at their sleeping child, eager to meet their second, looking forward to the future.

Offline BallerinaHippo

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Re: To Prevent a War- A One to Rule Them All Challenge New Post! 8/25/18
« Reply #94 on: August 26, 2018, 12:01:02 AM »
Welcome back!  I'm looking forward to getting caught up with all three of your families.  Congrats to Adrian and Marisa on the birth of their first child (with another on the way).  They are great parents.   :)

Offline oshizu

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Re: To Prevent a War- A One to Rule Them All Challenge New Post! 8/25/18
« Reply #95 on: August 26, 2018, 03:51:13 AM »
Ooh, the first couple in your game to have a toddler!!! Jayda is so cute!
I enjoyed most all the drama around the elderly Ferina and the younger butler.
How great that Adrian and Marisa didn't get hung up over it. If Ferina were male carrying on with the maid, nobody would bat an eyelash, lol.

It's a great idea to distinguish your prologue and RKC as separate stories.
In an earlier post you included a link regarding what's going on in other parts of the kingdom then remarked that you might go over that in an update.
I vote for a separate update--your perspective on what's been going on will help us focus on what's most significant. :D

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: To Prevent a War- A One to Rule Them All Challenge New Post! 8/25/18
« Reply #96 on: August 30, 2018, 01:20:08 AM »
Welcome back!  I'm looking forward to getting caught up with all three of your families.  Congrats to Adrian and Marisa on the birth of their first child (with another on the way).  They are great parents.   :)

Thanks!  It's great to be back.  I've missed my sims so much!  They are.  They are so sweet, it's ridiculous.

Ooh, the first couple in your game to have a toddler!!! Jayda is so cute!
I enjoyed most all the drama around the elderly Ferina and the younger butler.
How great that Adrian and Marisa didn't get hung up over it. If Ferina were male carrying on with the maid, nobody would bat an eyelash, lol.

It's a great idea to distinguish your prologue and RKC as separate stories.
In an earlier post you included a link regarding what's going on in other parts of the kingdom then remarked that you might go over that in an update.
I vote for a separate update--your perspective on what's been going on will help us focus on what's most significant. :D

She's adorable.  I can't help but just watch her sometimes lol I can't wait to see what she looks like as she gets older. Hehehe, yeah, Ferina needs someone to love too.  And you are so right about it being fine if it had been a man.  The only reason why it was even a thing is because poor Adrian was just shocked XD He's a little bit of a prude when it comes to certain things, especially his mother. Had it been his father, I think he'd have been the same, quite honestly lol

Yeah, I will be doing a news update for the other kingdoms before we get to the epilogue.  That's right, we're almost done!  This next update and then one after that.  Then I have a news update planned, a bit of a behind the scenes look before the epilogue.

Campbell update incoming!



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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: To Prevent a War- A One to Rule Them All Challenge New Post! 8/25/18
« Reply #97 on: August 30, 2018, 01:25:19 AM »
Author's Note: Hope this doesn't get too wordy for anyone or too dark. 

3.5: Don't Provoke The Lady in the Shadows

Gunner stared at the computer screen, rubbing the back of his neck with one hand.  He sighed.  One would think that having your wife be the head of an intelligence network would give one a leg up when said husband joined up.  But noooo... his wife hadn't been too excited at all when he had mentioned that he'd like to continue doing what he had in Windenburg, but for Newcrest, of course.  After all, he owed King Darian for introducing him to Triss and Newcrest was his home now.  Truth be told, it was more a home than Windenburg had ever been. 

3.5 #1.jpg

He was good at what he did and this sitting on a computer and crunching numbers certainly wasn't what he had in mind.  But she had been adament that he had to work his way up.  He was beginning to believe it was her way of trying to keep him out of the fire.  Perhaps it had been a mistake to tell her about the fire... Well, it was what it was.

He stood up to stretch.  Sitting so long wasn't something he was used to.  He had no idea how his wife did it, sifting through all that data, hoping for a strong bite.  She spent hours every day combing through files, through reports.  He heard the door open softly.  Speak of the devil; "I don't know how you do this, Triss.  My eyes feel like they are bleedin' outta my skull!"

Her chuckle belied the roll of her eyes.  "Intelligence is not all daring chases out in the field, you know. People like me need to take the data we get from those out in the thick of it and then look at the big picture, the details, all of it, or we may miss something important."

"I know, I know, but-" Gunner huffed out a breath.  "I'm used to being out there.  There's no time to think, there's just reacting."

Beatrice brought her hand up to his cheek, her expression somber.

3.5 #2.jpg

"I realize that.  I just-"  She paused long enough to swallow past the lump in her throat.  "You've already done so much and- you said it yourself, you almost didn't make it.  I am well aware I can't keep you out of the field forever, but can you blame me for wanting to keep you safe as long as I can?"

He pursed his lips.  "I thought I was supposed to keep you safe."

It brought out the desired response: her eyes narrowed and she fisted her hands on her hips.  "Do you want your eyes to actually start bleeding? I promise you, I can keep you at this level till we're both old and gray."

Gunner bit his lip, but he couldn't repress the bark of laughter.  "You fight dirty."  The admiration in his voice matched that in his eyes.  "I like that about you."

Her head held high, Beatrice walked to the study door and looked back.  "Just remember that.  Now, why don't you take a break, hm?"

He nodded.  "Think I will."  He followed her out.  When she stopped in front of her, he blinked.  "Triss?"

Before he knew it, she'd wrapped her arm around his waist and had pushed him backward!  The searing kiss had as much of a lesson in it as it did passion.

3.5 #3.jpg

When she righted him what seemed to be an hour later, she had a satisfied smirk on her face.  "I have no problem with you wanting to protect me because I'm your wife; I do have a problem with you wanting to protect me because I'm a woman.  I may not have had as much field experience, but let me assure you I am not helpless."

"Yes ma'am!"  He clicked his heels together and even managed a crisp salute.   She rolled her eyes at him. He winked at her.  "I'm going to hop in the shower real fast."  She waved him away, eliciting a chuckle.

When he emerged, he found his wife in the kitchen, along with Mira, the cat who adopted them.  Well, she adopted Beatrice first, but she'd taken to him as well. In fact, she mewed up at him.  Obliging, he leaned down to give her a good scratch under her chin which she loved.

3.5 #4.jpg

"Don't you dare give her another treat," Beatrice warned.  "She's had some already.  Don't let her tell you otherwise."

Gunner looked down at the cat.  "Mom's so strict, isn't she?"

Mira mewed in agreement.  It earned them both a withering glare.  Gunner laughed.  "Well, instead of a food treat, why don't we play with this?"  He produced a little penlight from his pocket and Mira's eyes sharpened. She crouched, her butt and tail up in the air, ready to pounce as the little light flashed in front of her.

3.5 #5.jpg

Beatrice watched the two of them for a moment, smiling softly as she prepared dinner.  She frowned.  The weather had been a little strange lately.  Cloud cover was becoming a problem for the first time that she could remember.  Oh, she had read of places such as Hidden Springs or Sunset Valley and the variations with weather they had.  But here, the weather had been the same for centuries, perhaps longer.  So far, she had been able to find little information on it.  Of course, clouds were not unheard of, but her instincts told her that this wasn't normal. Only time would tell.  As it was, there were other pressing concerns.

After dinner, Gunner and Beatrice retired to their chambers. Beatrice kissed her husband's cheek and went to the bathroom.  She shut the door and let out a breath.  If her calculations were correct, she was about to tell her husband some terrific news.  At least, she hoped so.  She didn't believe her calculations were incorrect, so why were her hands shaking as she looked at the test?  When she beheld the two lines on the test, her breath caught. It was positive!  Matriarch save them, she was pregnant!

3.5 #6.jpg

She leapt up and ran out to their bedroom, the door closing quickly behind her.  "Gunner, I'm pregnant!  We're having a baby!  There's a baby in there!"

He looked at her for a moment, not quite understanding the words.

3.5 #7.jpg

He blinked.  "Oh, is that all?"

Her face fell and she swept past him, biting her bottom lip hard.  But he grabbed her wrist before she could move past and he took her hands in his.  "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have teased you like that."  His gaze bore into hers as he brought her hands to his lips.  "I-I truly don't have the words to tell you how happy I am."

3.5 #8.jpg

"T-truly?"

"Yes.  I promise.  I'm sorry.  I froze and then I felt I had to say something.  I shouldn't have been so flippant."  He let out a little breath.  "Truth be told, I'm- ecstatic, but also afraid."

She frowned.  "Afraid?  Why?"

"What if I'm a lousy father?  Didn't exactly have a great example of one."

She pursed her lips.  "Neither did I. The truth is, Gunner, neither of us had great examples of what married life should be, nor what a parent should be.  But we're making do right now.  In fact, I'd say we're doing better than making do, aren't we?"

"Yes, yes of course we are.  You are absolutely right."  He leaned forward and rested his forehead against hers.  "Forgive me?"

"Nothing to forgive."  He kissed her cheek.

3.5 #9.jpg

She smiled at him.  "We're going to be parents."

"Matriarch save us," he murmured, though he wore a grin as well.

*****

"Rough night, my heart?" Gunner sat down at the kitchen table next to his wife, a bowl in front of him.

3.5 #10.jpg

She looked at him with a grimace.  "Unfortunately. Our little one refuses to sleep when I do." 

He put his hand over hers. "Want me to get you a little something to eat?"

She shook her head.  "No, not at the moment.  Still a bit nauseous yet.  Once it calms down, I'll grab a little something.  Thank you." 

"I may be a fool a good chunk of the time, but even I know how to look after my pregnant wife."

She rolled her eyes, as he had intended.  "You're ridiculous."  A companionable silence descended, then she sat bolt upright.  "Oh! Oh, where is my mind at? We got a letter. More than a letter in fact, from your sister."

"Dianna?" Gunner frowned.  "Is she ok?"

Beatrice gave his hand a squeeze.  "She's fine.  In fact, it seems to be an invitation."  At his blank look, she continued, "To her wedding."

"W-wedding?  Married?  Dianna?"

"There, there.  Yes.  She's a young woman now."

"No.  Nope.  Refuse to believe it."

Beatrice laughed.  "Oh dear.  What are you going to do if we have a daughter?"

His expression was oddly dark as he answered, "Lock her in a tower?"

"You know that never works out."

He sighed.  "I suppose not. My little sister is getting married..."

"That she is.  Luckily, the wedding is before the baby is due, so we'll be able to go."  She held up a hand.  "Don't even start.  We're going.  If for no other reason than it's important to your sister for her to see you.  I told you.  I can handle myself and I can certainly handle your father."

Since he could hardly argue with that (he wasn't foolish enough to argue with a pregnant woman, not least of which was his wife who already had a way of bringing his concerns into a much different light), he just nodded darkly. It would be good to see his brother and sister again, at least.  And he was anxious to meet his sister's betrothed.

*****

Though the clouds had gone quite dark, it didn't detract from Dianna's beauty.  In fact, she looked absolutely beautiful, radiant even up there with her betrothed, Shayne. Beatrice had learned that he was the younger brother of Lady Alisha Fenton of San Myshuno, an important noble family there.  The two of them looked good, though Gunner would eat his tongue before he'd admit it to anyone else. Still, she looked happy. The way she looked at him, as if they were the only two people in the world, was a good sign.

3.5 #11.jpg

After the vows were spoken, Gunner stole his sister for a moment and picked her up in a bear hug.  "Who said you could grow up?" he growled at her.

"I don't recall asking you."  Her smirk was belied by the sparkle in her eyes.

"Ugh, direct hit."  He mimed pulling an arrow out of his chest, then laughed.  "You look happy, little sister.  Are you?"

"Yes, I really am. You know how it can be. But Shayne's a treasure.  He makes me laugh."

Gunner knew how important laughter was in their house since it was such a rare commodity.  "What about-"

"He's satisfied with the match.  He'll never understand what love really is.  He thinks it's a weakness, but we both know differently."  She put a hand on his arm and give him a poke.  "So how are you doing there, daddy? Have you started going crazy yet?"

"Some would say I hit crazy a long time ago." With Dianna, he could be honest.  "I'm scared stupid, Di. Triss keeps telling me we'll be fine.  But I can't stop the fears from coming. What if I'm- like him?"

"Never. Gunner, you could never be like him.  You're a good man.  You'll make a great father. I promise you.  I'm the smart one of us, so just remember that."  She kissed his cheek.  "Oh, have to go talk to some of the other guests.  I'll be back."

Gunner scoffed at her, then grinned.  "Go on then.  You look beautiful, Di.  He's a lucky man.  He really is."

"Yes he is," she agreed with a wink before she set off.

Gunner looked around for his wife.  He didn't see her immediately.  He hoped she had finally sat down.  He didn't like her on her feet too much since her back had been bothering her.

"Boy."

Gunner stiffened. Deliberately, he barely turned.  "Father."

"Follow me."  The imperious tone made the hackles on the back of his neck rise, but Gunner did as his father said, if for no other reason to see what he wanted.  The two ended up in a guest room, away from the others milling around. Ezekiel didn't waste any time.  "Did you think me a fool?  I know what you did, boy."

Gunner kept his face carefully blank, even a bit bored.  "Your point?"

3.5 #12.jpg

"How do you think you're playing with? You may not be afraid for yourself.  But what of that pretty wife of yours?  It would be- unfortunate should she meet with an accident, wouldn't it?"

Gunner's vision flashed a searing red and he would have leapt at his father, except the door opened wide and Beatrice strode in.  How she managed to appear graceful while beginning to waddle, Gunner had no clue. But she managed it.  "Gunner." Her voice was soft, though there was a warning in her eyes as she faced his father. The courage in her dried all the spit in his mouth.  "Lord Villareal." She kept her tone low, but where she had been all tenderness with him, now, there was the unmistakable hint of authority.  "I hope my ears deceived me. I thought I heard you threatening a citizen of Newcrest. I truly hope that isn't the case.  I would hate to inform my King.  He would be left with no choice but to petition your King for your arrest."

All in that room knew exactly how that would go; King Kellen knew exactly what Ezekiel had been up to.  He'd be only too happy to grant that request. Ezekiel stared at his daughter-in-law, seeing her for the first time.

3.5 #13.jpg

"Do you think you've won?"

"I know I have."  There was no bravado whatsoever, just pure fact.  "Listen carefully. I have taken steps to see that my family is protected.  Should anything happen, I promise you, all that power that you covet, that you care about will be stripped from you in every way possible. If you wish to test me, I invite you to try.  But think about this. I carry your grandchild within me, a child that shares your blood. Should you continue to threaten my husband, your own son, I will see to it that you never see that grandchild and that they will know exactly what you are.  Am I clear?"

"This isn't over."

3.5 #14.jpg

"Oh but it is."  They all turned.  Dianna stood there, her hands fisted at her side.  "Listen well. I am the heir, your heir, despite you wishing it was different. And now our family is connected with the Fentons. If you should pursue any kind of retribution against Gunner or Beatrice, I promise you, I will use any influence I have with both our King as well as the Fentons to see you ruined."

"You would drag your own name through the mud?"

"To protect my brother?  Yes. I might regret it, because of mother.  But heed my words when I say that seeing you shamed and humiliated would warm my heart."

He looked at each of them.  He growled something under his breath and then stalked out, pushing past Dianna.  She sighed softly. "Di-" She shook her head at her brother.  "I meant every word of it.  He won't harm you for being a better person and he certainly won't threaten you or your wife."

Beatrice hugged her tightly, or as tightly as her pregnant belly would allow.  "Thank you.  Will you be alright here?"

"Yes. Shayne is well aware of our family history.  He's well connected.  Father knows it. With your own promise to him, I doubt he would dare to think of reprisal. Despite what he thinks, he is older and doesn't have the power and clout he once had. Still, be careful.  At least for a little while yet. Keep each other close."

Gunner wrapped his arm around his wife's waist.  "We certainly will."  On the way out, he kissed his sister on the cheek.  "Thank you."

"Don't you dare thank me. Just take care of yourself and your wife. Ok?"

"I will. You take care too."

He shook Shayne's hand on the way out and even refrained from the glib threat on the tip of his tongue.  That might have been because he could feel his wife's elbow jabbing into his side.

When they returned home, Beatrice was in a lot of pain so Gunner had her go take a shower while he changed.  They hadn't spoken too much on the ride back to Newcrest; each had been alone with their own thoughts. Once his wife was in the shower, Gunner went to their study and booted up the computer.  There was a predatory look in his eye.  He couldn't get his father's threat out of his mind.  It had haunted him, preyed on his mind throughout the ride.  He knew what his father was capable and despite both Triss and Di's assurances, he wasn't going to take chances with his family.  He was going to protect them.

*****

Beatrice eased into the room.  She was in her dressing gown and felt much better after her shower.  But worry wouldn't stop nagging at her, niggling at the back of her mind. When she saw what was on the computer screen, her eyes widened.  "Gunner!"

He spun around in the chair, then stood up.  "Triss..."

"You can't be contemplating this!  He's your father!"

"And he threatened your life!  And the life of our child!" Gunner hissed.  "You don't know what he's capable of!  I grew up every day with him reminding me that "accidents" could happen every time I did something he didn't agree with."

Beatrice swallowed, then she firmed her lip and took two more steps into the room toward him.  "Come here."  He frowned.  "I said, come here."  He complied.  There was uncertainty in his eyes and what was more, fear.  He was so good at keeping it hidden, so it must have scared him more than she had realized.  "Gunner.  Give me your hands."  He did as she bid.

She placed them on her belly. "Feel that. Feel our little one in there."

3.5 #15.jpg

He wouldn't look at her at first. When he did, there were tears in his eyes.  "Triss- I-I just can't stand the thought something could happen to you.  Or to our child."

"I know, Gunner.  I know.  But this isn't the way. You're better than that.  Your father must make his peace with the Matriarch in his own way.  It's not for you to decide when that happens."  She put her hands over his on her belly.  "Besides.  I don't have an extensive network for show, Gunner.  I promise you, if there is any movement in that corner, I'll know long before anything can be enacted.  You had faith in me before."

"Th-that was when it was my life.  Not yours."

She laughed.  "Oh, you are such a man!"

He opened his mouth, then closed it.  He straightened up, looking down at the floor.  "I-I have no excuse, Triss.  None other than the fact that the man dries all the spit in my mouth.  I can deal with the thought of my own life in danger. It- it was normal, growing up. But I don't know what I'd do if something happened to you."

"Gunner, look at me now." He brought his head up, though it was a reluctant gesture.  She put a hand to his cheek.  "Nothing will happen to me, or to the baby."

He swallowed once more.  "Ok. Ok. Can you ever forgive me?"

"There's nothing to forgive. I know how scary it is. You aren't the only one that grew up afraid. You went out there, defied your father and for that, I applaud you. You are a better man than he ever thought of being. He'll never know your true strength. While you were out, risking your life, I was finding ways to protect myself. The man you met, the messenger? He's only one of many, many agents that I have out there. Most are loyal to me in some way. I will use whatever is at my disposal to protect my family, Gunner.  Believe that."

"I do. I do."  He pulled her close into a tight, but gentle hug.

She stepped back and took his hand.  "Let's go to bed.  Tomorrow is a new day."  He smiled at her and nodded. The two went upstairs hand in hand, both feeling lighter than they had before. Neither would drop their guard, but their trust in the other would get them through. That and they wouldn't have much time for worry soon enough.

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: To Prevent a War- A One to Rule Them All Challenge New Post! 8/30/18
« Reply #98 on: August 30, 2018, 10:44:44 PM »
3.6: Double Trouble

"Are you behaving for mommy?" Beatrice had to stiffle the giggle. Listening to her husband speak in baby talk to her belly was both sweet and utterly ridiculous.

"No, no they are not. This is definitely your child."

He looked up at her and grinned. "I drive you crazy because I love you."

3.6 #1.jpg

Beatrice pursed her lips and rolled her eyes.  "That's for sure."

Gunner straightened and winked at her.  Then he leaned forward to playfully attack her neck.  "You love me and you know it."

She struggled to hold in the laugh, but failed miserably.

3.6 #2.jpg

"You idiot."  There was affection in her voice.  "Go on.  I need to get ready for work."

At the reminder, Gunner sobered.  "Are you sure you should be going in now?"

"Gunner, we went over this. I enjoy what I do at the clinic.  And what better place for me to be in than a hospital, huh?"

He sighed.  "I know, I know.  But you have a habit of working too hard."

"Oh hush. I work as hard as I need to.  Now, shoo.  I'm going to get ready.  Don't you have some reports to file?"

He winced.  "Man, my boss is a slave driver," he complained over his shoulder.

"She's also your pregnant wife," she called back to him, laughing.  "I'll check them when I get home!"

*****

The doctor had given Beatrice instructions to take it easy.  She was close to her due date.  Which was a good thing; Beatrice felt as big as a house.  She did tire easily, but that was ok.  The clinic hadn't been too busy of late. "Ok Seth.  Hold still, ok? We'll take a look.  This won't hurt.  It just shows me images of your inside, ok?"

"Really?  That's cool!"

Beatrice grinned.  "Isn't it?"

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Once she got the images and she ran a few more tests, Beatrice gave young Seth a shot to cure the Gas and Giggles he'd picked up in school.  "Go on now.  That should kick in soon."

The boy thanked her and bounded off.

Beatrice sighed, wiping the sweat off her brow, rubbing her other hand over her belly.  Her little one was very active today.  "You really are like your father," she murmured.

"Lady Campbell.  Take the rest of the day off.  You look beat."

Beatrice frowned.  "But there are at least two more patients, doctor."

"That's ok.  I can handle them.  You have more important things to worry about.  You're close to your time, right?"

Beatrice nodded.  "Yes.  Soon.  They've been awfully active.  Think they're as eager as I am!"

The doctor laughed.  "Probably.  Go on home, make sure that husband of yours is staying out of trouble."

When Beatrice got home, she walked in the door, rubbing at her aching back. Gunner emerged from the kitchen, took one look at her, and ordered her up to bed.  She was too tired and sore to resent the order. She laid down and was out quickly.  Mira jumped up to keep her company.  But then she began to mew, sensing something was coming.

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It wasn't too much longer when Beatrice woke up.  She stood up and waddled down the stairs.  "Gunner?"

He was seated at the dining room table, dealing with some paperwork and reports.  He looked up.  "What is it, love?"

"I don't wish to alarm you, but I'm in labor."  She was rubbing circles over her belly, though the pressure was only increasing.

He blinked at her and then jumped up.  He began to bark orders, though Beatrice had no idea who he was talking to.  In fact, it became apparent that he had no clue either when he just stopped and stared at her. She sighed and patted his shoulder. She retrieved her bag and had to grab her husband's hand and lead him outside so they could go to the hospital.

She had already called ahead.  The doctor she had worked with earlier was still there, had just been about to go, but had stayed so she could help.  "Nice timing.  C'mon, Lady Campbell.  Let's get you settled in."

Beatrice changed into one of the hospital gowns and then lowered herself onto the table.

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She lay back.  The machine cover slid over her.  The doctor looked at her instruments and frowned.  "Um, Beatrice?"

"Yes?" Beatrice was trying to remember her breathing exercises, though the pain was pretty distracting.

"The scanners are picking up two distinct heartbeats."

"What?"

"It appears you are carrying twins."

Beatrice could only stare.  "What?"

The doctor laughed.  "Don't worry.  We'll see to you and your babies."

"Babies?"

*****

Even with Beatrice's own knowledge and the doctor's expertise, it ended up being a difficult birth.  The second of the twins had gotten turned around.  Beatrice was exhausted.  While trying to push, she lost consciousness.

3.6 #6.jpg

"C'mon, Beatrice.  Come back!"

She opened her eyes with a jolt and bore down.  Eventually, with her husband pacing outside the room, two cries split the air.  Once she was free from the station, Beatrice stood on shaky legs and looked down into the first bassinet.  She reached down in and drew the little bundle into her arms.  "Hello sweet one.  Hello."

It was an exhausted mother and father that took their babies home.  Welcome to Lord Chase and Lady Zuri Campbell.  Chase is the first born (by a few minutes, really) and will become heir.

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Twins was not something they had been expecting at all. It surely kept them on their toes.  Try as they might, they couldn't seem to get them to keep to the same schedule, at least not all the time.  They had flopped onto their own bed, exhausted.  Though they took turns, two babies in the house meant sleep was a very precious commodity.

"Think we dare to try to nap for a few minutes?" Gunner murmured, rubbing a hand over his wife's arm.

"You mentioned a nap-" An all too familiar cry split the air and Beatrice managed a withering flare for her husband.  "See what you did?" When the first cry was joined by another, the two of them both groaned.

"I'll get Chase, you grab Zuri," Beatrice muttered, staggering to her feet.  Gunner followed after her and they went to the nursery.

Beatrice went to her son's bassinet while Gunner went to his daughter.

3.6 #8.jpg

The two were fed and changed and laid back down.  Their parents looked down on them for a moment. Beatrice felt the well of emotion and she let out a little sigh.  Gunner took her hand and gave it a commiserating squeeze.  They snuck out of the nursery, heading downstairs.

They stood in the family room for a moment, fairly dazed.  Then Beatrice looked at her husband and put a hand to his cheek.  They hadn't had much time to themselves since the day the twins were born.  In fact, this felt like the first time they'd had a moment to really breath.  Gunner rested his forehead against hers as he wrapped his arms around her. "Have I told you lately that I love you?"

"Hm, I don't precisely remember.  Why don't you tell me, just in case?"

He grinned.  "I love you."

"And I love you."  She leaned up to kiss his cheek.

3.6 #9.jpg

"If I forget to mention it again for the next little while, know that I really do. I don't know how you do it. You've been getting up with them three or four times a night to feed them."

"You've done a lot too.  You've been taking the day shift, really."

"Yeah, but I'm already awake then."

Beatrice laughed.  "We make a good team.  Even Mira has been doing her part.  She likes to hop up on the bed there and watch them.  She came and got me yesterday when Zuri needed a change."

3.6 #10.jpg

Gunner rolled his eyes.  "Guess we're all on it then, huh?  We got this, right?"

"Of course we do!"

They smiled at each other, feeling accomplished.  Then the tell-tale shriek of Zuri sounded.  Gunner looked at his wife with a rueful grin.  "At least they haven't learned how to walk yet, huh?"

"That'll be next," Beatrice reminded him as the two of them went back upstairs.

Offline Shewolf13

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Meanwhile, in the other Kingdoms...

Watcher's Note: To keep things going, I've been using MCCC to help make things easier. Until there's some kind of setting that allows to assign classes to families, I do the marriages manually.  In fact, I have a spreadsheet where I have heirs listed for each class as well as nonheirs and pair them up as I go.  When the time is right, I manually marry them.  MCCC decides when/if they produce children.

For deaths, of course there is old age, but I also do a bit of randomness by using random.org to pick a list of names for a random death, mostly to keep things interesting heh.

Week 1

Births

The Elves of Winding Willow are a prolific lot, it seems.  Of all the kingdoms, they had the most births: 6 of them, in fact. All of these children were non-heirs, in fact, most have at least one older sibling but some have even more than that.

WW_Week 1.jpg

In contrast, the witches in Oasis Springs only had 1 birth:

OS_Week 1.jpg

For Windenburg, the first week is when Anthony, Gunner's little brother (half-brother, technically) was born. This is also the same time that Lady Ayla was pregnant.  She gave birth to a little girl, Kiersten.

Anthony.jpg

Kiersten.jpg

There were three more births in Windenburg:

WB_Week 1.jpg

In San Myshuno, two families were able to produce heirs, while one welcomed a third child, the other welcomed their second.

SM_Week 1 H.jpg

SM_Week 1 NH.jpg

In Forgotten Hallow, land of the vampire council, there is only one human family and they welcomed not one, not two, but three little ones!  That's right, the first (and so far only) set of triplets in the game.

FH_Week 1.jpg

In the Bay, the Seelie's welcomed their heir, Lord Firo.

Firo.jpg

Marriages

The only marriage in Winding Willows was between Lady Solana Earthstalker, the heir to that noble family with the younger brother of Lord Alinar Firetamer, Elest.  Soon after their nuptials, they welcomed their first child and heir, Lady Serila Earthstalker (she was technically born right around the switch, the last switch even, so that's why she's here).

WW_Week 1 Marriage.jpg

In Oasis Springs, the heir (Lady Anita) of the Jaderan noble family married the younger brother of Lady Ayla Xavier of Windenburg, Lord Hayes.

OS_Week 1 Marriage.jpg

San Myshuno saw a first: one of the elves married into a noble family there. Then again, those in San Myshuno might as well be aliens as much as the other kingdoms understand them.  They tend to be on the cutting edge and are closest to the Elven Kingdom. Lady Alisha Fenton married Lord Orlith Earthstalker, the younger brother of Lord Galaeth Earthstalker.  Shortly after, they welcomed their son and heir, Lord Warren.

SM_Week 1 Marriage.jpg

The Bay saw two weddings happen in the first week.

The Banshee sisters (twins) each found their husbands.  Twilight, the heir of the family, married Antonio Rosetti of San Myshuno.  Her sister Azure married someone closer to home: Thistle Nymph, their neighbor.

BB_Banshee.jpg

BB_Nymph.jpg

*****

Due to time constraints, I'm going to condense the most important news bits for weeks 2 and 3.

In Winding Willows, Princess Shyal (who will be Queen when she becomes a YA) married Lord Ternan Firetamer, the younger brother to Lady Elora Firetamer.  They welcomed their first child soon after.  Princess Anala will become Queen after her mother. Lord Elluin Waterstrider married Princess Raine Unseelie, the younger sister of Queen Adriata of Bay of a Thousand Waves and their first born and heir is Lady Destera Waterstrider.

As seen in the story, Queen Eve of Oasis Springs gave birth to a third child, Princess Moira Azurite.

In Windenburg, the most important piece of news is that King Kellen and his Queen, Emilia welcomed their heir, Prince Jalen. It was a concern that if an heir wasn't born, it would be cause for another war.  And as seen as the end of the last Campbell update, Gunner's sister Dianna married Lord Shayne Fenton of San Myshuno.  And it was just announced that they are expecting their first child.

To check out the full range of Kingdom news, go to Kingdoms

Don't forget, all the family trees can be found here: Families and please, feel free to explore!  I am also open to other suggestions/requests for things you want to see ^^

*****

Because it takes so much time to do these, I have a little survey for everyone to take real quick on whether they want to see these done once a week when the RKC starts, or whether they'd prefer just the highlights.  In other words, when Royals marry and when it involves those that we have seen in the story, peripherally, like the families of spouses from other kingdoms, etc. The survey is only two questions.  Thanks so much for reading! News Survey

Offline oshizu

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Re: To Prevent a War- A One to Rule Them All Challenge News Post 8/31/18
« Reply #100 on: September 01, 2018, 02:07:50 PM »
Beatrice and Gunner seem to have the most difficult relationship. Beatrice just won't cut Gunner any slack and he is often apologizing it seems.
She really turned me off when she said the following to Gunner:
Quote
..."I will use whatever is at my disposal to protect my family, Gunner.  Believe that."
I would have liked her more if she'd had said "our family."

On the other hand, congrats on twins! No governess for that hard-working Beatrice?  ;)

Regarding your news update, wow! That involves so many different households to keep track of and remember.
I was delighted to notice that MCCC has been good about producing an even gender balance among all the new births.
As a reader, I will have trouble following that many households, even with detailed weekly updates.
Or perhaps the first "summary" confuses because we have yet to meet the rest of the households yet?
Looking forward to seeing how you decide to share your RKC universe.

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: To Prevent a War- A One to Rule Them All Challenge News Post 8/31/18
« Reply #101 on: September 01, 2018, 02:21:43 PM »
@oshizu

Beatrice and Gunner do have a more difficult relationship, mostly because they aren't easy people.  But they do get along better, for the most part.  She was trying to say that he's a part of her family, too. She has no problem with him being protective.  But she really doesn't like that he wants to be protective because she's a woman. They protect each other. Heh, suppose I identify with her more because I'm a lot like Beatrice.

Offline Shewolf13

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Epilogue: The Winner is...
« Reply #102 on: September 03, 2018, 01:43:01 AM »
Epilogue: The Winner is...

The fire crackled in the hearth at Prima Dominus. Meredith and Blakely reclined with a cup of spiced cider. Blakely was deep in thought, staring into his cup.

Ep #1.jpg

He looked up when he heard footfalls on the stairs. His eyes lit up as his wife came down the stairs.

Ep #2.jpg

"Did he go down alright?"

Adisa nodded.  "Out like a light. We got lucky.  He sleeps like a log already."  Rather than take the empty chair, she went to her husband's and leaned her hip on the arm, rubbing her hand up his shoulder.

He smiled gently up at her and used his free hand take her hand and bring it to his lips.  There was a knowing look in her eyes.  "Ready for tomorrow?"

"As I'll ever be. I suppose a part of me is just glad it's over.  Another part just can't quite believe it."

Adisa leaned over to kiss his cheek.  "Regardless, you've got me."

"And me," Meredith murmured.  She reached a hand over to pat him on the shoulder.  "You've made me proud, Blakely.  No matter what, I'm proud and your parents would be proud too."

"Thank you.  That means a lot.  Both of you."  He drained his cup.  "Whatever happens, I- I can't tell you how happy I am.  I know things started out rocky-" He looked at his wife.  "But I wouldn't change it for the world."

"Neither would I," Adisa agreed, leaning over to wrap her arms around him.

Meredith raised her cup in a salute.  "To the Dorans," she murmured, smiling.

*****

At Rosa Manor, the mansion was fairly quiet as the moon peeked out of the clouds for a moment. The only lights on were in the small family room as Ferina, Adrian, and Marisa relaxed after a long day.  Having an active toddler and a new baby in the house made for quite a chaotic household at the best of times.

"Are you glad that tomorrow's the day?" Ferina asked her son.  Though they had tried not to think too much of it, it was never far from their minds.

Ep #3.jpg

"Yes.  Better to get it done, to know.  The King was rather brief.  He's playing things close to the vest.  I don't blame him.  The whole thing is unconventional."

Marisa patted her husband's hand.  "No matter the outcome, we're a family and we'll handle it as a family."

"Aye," Ferina agreed.  She beamed at her son and daughter-in-law.  "You two have done so well. Adrian, your father- both of them- would be so proud of the man you've become."

"I'd like to hope so.  If-if I'm meant to be king, I'll do it and do it to the best of my abilities."  Though he didn't voice it, he hoped it wouldn't be him.  He enjoyed what he did now and thought he could do the most good for the kingdom in the position he was in now.

Marisa leaned her head over onto his shoulder. He pulled her close, kissing her cheek. Ferina smiled at the two of them.  "So, will I be getting a third grandchild by any chance?"

Adrian sputtered while Marisa laughed.  "Let's wait until Jayda and Quinn are both a little older."

"Yes, yes, please!"

Ep #4.jpg

"You're too easy, son," Ferina snickered.  She leaned over to pat his hand.  "I can't help myself.  Those two babies are such a light for this old woman."

Adrian rolled his eyes, though he was grinning.  Come what may tomorrow, he was ready, for whatever it was. If he was to be King, then so be it.  If not, he would swear his loyalty to whoever Darian chose as his successor without a qualm.

*****

The flames danced in the fireplace, sending little shadows over the walls. There was a chill in the air, something Beatrice couldn't remember having before.  Oh, the temperature fluctuated some here and there, especially when the sun went down, but this was different. The weather seemed to be changing.  It was subtle, but getting worse.

Ep #5.jpg

"Earth to Triss.  Come in Triss."

Her husband's voice in her ear had her jolting. "What?"

Gunner took the seat next to her. "You were really deep in thought there." 

She nodded slowly.  "Thinking about tomorrow."

Understanding, he reached over to take her hand in his.  "Will you tell them?"

"I have to."

There was a moment of hesitation and then Gunner asked, "Do you think they knew?  Either of them?"

Beatrice shook her head.  "I can't speak for Lord Rosa, though I would think not.  After all, why bother going through with this if he had a claim to the throne? I highly doubt he knew. As for the King, no, he doesn't. To be quite honest, if you hadn't found the letter, I doubt anyone would have put it together. If King Darian had known, this would never have been necessary, this contest."

"A contest you never had any intention of winning," he pointed out with a raised brow.

Rather than a denial, Beatrice wore a little smirk. 

Ep #6.jpg

"No.  I'm not Queen material. Data, information. It's how I can best serve the kingdom. The next King of Newcrest will have my loyalty and all the knowledge at my disposal. I agreed to participate so that there would be no whisperings of disloyalty or resentment."

Gunner shook his head in admiration.  "The King was very smart in his choice of intelligence director."

"Knowledge is power.  It was the one thing that I agreed with my father about."

Concerned, Gunner took her hand in his and gave it a squeeze.  She squeezed it back.  "The one thing that our fathers could never understand though. Using their power for the betterment of others. Newcrest is our home. The nobility aren't the only ones here. In order for our society to function, there are a great many others, others that must be protected. The Bulwarks have ensured our safety for over 400 years. They've done that with a combination of fairness, brilliant strategy, diplomatic relations, when all else failed, military might."

"You're right." Gunner kissed her hand. "You and I will give our children a different legacy than our fathers gave us."

"Yes. We will." Beatrice stood up and went to Gunner.  She kissed him.  "Thank you. For everything.  Thank you."

"No, thank you."

*****

While his vassels contemplated the morrow in various states of relaxation, King Darian did much the same, though relaxation was not at the forefront of his mind. He stood before the great hearth in the royal chambers, contemplating the past and the possible futures for his kingdom.

Ep #7.jpg

He rested his arm on the mantle and let out a sigh. "It's almost time, my darling.  Almost time."

*****

The next morning dawned bright and clear. The castle rose up into the sky, a stalwart bastion of protection and peace. It had served as the home of the Bulwarks for centuries. For those who called Newcrest their home, it was a symbol. Of hope, and of peace. Blakely craned his neck as he looked up at it.  Since he could remember, his parents had brought him to the castle whenever they had had to meet with the King. When it became time for his training, he had been there every day. Adisa put a hand on his shoulder just before he became aware of another presence.

"Lord Doran."

Blakely turned around.  "Lord Rosa!"  He extended his hand and he and Adrian exchanged a hand shake.  "It's been some time."

"Aye.  It has.  Lord Doran, this is my wife, Lady Marisa."

Marisa nodded and curtsied while Blakely took her hand politely.  "I was sorry to have missed your wedding."

"We certainly understood."

Adisa was introduced to the Rosas and the four of them stood out for a moment until another car pulled up at the curb.  "There's Lady and Lord Campbell," Marisa murmured as she waved to them.  She was very familiar with Lord Campbell.  Though she detested his father, Gunner had always seemed a decent sort, if a bit hot-headed.

Beatrice and Gunner approached the group.  More greetings and proper introductions followed.  Soon enough, the door of the castle opened. The King's valet greeted them all and showed them up to the King's chambers.

They found Darian on the sofa.  He had had chairs ringed in a circle.  "I thought it would be more comfortable and there would be less prying eyes, " he told them.  "Please, sit.  Make yourselves at home."

As everyone was settling down into a seat, Darian looked at each one.  "Now, first, let me apologize for the brief missive I sent and furthermore, for tearing you away from your children."

Ep #8.jpg

He stood up.  "I'll be as quick as I can.  First, I want to thank all of you. Yes, all of you.  While Lady Campbell, Lord Rosa, and Lord Doran were in contention for the throne, those who married them became a part of it as well.  So thank you, all of you."

There were a few murmurs of acknowledgement, then they fell silent.  The old King bowed his head.  "I realize what I asked was far more than I had any right to expect.  For that I apologize.  But I believe that you three and those you have chosen are what is best for this kingdom, for our home. With that said, I am proud to announce the winner."  Darian looked at each one first and then his gaze settled on Blakely.  "Congratulations, Lord Doran.  You will be King of Newcrest."

Blakely closed his eyes for a brief moment as emotions flitted through over his face in rapid succession.  Then he blanked it and he nodded to his King.  "It is an honor, your majesty."

Clearing her throat, Beatrice stood up with an apology. 

Ep #9.jpg

"I do not mean to interrupt, your highness.  Nor do I wish to belittle Lord Doran's achievements.  But I feel I must speak up."  Her gaze, full of sympathy, went to Lord Rosa.  "In my capacity as a scholar and chronicler, I came upon something a few days ago.  After some calculations and looking into the histories and birth records, I believe there is an heir of Bulwark blood that has a much fuller claim to the throne than we previously thought."

Darian stood stock still for a long moment before composing himself.  "L-lady Campbell.  Are you sure?"

She nodded. "I am, your highness."  She turned to Adrian.  "Lord Rosa, I apologize.  But it is my duty to inform you of this.  I believe that you are the son of the late Markus Bulwark."

There was silence in the room for a long moment.  Then Adrian sighed.  He looked at his wife and shrugged.  "It's true."

"What?! Lad, you knew?"

Blakely had stood up, slowly.  "You have a rightful claim to the throne.  Your mother was engaged to the Prince."

"They never married," Adrian pointed out.  "He died before they could be."  He sighed again, rubbing a hand over his face.  Then he looked at the King.  "I will apologize to you, your majesty.  I should have said something, though I only found out after I was married. Mother was going to take the secret to her grave.  She kept it from you, from everyone, to protect me. But she wanted me to know.  The truth of the matter is-" He was grateful as his wife placed her hand over his. "I am proud of my bloodline.  I'm honored to have Bulwark blood running through my veins. I'm honored to be your nephew. But I'm a Rosa. And I finally know what that means."

He stood up, facing Blakely, a soft smile on his face.  "I am a Rosa and while I participated in this contest, I knew I could become King.  But I would do it as a Rosa. However, you won, Lord Blakely."

Ep #10.jpg

"Or should I say, King Doran?" Those in the room watched avidly as Adrian knelt down in front of Blakely, bowing respectfully.  "I, Adrian Rosa, head of the Rosa family and with the blood of the Bulwarks running through my veins, do hereby pledge my loyalty and that of my family to King Blakely Doran and to his Queen, Adisa. You have only to call and I or my kin will be here." Marisa joined her husband, bending knee and bowing her head.

Blakely slid his gaze to Darian.  The King watched Adrian for a moment, then gave a single nod to Blakely.

"Rise, Lord Rosa. And thank you." He looked to Adisa who stood up and took her place by his side.  Blakely then turned to Beatrice and Gunner. "How do you both feel about this?"

Beatrice had been watching Darian. When she saw what she had been seeking, she stood up, her husband following her.  They dropped down next to their peers.  "I, Beatrice Campbell, head of the Campbell family, swear to serve you as faithfully as I have done your predessor. I swear that I and my family will serve you and your family in any capacity you see fit."

Blakely looked at the four of them, and then at his King, the one he had once gotten down on one knee and swear his service to.  "Sir?"

King Darian smiled.  "You heard them, King Blakely. I wouldn't keep your vassals there on their knees long, though."

Adisa had to smother the laugh behind her hand.  Blakely glared at her, but he had to smile ruefully.  "Forgive me.  Please rise and I don't know how to thank you." He blew out a breath and looked at his wife.  They linked hands.  "I swear to you, as your King, I will serve this kingdom and its people to the best of my ability until I draw my last breath." He looked at Adisa.

She nodded.  "As Queen, I swear the same. Thank you, all of you."

King Darian came forward.  He clasped hands with Blakely and then kissed Adisa's cheek.  "My Queen, My King.  Thank you.  The announcement will go out tomorrow. And when you are ready, we will move your things here, to the castle.  I will see that Prima Dominus is looked after."

Blakely looked at his wife again, this time with more trepidation.  The realization- the magnitude- was beginning to sink in.  "Of course.  Thank you."

He was going to be King...

****

Congratulations to Blakely!  The new King and Queen of Newcrest are Blakely and Adisa Doran!

Ep #11.jpg

*****

A big thank you to everyone for reading!  I hope you enjoyed this story. And I hope you join me to see how not only Blakely and Adisa, Gunner and Beatrice as well as Adrian and Marisa fare, but also the other citizens of Newcrest when the Royal Kingdom Challenge begins in earnest.  I am not quite done with this either.  I've been working on a bit of a behind-the-scenes post where I have some fun tidbits about my game, some screenshots I really wanted to share as well as the final "scores" of our three contenders.  So stay tuned and keep an eye out for the start of the RKC!

Offline oshizu

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Re: To Prevent a War- A One to Rule Them All Challenge Epilogue up! 9/3/18
« Reply #103 on: September 03, 2018, 07:52:35 PM »
Congratulations to Blakely, the new King!
Oddly, the other two candidates hadn't really wanted to rule, anyway, so I guess all things really turned out for the best.

I was surprised Beatrice didn't inform King Darian of her news about Adrian immediately, rather than letting King Darian announce the winner first.
Still, I really liked how King Darian let his "rivals" decide among themselves whether Adrian's genealogy should be the deciding factor.
How wonderful, though, that both Beatrice and Adrian will be able to serve the kingdom in the roles they feel suit them best.
Although I  imagine all three would always remain loyal supporters and gracious losers, no matter who'd win.

The Royal Kingdom Challenge seems so incredibly complex due to the numerous households involved in the kingdom.
Greatly looking forward to meeting everyone!

Offline Trip

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Re: To Prevent a War- A One to Rule Them All Challenge Epilogue up! 9/3/18
« Reply #104 on: September 04, 2018, 06:11:28 AM »
Is your RKC going to be in this thread or a new one? a.k.a. if I need to move it to Completed Stories or not ;)
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