Book 2-3 Interludes – The Wedding of a Nation – A flashback of memories
So many in Argentum will remember this day for years to come. Many of them remember the sound starting in the morning with the sound of being in a deep, deep snow all around – the sounds being quite muted in the way that when there’s a deep snowfall. Sounds just seemed to be quieter but as the sun slowly rose on the day the sounds around Silver Falls and Argentum began to crescendo with the hustle and bustle of hundreds of people moving about and scurrying around Silver Falls and they began preparing for the day. In the early hours of the morning, Tamus, Ray J, and Sorath all smell this maelstrom of senses that they’ve never really smelled before in this combination. There’s a low-level centre of anxiety and sweat and humans, halflings, dwarves, and elves, and everything in between, begin to engage in their preparations. Across all the buildings in Silver Falls there’s a smell of overarching excitement and anticipation for a big day for the Kingdom of Argentum but also one centred in a very personal and intimate relationship of love. People remember some of the individuals around, standing out particular, people remember Loinarv bustling around taking a moment or two to watch in stillness people just stare at him, for his traditional trademark black eye patch traded out for an eye patch of green silk on this particular day. People remember Keston and his boys all wearing flowers as part of their uniforms – fresh green and white flowers pinned to their uniforms that look like they were carefully cleaned and ironed sometime in the wee hours of the morning. People remember King Vesket making his way with only one other lizardfolk in attendance. King Vesket looking particularly majestic in his crown embedded with lapis lazuli around the top. It doesn’t look like he’s enjoying the day. He is particularly a little more lethargic than your used to seeing the big, big lizard walk around, but he’s there and he’s proud. You see Chiefs Sootscale wearing a glorious headdress made of feathers and bits of fur and scales hanging from it. It bounces slightly as he walks across the snow.
People also remember a visitor that seemed familiar with Kerubiel but stranger to the other people that he encountered. It was a human with piercing blue eyes who rode in on a very well-bred chestnut stallion. You might be able to see that he had blonde hair pulled up into a knot behind his head except you can’t see his hair because on top of his head he is wearing a preposterous triangle hat, a brilliant shade of amber with great pinstripes perched on his head. People also remembered a couple sleds pulled in on the snow from places outside of Argentum. One of the sleds had the Surtova Crest emblazoned on the sides – a grey ship against the field of blue below in black above, the upper shield part of the Crest spangled with Silver Stars and out of this wagon sled pulled across the snow, a figure stepped out – imposing in full silver full plate black stylings in the hinges and a billowing black cape, he barely managed to fit out of the door of this sled wagon. The barons would recognize him as one of the Surtova guards – one of the personal bodyguards they met briefly when queen Natala Surtova met them as they were gaining their charter. Parked facing exactly opposite is another sled also with a Crest on it. This Crest was of the Sword Lords and had underneath were stencil letters of J and A. Out of that sled stepped two figures – Iosef Selamas, no longer the Lord Mayor but once the Lord Mayor of Restov, comes forth and with him a steward. His body servant Rush Hanel standing there with his proper white beard and black bow tie. And that is how the day opens up and some of the people that are around.
And Finn was talking to all the ushers, the guards, and his little helper Ray J are making sure everybody is situated in their positions and that everything is working. He did a brief walk down and told the guards where to stand and where to go. He was telling them to blend in but also to be wary of anybody suspicious. His ushers he was really strict of them. They were all dressed in floral blue with gold trim – this helping Finn so he could spot them right away. Finn wore a new little outfit that is for the wedding. His new look for whenever he would do a wedding service in the future.
The place was decorated with a slight nature motif, Finn’s own personal tribute to Ellira. Even her favourite flowers were present next to the altar. Finn finally would get everybody situated. He would have had his ushers ready at the door to greet the wedding party. Then the ushers were divided between the groom’s party and the bride’s group. Finn would have then said to them, “OK you’re there to do whatever they want! If they need you to get something, you get it! Make life easy for them!”
Then once everything was set, Finn would get all his stuff together and then go out to the front and then wait for the groom and bride to arrive.
The groom and his groomsmen would have arrived beforehand, and the bride and her entourage arrived by a sleigh of superb craftsmanship. It was crafted from a rich dark wood with intricate carvings and gold and silver accents. Although it currently only held Cora, her mother, and the Zorn sisters, it had room for the full wedding party. It was lined with plush velvet cushions in a beautiful emerald, green colour, trimmed with white fur. The exterior of the sleigh was adorned with garlands of holly and mistletoe and hung from the four corners were silver lanterns that emitted a gentle warm glow.
The sleigh was pulled by 4 majestic silver mares known as Fey Found as they all have a tinge of fey ancestry from being native to the Stolen Lands where the fey folk flourish. The manes ombres from silver to a deep forest green at the tips, and the tails match this colour pattern as well. A terrific find of Gith’s.
Inside the glorious cathedral, Kerubiel awaits his bride with his groomsmen, Drael and Glanrim, and his best man, Savren. To their side is Sorath, drapped in an emerald, green blanket lined with silver trim, laid down with her paws crossed in front of her. Her visage hard to focus on because of her maturation.
Standing there at the head of the aisle is Kerubiel, he is wearing a fitted emerald, green velvet jacket, with silver buttons and trim, paired with matching pants. It of course was tailored to match his physique perfectly. He definitely fit the look of a young king and not the pain in the ass braggart you met those few years ago.
Under the jacket is a crisp white shirt with silver cufflinks and a silver and green necktie. Completing the look was a pair of silver dress shoes. On top of this he wore a silver and emerald, green waistcoat that was seen more as the day went on and dancing was had at the celebratory feast later on.
The last thing of note would be a subtle one, and on his right hand he now wears a silver signet ring with the Keencoin insignia upon it.
At one-point Glanrim had pulled Kerubiel aside and presents him with this magnificent crown of steel and gold fixed with two fine emeralds in the centre and he said, “Your warrior crown is good for war, but this is not a day for war, this is a day for something more, Your Highness.”
And Kerubiel replied, “I’m – I’m honored” and he would have kneeled as Glanrim placed it.
“I have one for your Fair Lady as well, but you can’t see that one yet,” as he clasped him close and then left him to carry on with what he has to do.
And as they are finishing, Finn comes barging into the room asking, “You need something to calm me nerves? I got some fungal fun or some fruity punch?” Kerubiel replied with a kind, “No, I think that’s OK.
“Alright… Glanrim? Drael?”
Glanrim queried, “What was the first one? a fungal fun?
Finn replied, “fungal fun or fruity punch! Yes, it’ll put a little kick in your step and a little step at the end!”
Drael, intrigued replied, “Yeah I’ll have one of those before the speeches thank you, yeah.”
Then Finn turned and said, “I’m gonna check on your bride and ushers and make sure everyone is ready in ten.”
Aila remembers a moment of peace – there’s been lots of busyness going on. Excited feelings and lots of people but she remembers this moment of peace when she was in the room. They’re kind of waiting in a side room and it’s just for the moment, for just a brief moment, it’s just Aila and Cora. Aila remembering how thankful she is to have made this friend. She’s never really had such a close friend – she has her sisters and she certainly close with them, but this is a bit different and when she moved from her place underground, she never was really thinking about this and so she remembers this moment with Cora. Aila is just looking at Cora and thinking what a beautiful person and Cora confides in Aila that what she’s thinking about is the beautiful person that she’s about to marry. Her hair is glistening in a streak of sun coming through the window and Cora almost looks like she’s had tears in her eyes, but Aila detects it’s not quite happening because she’s holding it together. But according Aila, Cora is saying to her how she was so thankful to be marring Kerubiel. Because she felt she’s never seen this side of Kerubiel, but Cora – the sweet smile on Cora’s face was really showing Aila how truly sweet and kind and gentle Kerubiel is and what a beautiful love that these two have together. Aila thinks of this memory very fondly when she thinks back of the wedding because it was just this moment just the two of them before Cora’s life changed.
Then then heard a ruckus outside the door and they heard Finn’s voice shout, “Now that stop, that’s not food!”
And then the door opened up and Finn comes, and he asks Cora, “Where’s your mom?! Those great Danes are pooping everywhere. She is not controlling them! They need to be halted!”
“Where is your mom, Cora? Where is your mother?” (Who is probably somewhere with the Zorn sisters somewhere in the back of the cathedral having some ‘fruity punch.’)
Then Finn paused and looked at her and said, “Oh you look beautiful. I won’t worry you about this. I’ll take care of this… great… now alright be ready 10 minutes.”
And then Finn leaves and closes the door, but everyone still hears rustling from the dogs barking and then suddenly, silence.
A moment later there’s a knock at the door. Glanrim kind of pokes his head in asking, “Is it a bad moment?”
Aila responds, “No, no come on in I think we’re OK, Cora? (Turning to her to seek confirmation, who nods agreeance).
“Finn left and was being Finn. I don’t know. But, anyways,”
He goes up to Cora and he says, “we don’t know each other as well as I’d like but, you’ve made my man happier than I’ve ever seen him and believe me I knew him before he was a happy man. Soo, I made you something be fitting of your new standing in our Kingdom,” and he presents her with this delicately crafted white gold tiara with three small rubies engraved in the front of it and he says, “a queen needs a crown does she not?” So, Cora kneels touched by the gift.
“Ye don’t need to be so formal lass,” as he places it on her head. Then he turns and he’s looking at his companion, and says, “like she was a vision before but how about now? Am I right? Well enough of this ol’ bastard. I’ll let you get on with it. I’ll see you at the ceremony.”
Cora’s smile on her face when she receives the crown – look of joy and anticipation and nerves.
Finn then had a last quick meeting with the wedding party while the bride and groom were left to wait for a final moment.
5 minutes later, and usher comes and gets the Zorn sisters and the boys and takes them to the central hall where everybody meets before the wedding starts. Finn is there with his ushers, and he starts speaking, “guys, this is the big day and I’m not really good at pep talk but this is their day. It’s your guys’ responsibility to make sure it’s their day. So that means if they need someone to take drinks on for them, you will take drinks on for them. If it means having to dance with that touchy uncle, you dance with the touchy uncle. We gotta make sure what they want gets done you are – Aila nods and says, “I’ll dance with the touchy uncle.”
“Love it Zorn sister!” Drael then says, “You don’t have to worry.”
And Finn turns to. Glanrim and says, “You gotta take on the drinking party because I know you can put a lot of it away. To which Glarnim responded, “Don’t worry lad, I’ve been preparing for that all year.”
Then Finn ends with, “Now, OK come on you all go back to where you were. 5 minutes and we’re gonna start this thing. Get to your places. Go team go… go go go go… no, no seriously, go go go go!”
The smile that was plastered upon Kerubiel’s face was unforgettable as he saw his bride for the first time that day as she walked down the aisle to the beautiful song performed by an incredible performer that Finn had arranged.
Adorned in a dress of luxurious emerald, green velvet and adorned with intricate silver embroidery and beading. The bodice was fitted and flattering, with delicate silver straps that cross at the back to create a beautiful and unique design.
The skirt of the dress was full and voluminous, and sparkled as the silver lace and tulle added to it caught the sunlight that poked through the cathedral hall as she walked down it. Sarenrae giving her blessing on the day. The hem of the dress was adorned with delicate silver beading and emerald, green gems, adding a touch of elegance and glamour to the dress.
Finishing the look was a silver and emerald, green sash tied in a bow at the back of the dress that added a touch of sophistication to the overall look.
The breathtaking sight of the kingdom’s new queen made them quickly forget the mother of the bride, Phrowenia, escorting her down, led by four white Great Danes. Who thanks to Kerubiel’s training, went to their side of the church and behaved wonderfully during the service.
As the song of ‘Only Fool’s Rush In’ ends and Cora stands opposite of Kerubiel, Finn began to speak, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to witness the union of two souls. Bound together by light, the shining light of Sarenrae. As we stand witness to this blessed occasion, let us remember that it is only through the grace of the almighty, that we are even brought together in this moment.”
Finn then steps down beside of them and continues, “who is here in front of us, to step through the darkness into the light of Sarena’s embrace?” Finn then looked straight at Kerubiel and Cora waiting for a response from them. They each announce themselves and who they intend to marry.
Then Finn holds their hands together and ushers them into the sunlight. As they step into the light, Finn starts again to say, “Today we celebrate the triumph of love over all obstacles as Kerubiel and Cora step hand in hand. As they step into Sarenrae’s ever-loving embrace. Now we see the radiance of their love shining brighter than any other star in the sky. And their love has endured the test of time. After each challenge, they have emerged stronger and more committed to each other. But it’s not just their love that has brought them to this moment, it is their faith in Sarenrae’s plan for their lives that guided them on this journey. It is through her grace that they found each other. It is through her love they will continue to grow together as one. May the light of Sarenrae – “As Finn is saying this, the opening of the cathedral gets larger as Ray J pulls a cord and it opens more to shine down upon Kerubiel and Cora. “Shine upon them as they begin a new chapter in their lives. And their love be a testament for the power of Sarenrae’s grace. May it inspire all who witness it to strive for a love that is as pure, and as true as theirs. As we celebrate this joyous occasion let us give thanks to Sarenrae and her unwavering love and guidance. Let us pray that she will continue to bless Kerubiel and Cora with her grace. And their love will continue to shine brightly for all eternity. In the name of Raie, the Dawnflower and the Everlight, Amen.” And then Finn signals to the armband bearers to bring the armbands forward.
“With these armbands are not only symbol of your love but a promise. Kerubiel, please take yours for Cora. And remember to say I do afterwards. Repeat after me. This armband is a token of my love for you. I Promise to love you, honour you and cherish you always. With this vow, I promise to be there for you in good times and bad, sharing your laughter and tears. With this armband I give you my heart, my soul, and my life.”
It is important to note that the armbands were fashioned by Glanrim. The one that he’s giving to Cora it’s a stalking cat so it’s like obviously bent around to be like kind of nose to its own tail, but its head is turned sideways, and it’s got two emeralds for it in its eye sockets and is made of gold.
The other one for Kerubiel is also gold, but it’s of a mouse with two Onyx stones for the eyes.
The couple then says ‘I do’ each after finishing their vows. Which are, “With this armband I promise to be your partner, your confidant, and your best friend. I vow to support you with all your dreams and aspirations and to shar in all your joys and sorrows. I give you this armband as a sign of my love and commitment to you for all eternity.”
Then Finn pronounced them man and wife with permission for Kerubiel to kiss his bride, but Glanrim interrupted, “No you don’t! This first!” as he stomps forward with this big mug. It’s got this nice foamy head on it. “This is first. It’s an ancient tradition passed down from the halls. Ye share of this and then the kiss.” Which the couple happily obliged Glanrim’s tradition before sharing a passionate first kiss as husband and wife.
And the hall exploded with standing ovation and cheers of “Long live King Kerubiel! Long live Queen Cora!” as they process back down the aisle. Smiles on everyone’s faces. As they were leaving the cathedral, Drael caused an ethereal flock of doves to fly through the sky to all those who witnessed it with awe and wonderment.
Then as everyone slowly files out of the church to head to the party at the castle. Everyone makes their way to the castle with a little bit less nerves and there’s a feeling, it smells less of sweat now at this point. It is more of calm joy as people make their way through the snow up to the castle. Everyone’s bundled up in their nicest clothes with their nicest cloaks and they make it to the castle. The wedding party all gathered in the gorgeous sleigh pulled by the four FeyFound horses.
When people arrive and they enter the castle some of the things that they remember are the smells and the feeling of love it’s almost as if the love of these two has bled into the walls of this castle. And some of these people have never been here before – I mean probably lots of them and so this is just quite the experience to walk in and see this… and of course the decadent candles, so many different candles colours. You don’t even know how the the candles are these colours. Is it magic? is it flowers? Aila would like to talk to Finn about it later. Given all of these candles there is an ambience. Just the lighting, that soft yellow lighting. This is a very hygge feeling and everyone is very comfortable.
And people come in and they find seats and the food, the food is served, and it is every bit as good as it smells!
Then the feast carries on and is as delicious as all imagine it would be. Then as it is time for the speeches, Drael has a word with Finn, “Uh, about those beverages you were suggesting earlier…I’ll take those now.” Finn responds, “Right! You want the little urge of dancing fantastic, or do you want to be cool calm and collected?”
Drael took pause to think before replying, “Oh geez… what happens if you take some of both?” Which caused Finn to take pause, “oh adventurous,” and then he took a little thing that looked like. It was for your tea and mixed them together in one vial before handing it to Drael. Who takes that and down, then downs a little bit more wine and then goes to do his speech before Finn can tell him he should not mix it with alcohol.
“Too late,” he calls back as he’s already had a few. And yeah, maybe that not sweat smell went away for most up until right now, but it is now back again for just a little bit as Drael starts stress sweating immensely right all through his robes but a wave of calm starts to wash over him as he feels like no one is even looking at him and his confidence is bolstered.
Drael then goes on to give a speech, a heartfelt speech lauding Kerubiel’s many admirable qualities and services to our new nation. You can imagine he’s adding a few little kinds of quirks here and there, kind of funny stories. You know nothing too like risque or anything too embarrassing – he leaves out the one where Kerubiel like tripped out of the saddle or something like that. And so, then he gets to the end, he does the same for Cora as well – as much as he knows about her. Then at the end he says, “and to honor the service of our brave king and our new queen we have adorned their faithful mount with the saddle worthy of the Knight and Queen of Argentum.”
Sorath was then brought in with a new to her saddle. Drael then continues by saying, “This saddle is known as Lancer’s Hope. Once this saddle once served the courageous knight of house Medved’s outriders known as Sir Walthone. Drael then shared a little story of the Knights of house Medved and Sir Walthone and some of their deeds. He then goes on to say that he had the honor of speaking with Sir Walthone’s father and that many of you may not know that Sir Walthone was killed tragically – well he disappeared, and it was just confirmed that he was tragically killed. But that Sir Walthone’s father and I both agreed that we could think of no better way to honor his memory than for the saddle to be used by the king of Argentum himself.”
Drael then raised a glass and did some fireworks. Towards the end of the celebrations there of course was a fine fireworks display rivaling those of MerryMead.
But first there so more gifts.
A couple more gifts to go along with the saddle after Drael presents Lancer’s hope over to Kerubiel and Cora. The first is from Maegar Varn and he approaches and Cephal Laurentis his wizard, his older wizard friend, and Casper Mororian, a cleric of Erastil that also is a part of the Varnling Host with him. Maegar Varn approaches Kerubiel and Cora and hands them a gift. It’s small, it fits right in Kerubiel’s hand, which given that Maegar is a human and Kerubiel is a halfling, it’s fairly small to fit his hand. It’s something kind of metallic and heavy but it’s just wrapped in a little bit of silk. Which Kerubiel gracious opens. how many
Apart the silk is some jewelry. It is a silver pin. It has a “V’ and an ‘H’ superimposed on top of each other and Maegar says, “this is the token of the Varnling Host, you may redeem this, and the Varnling Host will come to your Aid.” To which Kerubiel and Cora both nod in thanks.
And then next was a gift from the crown of Brevoy as the hulking knight approached the newlyweds. The armored figure in the silver and black armor with his black billowing cape. Helm stayed on throughout the whole ceremony and all the festivities the helm has never come off. This hulking bodyguard comes over and hands Kerubiel and Cora a small purse with a Paisley design on the outside, there’s a little bit of jiggling inside of it.
Kerubiel. Responded with a “thank you crown,” and a nod of his head. Later when they open the bag, they are only 4 coins in it. There is a single copper bit, a single silver link, a single gold crown and a single platinum dragon. All very clearly the currency of Brevoy. And not a very generous gift but one to make a statement.
The last gift, one more gift and the last comes from Savren himself. Savren is the fellow in the hat who was Kerubiel’s cavalier mentor and trainer from when he was a child. Savren gives him a silver locket and will tells him it is from his parents and the only way that the Locket can be opened is with the magical command phrase. Savren then told Kerubiel that the phrase is ‘relationship more than blood’. And Kerubiel repeated it while holding the locket, “…more than blood.”
And when those words are spoken, the locket will open. On one side is the Surtova Crest, engraved underneath with the words ‘ours is the right’ and on the other side of the Locket is the name Keencoin just engraved inside of it. That is the last gift.
And as the last gift is finished being presented, Finn, in this the first time you ever see him in a suit, and he actually has his mask off. He’s changed out of his robes into a suit, and he stumbles over his chair, and he saunters up to Savren and leans on his leg.
“Alright it’s time for the speech you been waiting for. The best man speech! Ladies and gentlemen, friends and family, and anyone who snuck in here for free booze. I am honoured to the best man at this wedding. – even if I am only the second-best man in this room. I mean have you seen this groom?” and he stumbles over next to Kerubiel. “Have you seen this groom? He’s like a model. I am just happy my shirt doesn’t have a stain on it. Speaking of the groom” Finn paused to rub his face. “I’ve known him for a long time. In fact, we’ve been best friends since I found him in the forest. I remember the day we met like it was yesterday. He was eating paste from the tree, and I was like, that guy knows how to party. Then we’ve been inseparable ever since. And then we met the bride. I have to say I was a little jealous at first. I mean Who is this woman who is stealing my best friend away? But then I met her, and I realized that she’s amazing. She’s smart, funny, beautiful, and most importantly -she put up with the groom’s horrible jokes. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what it is? Okay, how do you get the dog to stop licking itself? Why did the groom cross the road? – to get to the other side of the buffet… But in all seriousness, I’m so happy for the happy couple! They are truly meant to be together, and I can’t wait to see where their futures will go. And hey, if they ever need a babysitter for their future child, they know who to call – Ray J (ha ha) and don’t tell them about the paste eating thing. Congratulations you too!” And then Finn leans back up and stumbled back his seat. While a snort can be heard from Aila as Finn finishes and there was some awkward clapping from most guests afterwards.
Then there were some fireworks from Drael to break the awkwardness of the previous moment.
Later, at some point during the feast and dancing, Drael and Glanrim were each pulled aside by Kerubiel individually. There he presented them with a minor token of his appreciation of them standing up with him.
He would have presented them each with a beautifully carved oaken box each with intricate carvings or a golden dragon or a bear respectively. Inside the box would be an exquisitely made silver flash with their names engraved upon it and the words ‘Thank you, with love, K&C’ on the back. He would let them know that, although it is only water, it will never let them want for thirst.
Cora would also have had a similar moment with Aila, but she would present her with a beautiful silver bracelet with intricately carved charms hung from it. The different charms would be a candlestick, a begonia, a mouse, a tankard – from their visit to Varnhold, a hammer, and finally a donkey. There would be room for more charms she would have told her, to build more memories together over the years.
Finally, just before Kerubiel and Cora left for the night, Kerubiel would have a moment with Finn as well. He would thank him for finding him his family and for the beautiful words he had spoken earlier at the service and that he is honoured to be his kin. He would then say that this relic of their goddess deserves to be a member of the faith with the conviction to do what the Dawnflower would demand. He then would have given him Gyronna Sunwrought and a huge hug.
And then finally as Kerubiel and Cora were about to go, Drael cast a spell on them – telling them it was feather fall to which they gave wry looks. He then cast fly on Sorath and whispered in her ear ‘just like we practiced’. Drael then said to the couple, “I don’t know where you guys are going, but Sorath is going to fly you there – if you want her to.”
Kerubiel and Cora would then leave the party for the night, hugging each of his. and thank you for sharing in this magical day. They would be carried off by the very large and imposing mire cat who was ever present the whole day. Flying up and around the Tuskwater before returning to their tower balcony for the evening.
And as Sorath, Kerubiel and Cora soar up and over the Tuskwater on the way to the top of the tower, the rest of the guests have seen the fireworks and are slowly entering just to grab whatever they left behind from their tables. As they leave the feast, the sound of conversation in the castle is decrescendoing. The candles – all the different coloured candles in all the shapes and sizes all the way around the castle or gradually going out. Half are already out; the rest are burned down low. The light getting very, very dark and people still remember the smell of the feast food lingering in the air as people are shuffling through doors – some walking confidently some stumbling here and there as they exit.
A couple folks are still sitting around the room and in one of the stuffed chairs around the outside of the wall you see a couple of Garess-Weavers cuddling together in the chair. In the chair Lily sits on Keston’s lap. People can just remember hearing them quietly murmur. Keston’s gloved hand resting protectively on top of Lily’s belly. “Do you think the baby Porthos will ask her hand someday?” Lily mused. “Well, I don’t know if it’ll be him, but she damn well gets to marry whoever she pleases.” And there is just a bit of a chuckle from both of them. Lily then said, I don’t know if she’ll be as physically strong as Aila Zorn. I don’t know who the other great role models for her really would be? That Gith girl is interesting but just a bit flighty for my tastes.” And Keston replied, “Oh well, I think we have someone new, a role model that most could only dream of. I think we have a new queen to watch, to celebrate, and to be inspired by.”
And that’s what people remember about the wedding of Kerubiel and Cora