(Closed RP thread for one-post RPs set in Aivintis and perhaps Serdemia, mostly with a historical setting and premise.)

Blood-Stained Crown

Old stone and older prayers surrounded King Geoffrey Dale of Aivintis as he knelt on a deep purple prayer pillow before the gilded altar at the end of the Royal Chapel of Teronia. Silence draped over the empty wooden pews and resting organ, a reasonable state for this absurd hour. The King’s wild hair, in desperate need of a trimming, was greying, and the bejeweled silver crown of Aivintis was heavy on his brow. Geoffrey’s military uniform, with its dark blue coat and golden epaulettes, was worn and old, but had not seen battle in years, as had the dull officer’s sword he had taken off for comfort. King Geoffrey Dale was praying for his people, and for forgiveness. His policies had kept the military strong and the national bureaucracy fair, but had allowed the Counts and Duke to exercise absolute power over the local people.

The south was calling for more power to Duke Henry, their adored leader, who would cut the throat and purse of the nation without question. The central counties were calling for more power to the people, begging for mob rule, uncaring for the instability and weakness it would bring. The west was sparsely populated, but rumors spoke of the Great Bastard rallying the people with pitchforks and torches to claim a throne that did not belong to him. There was no good option for him or for his people. He wished he could have seen it sooner, or found a suitable heir to fix his mistakes, but it was too late, now. His wife was gone, and he felt in his bones that it would not be long before it was him.

So King Geoffrey Dale prayed, prayed for peace, prayed for stability, prayed that the nation he ruled would not succumb to chaos and injustice for the good people that looked to him for guidance. Geoffrey prayed for a miracle that would never come, laid his heart before his god and received no answer. He did not bother to rise as an ancient door creaked open, and light footfall approached, but he knew what had come for him.

“Du bist hier um mich zu töten,” he called softly, his eyes unopened.

The footsteps paused, allowing silence to settle again for a few moments before replying, “So ist es mit Attentätern und Königen.”

“Tell me…was it Henry?”

Another few moments of deafening silence, then: “It was.”

He pursed his lips. “And then what? He marches on my palace?”


Geoffrey continued, “Dark clouds gather over Aivintis.” Finally, the King rose to look at the assassin, staring down the barrel of a pistol. “The days to come will run red with blood.”

“Your blood will have dried.”

“My people’s blood is my own.”

The gunshot echoed clearly throughout the church. King Geoffrey fell to the floor with an unceremonious thud. The assassin lingered.

“Ad litoribus ex lux. Gratia tecum, surrecturus sit. Gratia tecum, veterascet.” The prayer was strange on the killer’s tongue.

He lowered himself, gently placing a folded letter within Geoffrey’s coat. He stepped over the corpse and walked to the door with which he entered at a leisurely pace. By the time the guards rushed in, all they found was the fallen King, and the mark of the Black Hand in his coat.

Dishonor before Death

The crowd roared for their Emperor as Thaddeus Stuart’s speech ended. It was the proclamation of a new Empire, the condemnation of the Florentine Rebellion, the sentencing of the Order of Enlightenment’s upper echelons, and the mercy extended to those who had fought against him. As Magister Peter Florence knelt before the boy he refused to kneel before so long ago, he knew the people of Aivintis would rise to meet this new age with the enthusiasm of a witless child. He wondered how long it would last, how much more it would stand in the way of greatness for Aivintis and power for Maven. Peter Florence had lost, and he was paying the price. Subjected in the final moments of his life to watch as everything he worked for was torn apart, burned to ash, just before his eyes and met with cheers and salutes. It was the worst way to go, in his opinion. He’d rather die in battle, or to an assassination, or to disease. He would even prefer dying at the hands of a royal torturer…imperial now, he surmised. At least in those cases he could die for what he had lived, he could die bravely in defiance, he could die a martyr. Here, he was to die a coward and a fool.

Thaddeus Stuart turned to him, the Emperor’s hand resting comfortably on the butt of a holstered pistol. Florence looked up to him and spat, but the Emperor simply stepped aside. Pained by how he just watched, Peter spoke first.

“Is that how I am to die? Make it quick, bastard. I die for Aivintis as I lived for it.” They were practiced last words, run over and over in his mind, but he had lost his conviction. He had probably messed them up, too, his mind spinning with fear, disappointment, and a great headache.

The Emperor tilted his head slightly. “I’ll grant you the honor of ordering the firing squad.”

Florence scowled. “You won’t even shoot me yourself?”

Thaddeus Stuart shook his head. “You are not worth the time.”

The Aivintian Emperor raised his hand, gesturing for seven armed soldiers to move forward. They dragged him to the side, and began putting on his blindfold. He shook his head. “I will die gazing on my nation.”

Thaddeus shrugged, and the soldiers tossed the blindfold aside, raising their guns to the condemned, waiting for the order.

Peter Florence spoke quickly, “When I give the command, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. Know that I have fought a hundred battles for Aivintis, and not one against her.” He paused, inhaled deeply, and ordered, “Fire!"