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The Castle of Roses
Author's note: I was inspired to write this piece after exploring the Lord of the Rings and other fantasy novels, such as the Chronicles of Narnia series. I wanted to write a novel that would explore the time before anything happened. A time filled with magic, adventure, and questions.
In a time much before ours, and much before the times of King Arthur and even before the Pharaohs of Egypt, this place where we live was ruled by King Lemuel and Queen Constance. They were wise and brave, both never letting the poor pay more than the rich and never too controlling. They had four sons, Prince Mascenforia (the oldest), Prince Herschel, Prince Warneus, and Prince Aymeric (the youngest). Each Prince had unique talents and specialized in specific areas. Mascenforia was a magician and wizard and could put a spell on anything. Herschel was handsome and graceful, brilliant, and a dancer and all the lands ladies dreamed of him as their husband. Warneus had the ability to make money and riches out of anything and produce gold easily. He never let the lands go poor. And even though Aymeric was the youngest of the brothers, he was a warrior and soldier and the best fighter in the kingdom. He never lost one battle and was ruthless and never believed in compassion.
Each brother loved each other greatly and pledged to never leave one another’s side and to always be honest and faithful to each other. All lived in the Castle of Roses; a mystical castle full of powers and wealth. When Mascenforia was 19 and Aymeric was only 16, the King began to get very sick. Queen Constance was terrified that something would happen to him and decided to take him to the healer in the mountains. The sick King and the Queen were riding down the mountains when their carriage went over the side and tumbled this way and that before finally plunging down in the valley. The sons and army went to go look for them but the King and Queen were dead when they found their bodies.
The sons were in grief but the minister knew that there had to be a king of the lands. The King had never left behind a written document saying who his heir would be and had never told anyone who he wanted to take over the throne once he was dead or gone. The Kings council decided that it would be only fair to make the oldest, Prince Mascenforia the King of the Land. His brothers disagreed. Herschel thought that he would be right if he were King as he was the wisest. Warneus argued that he would be able to supply the kingdom with riches and no man would be poor. Aymeric stated that he was the bravest and strongest and could keep the kingdom safe from all enemies and protect his subjects. The Princes began to argue that they each were the best to be King and the whole council did not know what to do. Finally, Prince Herschel decided that the land should be divided into 4 parts and each brother should be given one part and no one from one kingdom could cross over to another kingdom. The council begged the brothers not to do so but the brothers being so angry with each other quickly agreed.
Mascenforia got the northern lands and named them Tensconia. Herschel got the western lands and called them Armulstania. Warneus named his eastern lands Pranalenia and Aymeric gave his southern lands the name Gregorania. Each brother left the Castle of Roses with a fourth of the subjects of the lands and set off to their own kingdoms. Over time, each kingdom specialized in the brother’s talents and the people of each kingdom were taught to hate each other and to never say the name of other kingdoms and to learn the talents of their King. The brothers married and had children but never forgot their hatred to one another and decided it was best to forget each other. The kingdoms were renamed the Lands of the Talents and things stayed peaceful for a long time. The Castle of Roses stayed empty and un-used but still full of powers which people over time began to forget. That is, until the kingdom of Tensconia began to face problems with their Wizards. The wands and spells were not working anymore. They had begun to lose their talents.
Tensconia is a vast kingdom hidden behind the Nutchulk Mountains. The kingdom stretches up for miles until a river that separates them from Pranalenia. In the center of the kingdom is the palace of the King Mascenforia, Queen Belzora, and Prince Thornton. King Mascenforia and Queen Belzora are wise and kind and take care of their people as if they are their own children. To the east of the palace are the farms and growing lands. To the west are the homes of the people that are surrounded by large woods. To the north are the village markets, shops, and the stalls of the apothecary’s, carpenters, iron makers, and other various workers. And to the south are the schools of Wizardry and Magic. All children from ages 3 to 21 must come to train here, rich or poor and even Prince Thornton studies in the schools. The kingdom is filled with bubbling creeks, lush greenery, fragrant flowers, and joyous and happy people.
Now let’s go to the village of the people. At the end of the homes lies one small stone house. The home has 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, and a library. This is the home of Guntram Devereaux, a teacher at the Magic school. His wife Agenilda died while giving birth to his younger daughter Isabeau. He also has an older 19 year old daughter named Roselaine. Guntram is wise and kind but never seems to have time for his both daughters who have grown up without a mother. Roselaine has taken care of her younger sister since she was born and has always been the leader and support of the family and little did the maiden known that for she was to become the hope and savior of her beloved kingdom of Tensconia.
Roselaine Devereaux sighed as she woke up from her small but warm bed. The sun was shining through the glass windows and she knew that it was almost time for classes and that Isabeau had probably not gotten up yet. She got up from her bed and stretched and wished that somehow classes would get canceled. She knew that it was not illegal if she did not go but it was Fathers dream to see his both daughters succeed in the field of magic like he had and had their mother. Roselaine walked over to the basin of water near the door of her small room and splashed the icy cold water one her face. She wiped off the water and then looked at herself in the mirror.
Roselaine was the tad bit pretty. Not gorgeous or beautiful, just pretty in the simple and gentle type of way. She had waist length brown hair and steely gray eyes that seemed to lock you in. Her skin was a shade of peach and her lips were the colors of rose blossoms. She was tall and lanky though, with no curves since she had been hunting and shooting arrows since she was three. Roselaine couldn’t help but stare at herself and then shake her head. She looked so simple it was almost ugly. She turned away from the mirror and opened her chest. She pulled on her simple orange dress and yanked a brush through her hair, not bothering to braid it up like the other girls. Then she pulled out her prized possessions that had belonged to her now dead mother. First, a golden locket with a rose engraved on it, a silver bow and quiver that was filled with special silver bows and a golden dagger. Her mother was an adventurer and the only woman hunter the kingdom had ever had. Roselaine was determined to follow her mother’s path and become a great warrior and hunter. Roselaine strung them over herself along with her necklace and then looked at herself again in the mirror. She looked so much like her mother it hurt to see her reflection. Sighing, she walked out of her room to Isabeau bedroom.
Isabeau’s bedroom was right next door to Roselaine and across the hall was their Fathers bedroom. Next to it was the library. Small stairs in the middle of the hall led to the main floor with a small siting room and kitchen. Opening the wooden door to her sister’s bedroom, Roselaine couldn’t help but smile. Even though Isabeau was her younger sister, she had always felt that Isabeau was her best friend and almost her daughter. Her room was small like Roselaine but far more girly, flowers blooming everywhere and pink curtains and sheets. She had a huge mirror and wore more mature and lacey dresses that Roselaine hated the sight of. Though she was only 14, she acted like she was almost 25 years old.
Roselaine quietly crept to the window and opened it, letting in the early sunshine. She heard Isabeau grumble and toss around in her bed.
“Let me sleep Rose! It is the only early morning. Instructors won’t mind if we are a tad bit late! Close the curtains!” Isabeau pulled a pillow over her head.
Roselaine smiled and walked over to her sister’s bed. She gently tugged the sheets off of her head and pushed her hair off of her face.
“Issie, get up! Father will be very mad if we don’t come to class on time! And we do have a test today and if we miss is they will mark us down!”
Isabeau lifted her head and Roselaine couldn’t help but gasp. Her sister had her father’s looks. Long blond curls that went past her knees, bright blue eyes, and fair skin. She was gorgeous and Roselaine felt a pang of envy shock her. Her sister rolled her crystalline eyes.
“The only reason you are so giddy to go to classes Rose is that Thornton is going to be there. You just can’t wait to see him! I don’t blame you either. You are so in love with him! I think. ”
Roselaine blushed. Thornton or Prince Thornton was the heir to the throne of Tensconia. Tall, muscular, honey blond and blue eyed he was any girls dream. He and Roselaine had been friends for years and slowly they had fallen in love with each other. Or she thought that she loved him. Roselaine had never been sure. Everyone in the village knew that they one day would get married and Roselaine would become Queen of the kingdom .Even though she was a commoner the King and Queen had always considered to be their daughter and the subjects of the kingdom never seemed to have any problem with it. Roselaine hated to be reminded of it because even though she thought she loved Thornton she always seemed to have a nagging feeling in her heart telling her that he was not the one she was looking for. Roselaine shook her head and decided to worry about her romantic issues later on. But Issie was right; she was looking forward to classes partly because Thornton would be there waiting for her and that Thornton had just come back from a 3 week hunting trip and she had missed him greatly. But she was not going to admit that to her younger sister.
“Oh, do be quiet Issie!” She smacked Issie in the head with a pillow and her sister giggled. “Now go and get ready for classes before I make you get up!”
Issie giggled but got up and stretched and began to walk towards her basin. Roselaine smiled at her younger sisters remarks and walked out of her bedroom.
Roselaine quickly ran down the stairs and picked up Issie and her book bags and threw and apple into them. Making sure they each had their charcoal, tablet, wand, and dagger she closed the bags and walked over to the tea pot. While pouring tea for Issie and herself she began to take her long hair and tie it up. Normally she never did this, but the last thing she needed was Thornton to see her looking like a wild animal with her brown hair flying everywhere. She felt small hands take her hair and let Issie do the braid.
“Rose, your hair is so beautiful! I do wish that I had dark hair but here I am stuck with blond curls.” She scowled as she tied the braid up.
Roselaine turned around the smiled at Issie. She looked like an angel with her blond curls hanging loose with ribbons in them and a long sleeved blue silk dress tied with a golden belt. A dignified and graceful angel. Roselaine was the symbol of plainness but she had never bothered with it. She felt guilt that she cared about more important things such as hunting than herself. Roselaine hugged Issie and then tossed her the teacup. Normally, someone would have not been able to catch the cup but Issie swiftly raised her hand and made the cup float. Issies’ class lesson yesterday had been about making things float and sure enough she had paid attention for once. Most of the time she was too busy flirting with Marcedaues Wolfson, the son of owners of the flower shop. Roselaine grinned and both sisters gulped the tea down, grabbed their bags and raced out the stone doors to class.
They sprinted down the narrow stone paths, avoiding villagers and towns folks who cursed at them quietly. People were out in the market selling and buying, kids were running to school, mothers were cleaning homes. The carpenter was making someone a bow and the apothecary was prescribing the Fletcher’s son licorice drops for that dreadful cough he had since the Winter Hunt games (that Roselaine had ended up winning). A fiddler was playing a cheery tune and some little girls were dancing around him while others clapped. The smells of food and flowers wafted into Roselaine’s nose and she wanted to ever so badly stop at the arrow makers shop to look at those new golden arrows that had just arrived but she held onto Issies hand and ran straight past the markets and past the Kings palace that was made of marble and gold. Roselaine had played tag in those halls with Thornton when she was a girl. She ran south with Issie until they reached a pair of golden gates. Panting, Roselaine lifted her dress sleeve to show the guards her bracelet which let them know that she went to the school and was not a spy from the other kingdoms. Issie copied her. The guards nodded and opened the gates to the school and she and Issie walked in briskly.
Inside the gates were buildings stretching on and on, huge empty battling and dueling grounds and fruit trees. A waterfall was gurgling nearby. The students were in the courtyard, waiting for classes to start. Issie frowned.
“Rose! We are early! We could have walked at least! I could have slept a little bit more!” She stuck out her lip.
Roselaine laughed and knelt in front of her. “Issie, the early bird catches the worm.”
Issie rolled her eyes. Roselaine got up and looked around for a familiar honey blond curly head. Where was he? Roselaine then felt a pair of strong hands on her shoulders and jumped. Turning around she saw Thornton smiling at her.
“Looking for someone Rose? Perhaps a friend and lover that has just come back from hunting?” Thornton grinned and Roselaine couldn’t help but smile.
“Actually, I was looking for the future prince of this land! Have you by chance seen him, kind sir?” Roselaine smiled. It was a game they had been playing since they were children. They had always seemed to love to tease each other.
Thornton smiled. “I suppose that you were looking for me, Rose?”
Roselaine grinned. “Of course. Who else in the name of the King would I be looking for?”
Thornton sighed and reached his arms out for Roselaine. She quickly hugged him and he pressed her closer to himself and breathed in the scent of her hair. When he let her go, Roselaine couldn’t help but stare. Thornton’s honey blond curls were ruffled and azure eyes seemed to melt your heart and a warm and caring smile. He was 6 feet and was muscular. Roselaine never understood how lucky she was to have him in this world. Even though she was not sure if she really loved him, for right now it would be the best to act like she loved him more than anything. Roselaine lifted her head from Thornton’s chest and stood on her tippy-toes to kiss him. He leaned down a little so that way it would be easier for Roselaine. Kissing Thornton was one of the greatest pleasures of life. The taste was sweet like honey, and the pressure of his lips on hers sucked her away into an abyss of darkness. Thornton tilted his head sideways and Roselaine pressed herself closer to him. Whether she loved him truly or not, kissing Thornton was enough for now. Isabeau who was standing behind Roselaine cleared her throat.
“Excuse me lovebirds, but classes do start in minutes! And Thornton? You seem to have forgotten that I am standing here. Hello. How was your trip?”
Thornton chuckled. He kissed Roselaine one more time, let go of her, and then reached over to hug Issie. “Ah, Isabeau. You have grown in these few weeks. Soon, you will be a proper lady just like your older sister here. And my trip was amazing and yes I have missed you a lot. And sorry for ignoring you!” He smiled again.
Issie giggled her sweet laugh and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Ok. Apology accepted but do try to remember that I’m standing here!”
Roselaine and Thornton both laughed and Thornton let Issie go.
“We better get going. The classes start soon.” Roselaine said this while handing Issie her book bag.
“Issie please try to pay attention and stop getting into trouble please ok? And no more flirting with Marcedaues. Understood?” Roselaine gave her sister a stern look and Issie blushed bright red but nodded.
Thornton put his hand on Roselaine’s shoulder and she nodded. Together all of them began to walk towards the main doors of the classes.
Issie’s classes were in the west buildings and Thornton and Roselaine’s classes were in the south end. After bidding adieu to Isabeau they both walked towards the south end.
“She’s really growing up isn’t she Rose?” asked Thornton.
“Yes. But I do miss her antics and mischief. She is growing up way too fast.” Roselaine bit her lip.
“Rose, she’s going to have to grow up one day isn’t she?”
Roselaine nodded and then they stopped in front of her classroom. Thornton touched stroked her hair, kissed her softly, and then turned around to go to his own class. Roselaine sighed and entered her classroom.