royal_obligation: (Default)
Edarial is nine, and he's avoiding his mother again.

Exploring the palace gets old after a while, but the library's even worse, and he suspects that if he spent any more time in his room, he'd scream. So, exploring the palace it is. Berathyme's with him, anyway, so the palace won't be so boring. She tends to make observations he didn't notice himself, and that's always interesting, if not always useful. Corridor, corridor, guest rooms, oh yes that is the closet with all of the uncomfortably looking coats, he'd forgotten about that one. Berathyme observes that they've been used relatively recently, some poor souls must have suffered - and then he opens a door and there's something he doesn't recognize.

He stares at the bar in confusion, consults briefly with Berathyme, and then wanders in.

What exactly is going on here?

Equation

Jul. 25th, 2014 07:31 pm
royal_obligation: (g. Don't really think that)
Once the meeting of alternates has concluded, it's back home for the resident monarchs. Zevros grouses about his alt not being reachable yet. And then he grouses about his alt not being a man for - for reasons. Edarial tries very, very hard not to think about those reasons, and makes a face every time it's brought up. Zevros has mercy on his twin, and Edarial doesn't have to make many faces before Zevros's desire to screw himself isn't brought up again.

He also tries very hard not to think about how all of his alts have killed someone. This time, he's not as successful. Edarial's not sure if Prime's killed someone before the fiasco that was finding him, so he might be absolved for that, but the other two certainly chose to. Neither of them regret it in the slightest. He knows this because he asked, quietly, privately. It was in the defense of their matching Bells. That's - he doesn't know how to feel about that. That's worrying.

Obviously, the solution is math. He asks both alts for their - mental numbers, the factors behind them, and then he scurries off to crunch his own and compare with what they have. Iobel didn't want to have a competition, but - this isn't that. He's comparing notes. If he's - likely to kill someone in defense of her, he'd like a heads up first.

Copious amounts of math is completed. Edarial is - kind of frightened by the results. He gets up, and he goes to find Iobel. Because according to Adarin-math, he is probably capable of killing people in her defense.
royal_obligation: (d. Of course)
After Adarin and Isabella depart, Edarial gets back to juggling projects. Unsurprisingly, Iobel is a large help in this. Once she gets a handle on all of the things involved with being a monarch, he can not constantly be doing that alone. He still helps, he's still there doing monarch things and fixing the country, but now he's got a bit more free time to devote to other things.

Accordingly, there's a project he picks back up that he was only tinkering with before his marriage. He'd like to reinvent the fountain that heals familiars, have there be others in strategic locations, so that spellbinders don't need to rush to the capitol to avoid being unmade. Progress on the project's always been slow, there's a reason that it hasn't just been reinvented immediately after the spell charts were lost, but he's got some very good reasons to work on it with a near-obsessive zeal.

One day, to his utter surprise, when he goes to find another portion of the spell-chart to complete, he can't find it. He stares at the chart, stunned. Then he starts checking his work. It takes him a few days to finish the corrections.

Then he's done. He's remade a revolutionary spell chart.

He picks up the huge spell chart, does his best to fold it down to a reasonable travel size, and then heads off to show the nearest spell binder - Iobel.

Hostility

May. 25th, 2014 10:12 pm
royal_obligation: (k. Ignore it until it goes away)
So, if Edarial wasn't sure that his wife hated him before, he's really, really sure of it now. It's pretty usual that if they're in the same room, he feels nothing but silent, seething hostility from her. Usually, his reaction to this is a poker face followed by running. He doesn't like having someone hostile just - there at the dinner table, glaring at him with her hissing familiar.

Zevros doesn't hate him, Edarial's certain of it, but he's not helping. He's literally never seen his twin this angry before. This is coming from someone who has seen his twin be angry loads of times. At meals, he just - sits there. Stabbing his food and glaring at Edarial while he does it. He gets why, he knows that Zevros is furious with him for the whole 'cold political marriage' thing. It still hurts, though, to have his immediate family just be so openly hostile.

He gets more withdrawn. Meals get delivered to his room rather than him eating with Iobel and Zevros right there, being near-openly hostile. He stops sparring with Zevros nearly entirely, spends an unhealthy amount of time in either his office or his room, and Berathyme spends all her time coiled around his shoulders, offering what little comfort she can.

She's pretty terrible at advice, but at least he has someone that doesn't actively hate him nearby.

He throws himself into being a king, gets lots of things done, and is generally considered by the public to be good at it. A good king. It's sort of tainted by bitterness, now. But the country does not fall apart, it does not break down into civil war - he handles it. The education system gets a shove in the right direction, the canals get cleaned up, various unemployed people get jobs. He wonders what on earth he's done wrong when he's doing good in the world, but he supposes it doesn't matter.

He knew what he was getting himself into, when he made this choice. He knew that Zevros would be upset with him. Maybe to the point where their camaraderie will just never recover. He doesn't know. From the beginning, he knew that he'd be shackled to someone he doesn't love. Edarial hadn't been expecting the random hatred from his new wife, but he certainly wasn't expecting to be happy.

Just, well. He wasn't expecting to be so miserable, either.

It shows, the misery. Dark circles under his eyes, the withdrawn, blank expression, unkempt hair. He loses some weight due to skipping meals just to avoid his close family. Or, other times, he just forgets, burying himself in work so he doesn't have to think 'What did I do?' over and over again.

But he's a good king. So that's something.
royal_obligation: (n. No patience left)
Edarial makes a list of necessities for a wife. He has Zevros check it over, who promptly rips it up and throws it at him. He is of the opinion that if Edarial doesn't actually want to marry a specific person, he shouldn't, and Zevros will have nothing to do with any of it. Edarial sighs, rewrites it, and keeps it and a copy of it away from his twin in the future.

He makes the announcement to various interested people that he will be looking for a bride. Just saying it makes him feel sick. Edarial manages to keep it together long enough to give a list of the qualities he's looking for before he flees. He says he's busy, no one will look twice at him being curt and disappearing to get work done. So no one comes after him when he hides in his room and locks the door.

Face buried in his pillow, he realizes that there's no way he can be personable to his - whatever they are. Potential brides, suitors - whatever, he doesn't care. He'll hire someone to vet them, so he doesn't have to torture himself dealing with women trying to persuade him to marry them.
royal_obligation: (Default)
Every system has stupid rules. If you put a system together two centuries ago, with rules that make sense for the time period, they will not evolve to fit a new culture without quite a lot of revisions and help. This is, unfortunately, not something everyone's willing to do. Because of this, often there will end up being stupid rules attached to governments of countries and empires.

But, by far, requiring marriage to ascend the throne is the most idiotic rule Edarial has ever heard of. It's certainly a good idea for producing heirs, but actually requiring it beforehand is idiotic. Being married, in itself, does absolutely nothing to help with ruling a country. Nothing at all. Edarial's still stewing in just how stupid the rule is when his brother barges into his room, all barely repressed anger and outrage.

Edarial eyes him, worried. "Please tell me they didn't-" he begins.

"Skip it," orders Zevros, pacing the room.

"Okay," he agrees, remaining seated and watching his twin pace. It doesn't take very long for Zevros to break the silence.

"I think," says Zevros, "that we should grab as many royal jewels as we can carry, flee the country, and go live on an island paradise drinking fruity drinks on a beach for the rest of our lives."

"You've mentioned."

"I'm mentioning it again because this is - fucking terrible!" declares his brother, angry.

"It's a little unfair to tell me to skip something but then base a conversation on what the something was," points out Edarial. "One or the other, please."

"Right. It was the obvious thing," sighs Zevros.

"Of course it was," says Edarial, in the same tone. "Fuck. Because you're firstborn?"

"Because they're dipshits."

"That, too." Pause. "Who'd they pick? Some idiotic countess or -"

"Does it matter?" growls Zevros. "You know exactly how much I don't want to marry a woman. Ever."

"Yes," sighs Edarial. "I know." He is fully aware of his twin's very strict preference for men. Edarial respects it just fine, it's the rest of the court that doesn't.

"So, we ditch, think you can hex things to help us break out? Or get to the treasury, or the map room, so we can get a good route..." says Zevros, laying out various useful places for two princes to get materials to flee the country.

Personally, Edarial doesn't think that fleeing is the best option. They're the only two heirs, their mother's dead and the former king is acting as a regent until they 'come of age' by marrying. The list of people next in the line is contested and hard to prove, once it's out of the royal family proper. Edarial's almost certain that it would result in a civil war, if the two of them just happened to disappear. Not to mention the absolute mess their mother's left of Marlatia, the country's a tinder-box waiting for a spark. It's got so many problems, but the core - the bureaucracy, the system - valuable infrastructure that could be redirected and used. It just needs someone to fix them.

Edarial would work to fix them, if he were king. The stupid rule, the mess of a country, the famine in the south - and a thousand others. He's got ideas, he's got plans, he's even managed to get a few of them implemented without too much fuss, but there's only so much a crown prince can do. The choice is as obvious as it is distasteful. Edarial's been thinking about it quite a lot, realizing with growing horror that there's really only one thing he can do.

"Zev. I... Can just marry someone," he says, softly, interrupting his brother's planning. "Become king, cut you loose, fix things and get rid of the stupid, stupid marriage rule."

Zevros stares at him. "Did you find someone you wanted to get hitched with when I wasn't looking?"

"No."

"Then why are you offering? Not an option, you don't want to so we won't -"

"Because," says Edarial, pained, "I can't just - leave a country to get torn apart by civil war!"

"Daisy, c'mon, if the country falls apart because two people don't want to get married, then it's kind of a stupid country anyway. Kind of has it coming."

"Not the people that live in it," argues Edarial.

"That's their problem, this is ours - you're - you're shaking just talking about it, we both know you're not the cold political marriage type."

Edarial glances at his hand. As promised, it's shaking - he tries to hold it still, but can't manage it. He clenches his fist and says, "I'm not. But I can do it anyway."

"Please," begs Zevros, looking pained. "I don't want to watch you do that to yourself -"

"I'll be fine."

"You're such a terrible fucking liar."

"I know," laughs Edarial, but it sounds something like a sob.

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Edarial Cartalian

November 2014

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