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EM Fiction [Amandine] Retirement

Discussion in 'UO Atlantic' started by EM_Bennu, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. EM_Bennu

    EM_Bennu UO Event Moderator
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    [Amandine] Retirement, Part One.
    By EM Bennu

    Lady Amandine had not gone directly to Lord Dupre as she was ordered. She was of the opinion that two months in prison was far too long, and that marching directly into a compulsory spanking was not the way she was willing to spend her weekend freedom.

    The tavern around her smelled lovely, but not in the way you would think. It smelled of freedom, something she had not enjoyed for over eight weeks. She had left the barstool only twice in the past 24 hours, and that was to urinate.

    She knew that eventually Lord Dupre would get tired of waiting for her, he would force the issue and come get her himself. Or send some poor squire to do it for him. She did not envy anyone who bent and scraped to his bidding.

    “P… Pardon me.” A stuttering voice behind her, no fear in his voice just embarrassment.

    “I’m retired. Or haven’t you heard?” She spoke with a cup over her mouth as she was about to drink, the amplification of her voice amused her and she cracked a sarcastic smile.

    “Yes.”

    “Yes, what.? She had expected the peasant to walk away, but he hadn’t.

    She turned around and found that Dupre had sent for her earlier than she thought he would. The poor lad in front of her was some lesser noble’s son. His father was probably a merchant or some sort of tradesmen whose ingenuity and capitalistic inclinations had earned a foothold in the gentry.

    Lady Amandine still had on the same dress she had for the past 2 months. She had worn it during the trial and it looked more like a set of rags. From the back she looked like peasant, beggar or worse. Yet her eyes betrayed her anonymity, her eyes were those of a knight, a warrior, she looked at the young man in front of her in the eyes, not at the floor like anyone else in the tavern would have.

    “M’Lady, Lord Dupre demands…”

    “Demands?” Her eyes narrowed and her lips pursed at the word.

    “He needs to see you M’Lady, to handle your resignation and…”

    “Get out of here kid, I am tired of talking to you.” She turned her back on him and listened to his steps as he walked away defeated.

    As the door closed behind him there were whispers in the tavern all around, but before the door slammed it was caught by an armored hand. She finished her drink.

    That same hand was soon resting on her shoulder and the guard’s partner waved off the Bartender.
    “Lady Amandine, your presence is requested in Britain. You will be coming with us.”

    “Your gauntlets are open hinged.” She tilted her head slightly as she spoke.

    “Uh… what?” The guard was caught unprepared by the response.

    “It means that your armor is poorly made and doesn’t prevent your wrist from twisting or extending beyond your natural range of movement.” Danica turned and looked at the dumbfounded man in the eye and smiled.
    Before the guard could finish digesting her out of place smile, his arm was behind his back his cheek on the bar and she had moved to position herself away from his partner.

    “I am not a street ***** or peasant you can muscle around. Dupre should pay you better, or hire better. What’s wrong, he couldn’t get one of MY knights to come and gather me up?” She then kicked his ankle out from under him and allowed him to fall onto the wooden floor.

    The bartender looked at her with a worried look. She thought he was worried she was about to bust up the place.

    “Very sorry about the mess.” She said as she walked out the door.

    The night was cold, but it was still early. Britain wasn’t too far, but she would take the long way out of spite.
     
  2. EM_Bennu

    EM_Bennu UO Event Moderator
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    [Amandine] Retirement, Part Two.
    By EM Bennu


    The night had waned on, Lady Amandine knew it was well after midnight, a fact she delighted in greatly. As she walked down the streets of Britain she genuinely hoped that she would be waking Dupre up, or at the very least interrupt something torrid.

    “I am here to see Dupre.” She barked at the doorman.

    “LORD Dupre you mean?”

    “If that is what you call him.”

    “M’Lord is sleeping, you will have to return in the morning.”

    “Go wake him up, or you can tell him in the morning that Lady Amandine was at his door and you turned her away.” She leaned back upon her heals and delighted at the nervous sweat that beaded down the doorman’s brow.

    “I will go get him.”

    “Yes, you will.”

    She caught the door as he tried to close it behind her and walked in.

    “I do not lurk in doorways.”

    Dupre’s house was about like she imagined it, and it was easy to find his office. It was typical, he employed the usual techniques of men of power. The chair behind the desk was massive, a powerful chair for a powerful man. Two chairs on the other side were for guests, he had taken off two inches from the front two legs and two and a half off the back two legs of each of them. It was an old trick, one not many would notice. When sitting it made the two chairs uncomfortable and made those sitting in them look up at whoever was behind the desk. Giving the guests a perception of meekness , and illustrating who was in charge.

    Lady Amandine was about to sit herself in the large chair when Dupre walked in covered in an evening robe. He closed the door behind him, and was a bit sweaty. She heard the front door close lightly and smiled wryly. She HAD interrupted something.

    “I am glad you are here, I was about to send out another set of guards.”

    “I’m sure you were.” She didn’t look at him, just fumbled around at his various knick-knacks that littered the office.

    “So I assume you are here to relinquish command of the Knights of the Crux Ansata?”

    “I am here because it was required as a condition of my release.”

    “Good then there is also the matter…” Dupre gave her an odd look. “You haven’t even changed your clothes?”

    “A rose of any other color?” She tried to seem deep, but only came off as drunk.

    “We need to talk about reparations to the family of Reddish.” Dupre took out a pen and paper. “You realize you were found guilty of murder, and of the worst of all the charges against you. You escaped this whole situation with your life but I can’t let you retain much more than that.”

    “I am sure all of this makes you very happy. Now you are back on top, you show up, bat your eyes, twist your mustache, shine your armor and turn the whole kingdom upside down. But at least it gets you willing women on a Sunday night, after virtue day.”

    “Don’t talk to me about virtue, you have lost that right. And my personal affairs are none of your business.” Dupre chided, then calmed. “I don’t hate you Danica. None of this is personal; I have to do what is right. This is about the kingdom, about our nation, the people.”

    “Oh, don’t be going soft on me now. We were talking about giving my family fortune to a family of scammers, thieves and brigands remember?” She finally turned to look at him.

    “Danica, sit. Let us get this done as quickly as we can, neither one of us wants to be here.”

    “I prefer to stand.” Danica looked at the two little meek chairs with disgust.

    Dupre leaned back in his chair. “All your lands are forfeit, all your gentry income from the crown is transferred to the family of your victim. Your house and warehouse in Jhelom is transferred to the family as well. The Sword Caliburn will remain in my possession for now, but will be returned to the royal armory as you requested. As for your armor… I will honor the court’s ruling and allow it to remain in the possession of Lord Wellings for now.”

    “You mean Lord Edom?”

    “He has retaken his family name and with it the previous titles of his father. Lord Wellings has decided to rejoin his country instead of stand with scales above it. A lesson that you…”

    “I am not here for a lecture Dupre.”

    LORD Dupre. You are no longer a member of the gentry and are not granted the courtesies you once were. I will also need your necklace, and your ring.”

    “You cannot take my ring, it’s not mine to give.”

    “Your Ouroboros ring is a part of your personal property, as such is revoked to your victims family.”

    “You must be joking.”

    Dupre simply looked across the room at her, saying nothing.

    She removed her necklace and her ring, placing each of them on the desk. With a look of shock upon her face.

    “I will also need you to sign this, this and this. Then you are free to go.”

    She signed the first two without hesitation, simple transfer of titles and property. The third was an admission of guilt, an apology to the family of Reddish, and her formal resignation from the Crux Ansata.

    “Im not going to sign that.” She looked at Dupre and scoffed. “You must be out of your mind, it’s not enough that you strip me of everything I am, was, and give the fruits of generations of my family tree to a bunch of cowards and thieves. You want me to apologize and thank them for their mercy?”

    “It is just a formality Danica…”

    “Stop calling me Danica!” She shrieked at him and he shrunk back. “You sit there all smug, calling yourself a champion of honor. You wouldn’t know honor if it dropped its shorts and rubbed it in your face! You think some uninformed jury, has the right to tell you or I what must be done to protect these people? The world is not a nice place LORD Dupre, sometimes we have to do bad stuff in order to keep the peace and protect the people. You are right, this IS about the nation, and this IS about the people. I killed a thief and a liar who was harboring a mass murderer and anarchist who burned down an entire castle not 200 yards from where we are standing. Im being punished for it and you want me to say ‘thank you, so sorry to bother you, please sir and thank you’ You have another thing coming Dupre, I am not the weak little girl you seem to think I am.”

    “I think it is time for you to leave. Danica Amandine, you are hereby banned from possession of a sword for a period of one year, you are barred from mercenary activities for life, and are hereby revoked of your leadership of the nation’s military and Royal Guard.”

    “You forgot something.” Danica said as she took a step forward. She then raised her arms and slipped off her dress kicking it in his face. “You can keep that Dupre, you have taken everything else from me.” She then turned her bare arse to him and walked out of his house slamming the doors.
     
  3. EM_Bennu

    EM_Bennu UO Event Moderator
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    [Amandine] Retirement, Part Three.
    By EM Bennu

    The sun had begun to rise, but the cocks had not yet started to crow. She knew she would have to find some clothes, but maybe she would be able to make it to Adamu’s house in Magincia before the guardsmen would be able to pick their jaws up off the ground. Her sauntering out of Britain naked would make her point perfectly.
    Dupre and the Court of Truth had seemingly taken everything from her. Her ring and her necklace, her lands and her title, everything that could be taken had been. She walked proudly through the street and walked to the bank more out of instinct than anything.

    “I… I am sorry Lady Amandine, your vault has been sealed by Lord Dupre. I cannot…” The banker had stammered while trying to look at her face and not lower.

    She didn’t respond simply continued to walk toward the moongate. Her nerve and guile began to soften with the chill in the air. What am I supposed to do? Pick up farming? Become a seamstress? I know nothing about either one of those.

    She had been raised as a knight not a Lady.

    Would anyone even buy a poorly made dress from a convicted murderer?

    She doubted it.

    As she passed the fighters guild an old man approached her, in his hands he had a dress and a backpack of food.

    “Lady Amandine, are you alright? I saw you coming up the road.” He said as he handed her the supplies. “The dress was my wife’s. She… uh… well she is gone now, passed last month.”

    The old man was a kindly sort, a gentleman untouched by the wave of greed and lunacy that had swept the land. Still he was a peasant, one of the lower class that seemed to be totally drawn in by Dupre’s persona and championing of the people. She was surprised he was helping her at all.

    “I thank you for the clothes sir, I have nothing with which to pay you. I have nothing in this world any longer… and I may not be long for it.” She spoke kindly but sadly, for the first time vocalizing what was in her heart.
    The old man simply smiled at her and winked.

    “We do not all turn our backs on our friends and heroes when the winds change M’Lady. Some of us stay true to the steady stream, rather than the occasional wave.” He whispered in her ear before he returned to his home. As he reached for the door handle, she could have sword she saw an ouroboros on his ring finger.

    The dress was far from a good fit for Lady Amandine, whoever the previous owner had been was a full foot shorter and a whole person wider than she. Still, it covered her and had been given to her honestly. The act of taking charity even clothing disgusted her.

    On her way out of the city she witnessed two burglaries, three acts of illegal street gambling, and one act of public depravity. None of her business, none of them even looked at her. To them she was just another peasant.

    None of it was her concern, the people had spoken. They no longer wanted her, or did they? She had seen the pain in the faces of her Knights as the court pronounced judgment upon her. She heard the cries in the courtroom of relief when they had shown mercy and not condemned her to execution. She felt bad for Faeryl. The sacrifice she had asked for from Faeryl may have been too much. But even though the request went against everything she believed, Amandine had known that Faeryl would give an honest and valid argument against her. Faeryl always put duty above her personal feelings. That is what made her a good knight, the same lesson that Simeon had taught her, she had taught to Faeryl and maybe others had picked up the lesson as well.

    Duty is more important than anything, it is that same sense of duty that kept Danica from fleeing trial, that kept Faeryl in her prosecutor’s chair, and had given her cause to kill… now murder, Reddish to get at Jimmy the Pepper. The mantle of duty was heavy, and could cost someone everything, as what had happened to her.

    Danica had only just stepped through the moongate on Magincia when she heard a faint and muffled scream from the north, away from the city. As she turned instinctively she recognized the scene, rioters had taken a hold of a young girl, a total innocent. The mob used the excuse of civil unrest to take liberties and enrich their homes. As the waves of Anarchy crashed on the various cities many peasants has been robbed, abused, killed or worse.

    The scene was familiar. A young girl, torn clothes, a small mob of five men standing over her with darkness in their eyes. A look of total terror on the girls face, her hands covering her eyes, not wanting to see what was about to happen to her.

    Danica was unarmed, not that it mattered. These rioters had no idea the monster of war that stood against them.

    “You gentlemen should go home, this isn’t the place for romantic encounters. Such things are best left for candlelight dinners and long walks in the park. Wouldn’t you agree?” Danica couldn’t walk past this. She may have been a private citizen now, but that would not keep her from doing the right thing.

    “Look at this Ray, little strumpet wants some too! Don’t worry lass, there be more than enough to go around!” The man made a step toward her a war axe in hand, Danica barely moved, her slight movement so fast and precise that the man crumpled in pain with a broken knee and shattered jaw, his weapon fell to the ground.
    The other four came at her all at once, each of them armed with typical weapon of banditry, a club. She made short work of all four of them, leaving all of them alive but in pain and broken in ways they would never recover from fully.

    Danica helped the girl up, and although she seemed grateful the girl ran quickly toward town.

    Danica looked around at the predators that surrounded her, these were the type she hated. Opportunists, men you wouldn’t think could commit acts such as these, but once nothing stood between them and their depravity, as soon as they were unbound in their desires, the instant they could break free from the politeness of civility they showed their true selves. These were the men too cowardly to live their lives honestly; instead they skulked in corners and shadows waiting for the perfect opportunity to commit their crimes secretly.

    Part of her wanted to kill each and every one of them, but that was how she got into this mess in the first place. Trash needed to be removed, but the trash would pile up if she were put in jail again… or worse.

    Danica looked toward town, she knew Adamu would be waiting for her. He would give her the same speech, the same argument, only now Adamu had stepped up and carried the mantle of the establishment, he would demand she follow the rules. Lecture her on Virtue, and try and express the poorly formed opinion that people were inherently good and would, all things being equal take the honorable and good path if given the choice.
    These men were a prime example, some people are born evil. She did not need to know the hue of the dark and twisted threads that make up the fabric of evil. She only needed to know that evil was evil, and needed to be destroyed.

    Danica turned and picked up the war axe from the ground next to one of the men still writhing and floundering in pain. It was well made, likely plundered from the private armory of some noble family. An heirloom that had been stolen and then used in crimes below its station.

    Danica heard a voice in her head, it was her sister. “This is our land; we do not need a title or a royal proclamation to give us permission to defend it. Stand up and do what is right sister, this is not the end.”

    In her hand a weapon, she turned it on end and smashed the blunt against the forearm of each of the men shattering the bone.

    “Cowards and pathetic deviants, next time I will cut them off." She kept her voice calm and low.

    Danica turned away from Adamu and Magincia, jumping into the moongate instead. Her path lay elsewhere, a different ideal. Virtue was for the masses, it kept good people in check, it kept polite society polite. But for those that were far from good, for the evil thread which ran through society, The predators, Virtue gave them a place to hide. A White robe to hide the evil within.

    Danica thought of something she read in a book once, something in the library of the old king...

    "'Tis too much proved--that with devotion's visage
    And pious action we do sugar o'er
    The devil himself."

    Virtue was wasted on those who were all-together evil inside. Maybe what Britannia needed was someone who was willing to do the dirty work, someone who would keep pulling on that black thread to unravel the seam before it could take hold.

    Duty demanded a different course.
     
  4. Alexander of ATL.

    Alexander of ATL. Rares Fest Host | Atl June 2013
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    GO DANICA!! SHOW HIM WHO IS BOSS!!!
     
  5. Promathia

    Promathia EM Bennu Fanclub
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    See everyone? When she is all crazy or something, remember this would have been stopped if others had voted for death.
     
  6. keel

    keel Sage
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    Nice to see Danica hasn't given up.
     
  7. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Yepp, the plot thickens....

    :popcorn:
     
    Sono and OvenBird like this.
  8. OvenBird

    OvenBird Journeyman
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    Glad to see her other half waking up!
     
  9. Barok

    Barok Grand Inquisitor
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    So now she is going to let her sister take over and go all crazy and chaotic and just start killing people! Woot!
     
  10. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Yeah, if'n I was Solus I would try to start growing eyes in the back of my head... hehe
     
    Faeryl likes this.
  11. Faeryl

    Faeryl Babbling Loonie
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    That's for sure. He has more than one person after his head... *grumbles*
     
  12. EMTiberies

    EMTiberies Journeyman

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    **A message arrives for Dupre**

    Dear Lord Dupre:

    I was extremely disappointed when I heard and read of Lady Danica Amandine's treatment at your hands, my Lord.

    It was never the intention of the Court that she be stripped of all her possessions, let alone stripped of all her possessions immediately. Indeed Lady Amandine was required to file a plan with the Court at her earliest convenience. Her earliest convenience, My Lord, not yours, and "give me everything you own right now" is, I am afraid, not the same thing as a plan, and appropriate reparations to not include taking away everything she owns. Further and even more importantly it was never the Court's intent that she barred from holding any weapon for any length of time nor was it ever the Court's intent that her future profession be restricted. Think about that. You have taken away all she has, all she is ever going to have, and all she ever could have. All for a mistake, giving in to a blind and stupid rage, that any of us could make at any time.

    The reason for having the institution of a Knight's Trial is to avoid such things. To avoid the accuser behaving as arbitrarily as the accused is alleged to have behaved. It is my wish, as I stated in Court, that one day all Britannians have the right to so formal and open a trial, that all Britannians have the same chance to deny or explain their conduct that Knights have. I now realize something I don't know how I didn't realize before: When it comes down to it, not even Knights really have that chance. It was, I now see, mere illusion.

    I have, of course, no power to stop you. You're Dupre, I am merely a soon-to-be-former Viscount of Minoc. (My resignation will take effect shortly after I send you this letter.)

    But know this: It is only power, not Honor, not Justice, not any Virtue whatsoever, that allows you to treat Lady Amandine so. This is unworthy of you, or, at least, it is unworthy of your legend. I now see that legend and reality do not always comfortably mix.

    The era I was raised in was an era restricted socially, but at least we in the gentry could be relied upon to behave honorably most of the time. The newer era, which was less restricted, I welcomed. I liked knowing that a man was not always going to be what he was born to be, but what he had it in him to become. But now, I am afraid, I have lived long enough to see a third age emerge, with the worst of both. With neither the noble sense of obligation of the first era nor the social mobility of the second.

    I am unfit for the third age I have witnessed. By the time you get this letter, I will have resigned my position, and the last surviving hereditary Viscount of Minoc will be a wandering blade once again.

    I now see that the Knight's Trial was illusion. Some say that all of life is all an illusion. All I know is that, if life is an illusion, than I am no less of one. Illusion or not, I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and I am content. I can no longer remain in a place where even that can be taken from me so easily. The people of Minoc have assured me that they can carry on without me. My leadership has been only symbolic for decades, and those who still listen to me I think can see the impact this trial and its aftermath have had on me.

    Sincerely,
    Raymond, Viscount of Minoc
     
  13. keel

    keel Sage
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  14. Sono

    Sono Adventurer

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    Nice! I can't wait to see how this develops.