Author Topic: The Joining of Dragons  (Read 347 times)

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Offline Lijiang

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The Joining of Dragons
« on: February 11, 2021, 10:39:45 PM »
Dragon Priestess Xi Mengyao shouldn't have felt nervous. In her time in charge of the nations faith she had overseen hundreds, if not thousands of weddings but today was like when as a 17 year old she carried out her first ceremony. 12 years later though she was about to join the Dragon-Emperor to a young Queen and unlike every other marriage she'd carried out there would be an international audience. She had woken at sunrise and made her way to the roof of her residency. Several young trainee Priestesses were already on the roof meditating and observing the morning for omens about the day. Mengyao found a quiet spot and put down her own rush mat and sat down cross legged. She spotted a fient white whisp of early morning mist floating up the valley above the river and focused upon that. She cleared her mind focusing just on the movement and determined to herself if it settled over the Imperial Palace opposite then it would be a bad sign for the day ahead and watched intently. Five minutes it took but slowly the mist had moved on drifting down river towards the capital of Fengtai. It would be a good day she determined and so stood rolled up her mat and tucking it under her arm made her way down to her chambers. Having bathed she dressed in the traditional white and pale blue robes it was then that she made her way to the Sanctum's dining hall which later in the day would host the banquet to celebrate the joining of the Dragon-Emperor and the future Queen Dandan however for now it was full of about fifty women eating breakfast. Seeing Mengyao enter they stood and bowed their heads respectfully. "Please, eat, we have a busy day ahead" she gestured for people to sit as she took a bowl of rice porridge. She found a seat next to Zedong, she was one of the eldest Priestesses being in her 80's. Zedong had given 70 years of service to the Priesthood and today would be assisting Mengyao. The pair sat discussing the ceremony once more, over the last few days they'd been over the rituals several times but Mengyao just always seemed to need just one more run through.



Over the opposite side of the valley the Tielin had awakened just after the passing of the mist. He had slept soundly having been exhausted from a day of hunting wild pig in the woods around the Imperial Palace. It was tradition that the groom fed the wedding party and while it was the case that a single boar wouldn't feed the huge mass of guests it was still to be expected he provide something. He had spent the day with members of the Imperial Guard until they'd shot the beast and then the men in the Guard had watched as Tielin had been responsible for gutting and skinning it. Several hours later he had returned to the Palace to deliver the meat to the household staff ready for prepation while he headed to his own chambers covered in blood. This morning his forearms ached from the effort of carving through the various layers of the pig and now when he clenched his hand he could feel the tendons aching. He had bathed and been wrapped in a ceremonial red set of robes. In honour of his future wife being named as Queen of the Azure Dragons he had a bright blue belt tying his outfit together. He would shortly make his way over to the Sanctum of the Two Dragons where the ceremony would take place but for now he would wait for his entourage from the barracks in the city to arrive. The black armour wearing Guardsman would be marching the 10km along the road and Tielin was grateful for them not having to do this in a blistering summer and at that point made his mind to have autumn or spring weddings in future. The road from the capital would see locals come out of their homes to greet the 150 guardsman in the procession and by the time they arrived at the Palace they would be festooned in flowers, garlands and various other decorations given to them by the public keen to honour this happy day.



Dandan was shaking as the servant poured more and more buckets of cold water upon her. She was submerged from neck down in a traditional wooden tub with the water being drawn from a well behind her. The bath house here in the Empresses Palace in the Golden Enclave was full of about twenty of these and usually the noble women permitted to use them would be waited on by the servant girls drawing water from this well and heating it on a traditional wood fired stove. It was important though that Dandan be purified and the cold water was said to draw out impurities in the skin. She was shivering as the girl behind her washed her long black hair. A girl with a kind of harp sat in the corner playing quietly as the girls prepared their future Queen. Once she had been bathed she was dried down and then given a massage with scented oils and at this point she felt more relaxed. Next came the wedding dress. For a Queen's marriage there was no colour seen as standard as the Dragon they had been selected by determined the outfits design and for Dandan it was a bright blue with accents of white. She liked her dress and was now beginning to get excited. She would leave the Enclave along with the Dragon-Empress who for the only time in her life would bow in public to Dandan showing that today was a day where the Azure Dragon was in power. As Dandan appeared on the terraces of the Palace within the Enclave it seemed like the whole population of that settlement had turned up to see her. They knelt in respect as Dragon-Empress Jing stepped forward, bowed to Dandan who returned the gesture instinctively and then accepted the single Lotus flower that she was offered. A waiting horse and carriage would take them to the Imperial Palace and it was flanked by an escort of black armoured horseman. If things had been timed to perfection she would arrive at the Imperial Palace ten minutes or so after the men marching down the road.



High Councillor the Lord Kexing was on meet and greet duties. He was the leader of the The Grand Council of the Majestic Empire and at 82 years of age he believed this would perhaps be the only royal marriage he would ever witness. In some ways he wished he wasn't having to wait at the Lower lodge at the Imperial Palace. It sat just inside the thick white walls among the trees that retained their greeness all year round giving the lodge a darkness which was illuminated today with several burning briars. He would greet the arrivals and let them know about the proceedings for the day which would be rather a lengthy affair.

Offline DaveIronside

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Re: The Joining of Dragons
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2021, 11:06:25 PM »
Princess Freya would have preferred to have had her husband Alex with her for this visit but he was neck deep in Red Legion business and so instead she had brought her cousin Lilian with her. The pair had flown in the evening before and stayed at accommodation in the city before getting out just ahead of the soldiers marching to the Imperial Palace. Freya would have liked to stand at the gates and watch their arrival but it was a case of having to carry out her duty as East Moreland's representative. She marvelled at the sight of the Palace as it stretched upwards in the valley. She had grown up in Palaces but this just seemed so much more imposing than Northfort as perhaps its height gave an imposing prescence. Lilian meanwhile was not as accustomed to official visits as Freya and was happy to tag along. While Freya was more of a tomboy dressed in a pants suit Lilian was definatly the girly girl of the royals and had opted for a long red dress with a black jacket. No Morelander fashion would be complete without their ceremonial swords. Freya lead the way into the Palace and greeted the Lord Kexing with a slight bow. "Lord Kexing on behalf of my brother King David we'd like to thank you for inviting us." She turned and introduced Lilian before once more addressing the Lord, " We do not wish to offend but on such occasions as weddings Morelanders carry their ceremonial swords, if such a thing is not permitted here naturally we'll remove them if you can suggest somewhere for safe keeping."



General Babak Siavash had recently been overseeing the military exercises with the Lijiang military. He'd enjoyed his time here and was now excited that his wife Aminah and 16 year old daughter Setareh had joined him. They were distant cousins of the Soter's and Babak would be lying if that hadn't helped him progress through his military career. He'd found the nation interesting and was deeply honoured that he'd been asked to attend this wedding on behalf of his nation. Heydar had insisted he'd worn his military uniform and as the trio arrived he saluted Kexing, "We're delighted to meet you. I am confident His Majesty King Heydar would have loved to attend but sadly he needs to be within the nation for business. We though are very exicted."

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Re: The Joining of Dragons
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2021, 08:21:38 PM »
Emperor Peter half smiled as he took in the landscape, his doctors would be very happy to know that he was doing plenty of exercise following his surgery, he wasn't used after so long with the artificial arm to having one that might be considered normal again. He wore a typical suit, black trousers, short sleeved white shirt, black tie and a black jacket. Accompanying the Emperor was his wife Renee, who in this case had an unofficial additional responsibility - custodian of her husbands mobile phone, she was determined that Peter not trigger a relapse of his Multiple Sclerosis. Renee herself wore a dark blue dress and a dark jacket. She walked arm in arm with her husband, neither of the Achkaerinese pair were surprised to see the familiar figure of Princess Freya already there, after all the Morelander's did have a reputation to maintain when it came to punctuality and of course the Seleucid's were to be expected after recent news of relations between them and their hosts.

Peter and Renee stepped up when the Seleucid's had extended their greeting, the pair respectfully gave a slight bow "Lord Kexing thank you for the invitation." Peter said "May I introduce my wife Renee, we're looking forward to the days festivities."

Offline Arkan VII ve Sherkoz

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Re: The Joining of Dragons
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2021, 11:38:24 PM »
Arkan had never personally been to Lijiang, nor, quite frankly, had any of his ancestors since the esteemed Kosan Eshva, Arkan IV. But that was of little importance to him, after all, he was here now. Beyond a small gilt pin bearing the insignia of his clan and a medal earned during his time in the military, he might've appeared as an ordinary guest hailing from outside of Lijiang, just as he liked it. It wasn't that he held any disdain for the office that he held, but rather that he found it far more preferable to wearing his old dress uniform in this environment. Nonetheless, he was accompanied by the son of the Imperial Chancellor and former Prime Minister, Jishek Viras, who had since been appointed to the Emperor's Privy Council. It pleased him to see at least a few familiar faces among those gathered, but for now he'd focus on his entrance.

Once the Achkaerinese delegation had finished their greeting, Arkan and Jishek would step forwards and bow, just low enough to show respect without implying that they were apologizing for a past transgression.
   “I would like to extend my deepest gratitude for the invitation, Lord Kexing." Arkan said while Jishek remained quiet, not wishing to interrupt his superior. "On behalf of the people of Ikhan, I offer my most earnest congratulations to his Highness on this momentous occasion." He smiled, after which Jishek would likewise introduce himself.

Offline Tamora

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Re: The Joining of Dragons
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2021, 09:27:43 PM »

Abbas and Alya Safavid, the imperial couple of Tamora, were on the imperial plane on their way to Lijiang. Abbas rarely traveled abroad and almost never did so outside of Midaranye. The reasons were many but the main one remained that the longstanding tradition in the country was that the Tamoran Emperor was too important to travel abroad representing the country unless there was something special about the visit. Abbas choosing to go to Lijiang was not by accident. The reports he got about Lijiang intrigued him as did the initial diplomatic signals he got from them. The fact that they dealt first with Royal Seleucid was a sign that Lijiang did not care much about the opinion of the internationalist powers and that it was not afraid to follow its own agenda. But what it intrigued Abbas even more was that Lijiang had spent the last one hundred years in isolation preserving its ancient ways including its feudal system. In that regard, Abbas thought, Lijiang had many in common with Tamora in that it was not in synchrony with the ways much of Mundus operated.

The imperial plane entered Lijiang's airspace when Abbas was done reading a report on the customs and etiquette of Lijiang. He was clearly annoyed with it and did not hide it:

" How is it that our staff cannot find anything relevant about their ways other than something about not wearing the color yellow? I thought the reason we gave refuge to that exiled girl of theirs was precisely to learn more about them and yet we know nothing."

Alya was used to Abbas' impatience and rather demanding attitude so she was not taken by surprise:

"She is very young, the staff had little time, there is a language barrier and Lijiang is not exactly your usual Mundus nation. "

Abbas didn't get a chance to retort since the staff informed him that the plane will soon reach its destination.

After a few moments, Abbas took Alya's hand and in a slow voice started reciting a prayer. Alya silently joined him.



Alya and Abbas Safavid at the Lijiang wedding reception

Abbas and Alya arrived just as the Ikhan delegation was extending their greetings to the host. Abbas was wearing his official white uniform while Alya wore the standard black hijab and dress.

As Abbas noticed the Ikhan emperor and he discreetly asked Alya:
“Is that child the Rokkenjiman ambassador?”
“No, he is the Emperor of Ikhan. “ Alya assumed Abbas wanted a short briefing so she continued “He is 25 years old but he already speaks more than four languages…”
“Are any of them Parthian?” Abbas interrupted Alya.
“No.”
“Then it was a wasted effort.”
Alya did not reply as they were drawing too close to the hosts.


As the couple got near to Lord Kexing, they both made short nod, greeted him, presented themselves and Abbas added:
“In the name of the Tamoran people I offer congratulations to the imperial couple. We also thank them for the invitation.”     

Offline Lijiang

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Re: The Joining of Dragons
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 12:10:07 AM »
Kexing had been told to expect foreign guests but still hadn't quiet believed that it would happen. He half expected the Seleucid to turn up because their military had just completed exercises in the Mhorish with the Empire's own Navy and a significant number of Seleucid soldiers were now acting as guinea pigs for the Lijiang hospitality industry.  As the duo of Princesses from East Moreland arrived the old man gave a respectful bow to the pair. "Your Highnesses" It was possibly the first time he had seen a noble woman in the flesh wearing trousers and he considered the fashion statement not really making sense to him but he was an old man and he supposed that sooner or later these foreign fashions would find a route into the Empire. "We are excited to meet you both. As for your swords I think we can trust you with them as long as you promise not to chop any heads off." He smiled hoping his words didn't offend. "We as a nation believe traditions are a great bedrock and I would hope to learn more about yours as you learn about ours. Please pass on our greetings to your brother and please enjoy the day." A young man dressed in a red traditional suit appeared with a tray of soft drinks, mostly fruit juices and asked the royals to follow him as he lead them to an upstairs room that overlooked the entrance to the Palace.

Then the Seleucid arrived, they had been the one nation that they had expected to come and so Kexing had been prepared. "General" he extended a hand to the Seleucid officer. "First thank you for helping our military as of late. My grand-son meet a few of your men as he serves in the Army and spoke very positively of the experience of working with them. They sound like they have been a real credit to you, and of course to your King. I understand that he can't spend all his time here in our Empire but please let him know we are always thrilled to welcome him." He then turned to the wife and daughter of the General. "I hope you are finding our nation welcoming. We are hoping to see many more people from your homeland here soon." Having just restocked his tray the young man with the drinks reappeared and lead them upstairs ensuring he announced them formally to the Morelanders as he did so.

Kexing bowed deeply as Emperor Peter of Achkaerin introduced himself and his wife. "Your Imperial Majesty we are honoured to welcome you to our lands. Perhaps I think this is the first time in many centuries a monarch of Achkaerin has visited these lands, maybe the first time ever....I'm sadly no scholar of history. I understand you also govern Gowu which I suppose makes us Ardian neighbours in a way so I hope as neighbours you will find your stay here pleasant." Having finished depositing the Seleucid General and his family upstairs the young man served drinks to the Emperor and Empress before checking on the pronunciation of their nation before formally announcing them as he entered the upstairs room.

 Next was another Ardian nation and Kexing bowed deeply to Emperor Arkan before extending a hand to Jishek. "Your Imperial Majesty" He addressed Arkan, "We are delighted you accepted the invitation. I know in the coming months the Dragon-Emperor hopes to ensure the Majestic Empire sets up a path to ensuring we are all good neighbours. I know he will be excited to speak with you but perhaps today he may miss the opportunity please forgive us if that is the case." The steward was back once more his tray restocked and his pronounciation perfected he ensured the correct introduction was given before once more skipping down stairs having seen another arrival from the balcony.

It was likely these would be the final foreign guests as Kexing looked at his watch. The Tamorans were a nation friends with Royal Seleucid and Kexing knew the two nations had a track record of co-operation so hoped this would be a nation that perhaps would be a step ahead of the others in terms of their opinions on the Majestic Empire. He was rather surprised that the Emperor himself had come as he understood that the Emperor did not leave his nation, yet alone Midaranye very often. Kexing bowed again deeply to each in turn. "Emperor Abbas, Empress Alya" he addressed each as he did so. "I know that His Imperial Majesty will be honoured to have you here. We've so far enjoyed meeting Midaranye nations and I hope our good fortune continues." This time as the red suited youngster arrived Kexing followed them up the stairs and waited for the introduction to be given before he addressed everyone. "Very shortly we should see the arrival of members of the Imperial Guard, they are a kind of cross between the Dragon-Emperors personal guard and a ceremonial unit. Today they will be dressed in their black armour and will form a guard of honour between here and the Sanctum of the Two Dragons" Kexing pointed across the valley where an almost exact replica of the Imperial Palace stood just over a mile away. Some of you may have passed them on your way here." In the distance the sound of music drifted down the valley as the guards band played got closer. "We shall then see a mounted group arrive escorting the future Azure Dragon Queen."

There was a sound of footsteps on the stairs and Kexing turned to see Prince Chun, the Dragon-Emperor's 17 year old son appear and Kexing immediately bowed before presenting him to the group. The young man was tall and his posture stiff even inside a rather flowing robe of yellow. "It is my deep honour to meet you all." Chun gave a bow to the room. "My father extends his thanks for coming and hopes to during the day enjoy the company of each of you. I have been asked to tell you a little about the procedure for the day." Chun still wasn't sure how he felt about the wedding if he was honest he knew very well the tradition of the Empire meant his father was due to marry many women and produce many children but the idea though that his soon to be step-mother, a term not really used in the Majestic Empire, was a year younger than him made him a little uncomfortable. "First I thank you all for not wearing Yellow. It is the Imperial Colour and on state occasions such as the royal wedding only members of the Imperial Family may wear the colour for the ceremony a groom shall always wear red while in today's ceremony the future Queen will wear the colour of the Dragon's that have adopted her, in this case blue. The rest of us who are members of the Imperial Family shall be wearing yellow. You will notice in many of the Palace rooms today and over the river in the Sanctum a strip of yellow tiles, or bricks on the floor. This is known as the Imperial Road and only the Imperial Family may walk upon it freely. Anyone else must be invited to do so but naturally such esteemed guests as yourselves are automatically invited." That had been much debated by the various councils but Tielin had been rather assertive that he would ensure from the very outset an invitation to use the Imperial Road would be given to all his guests regardless of where they were from. When we reach the Sanctuary over the other side of the river you shall see many of us take patches such as this." He reached inside a fold in his robe and removed a coloured square piece of silk about 6 inches by 6 inches, "We call them prayer flags and they are used in our worship. Today they are tied to a string extended around the gatehouse, we will each tie our cloth to the string making a wish for the newlyweds as we do. Some even have messages on." He held his own prepared one up which had been stitched ready for the day by his sister Wenjun. "We have spares for each of you if you wish." He gestured to a basket by the balcony door with neatly folded squares of various bright colours, except yellow of course, stacked inside. A thick marker pen stood ready for incase people wished to leave a message. "7 days after the wedding these are taken down and shall be made into a blanket by Dandan and her household." Before he could go on any further there was a trumpet blast announcing the arrival of the first group of Imperial Guard as they gathered into a corridor of black armour below Chun noticed his father step out of the Palace to greet them. Some of the soldiers brushed flower petals off their armour and from the ridges in their helmet while fixing garlands and other gifts from the crowds that had lined the roads to their spear tips or armour straps.

It was only five minutes later that Dandan arrived and did not enter the Imperial Palace instead waited at the gate. "Please follow me." Chun turned stiffly on the spot with his hands behind his back before descending the steps without even looking back to see if the guests were following him. He moved between the line of the soldiers towards the gate before stopping just before exiting the Palace. He turned to see the guests following and motioned to the side of the gatehouse. "Please take a place in a carriage, we shall depart shortly" Chun waited as the guests boarded the waiting horse and carriages while his father came down to the gatehouse and other than a quick nod of greeting to the guests focused on the gatehouse. His wife Dragon-Empress Jing stood now beside him while Chun moved to join his siblings a step behind. Dandan was helped from her carriage and stood nervously on the outside of the gatehouse alone. With almost perfect timing a phalanx of white and blue robed women appeared from over the bridge, the arrival of the Priestesses and at their head, the only one riding a horse, was the Dragon-Priestess. Her attire was more elaborate than the others with a head-dress topped with a gold dragon carefully balanced to complete the grandeur. She remained seated on her horse as she took up position to the right of the gatehouse, Dandan on the left and the Dragon-Emperor making the point of the triangle in the gatehouse arch.

Dragon Priestess Xi Mengyao spoke loudly "We have arrived here at the point where the Two Worlds, the spiritual and the physical worlds of our lands meet. We have gathered to see our Dragon-Emperor take the Lady Dandan as his wife and future Queen of the Azure Dragons. Lady Dandan come forward." the girl moved forward to stand next to the Dragon-Priestesses horse. "You have been blessed by the Azure Dragons, they recognise you as their representative on Mundus and should the Dragon-Emperor accept you they shall make you their Queen. Do you accept her?" The Dragon-Priestess pointed at the Dragon-Emperor.

Tielin stepped forward crossing the gatehouse threashold, "I will accept her as I trust the Azure Dragons." The Dragon-Priestess nodded happily and turned her horse.

"We shall now leave from the physical world and enter the spiritual world of Lijiang. There we shall entwine the souls of these individuals." Without another word the group of Priestesses, some just 10 years old entered the Palace and stood next to one of the black armoured soldiers. The Dragon-Emperor began to follow the horse of the Dragon-Priestess with his wife Jing next to him and his family behind. Dandan was flanked by two women of a similar age to her who represented her household however Dandan's situation had meant they had only been selected a week ago. The young girl was the daughter of one of the former High Lords who had defied the Dragon-Priestess before Tielin had been named Dragon-Emperor, the girl should have by tradition been executed along with the daughters of two other High Lords but Tielin had wished to send a message and so one had been sent into exile in Tamora with Tielin's support remaining secret, a second had been forced into becoming a concubine of the Dragon-Emperor and Dandan had been selected to become Tielin's 2nd wife, thus showing he was merciful but ensuring the loyalty of their fathers followers. The horse and carriages with the foreign guests followed along making a right turn to leave the gatehouse giving them the first view of the road that lead down to a stone bridge decorated with black carved dragon sides before the road rose up to the gatehouse of the faiths HQ where the wedding would take place. The sight of hundreds of black armoured guards and white robed Priestesses lining the road every few meters greeted them. The procession from the city waited for the Dragon-Emperor and the foreign guests to pass before following along on foot.

It took about 15 minutes for the Imperial's and Dandan to walk the route across the the Sanctury of the Two Dragons while the foreign guests travelled by horse and carriage. As they arrived at the huge walled temple complex that housed the faith Kexing appeared to speak with the guests. "There is no rule stating this but it is common when entering a sacred site here in Lijiang that women enter with the right foot first, men with the left. If you wish to leave a prayer flag now is the time." He removed his own, found the string extending around the gatehouse and tied his blue coloured prayer flag to the twine before stepping, left foot first into the grounds of the complex. There was then a series of steps that lead up to a large flat grey floored terrace that then housed the multi-story squat white square of a building that made up the Sanctuary. By the time Kexing had reached that terrace he was breathing heavily and had to take his time addressing the group. "We shall shortly have a ritual joining the pair. We then have a celebration" Kexing turned to Abbas and Alya but ensured his words could be thought to address everyone. "There shall be a great deal of alcohol consumed by the thousands in attendance and the celebration will take place here and also over at the Imperial Palace, even on the valley floor." Kexing motioned back behind them to where you could see hundreds of tents being set up along the valley floor where some of the nobles not directly given entry to the two venues would celebrate. "Many of our alcoholic drinks are simply more fermented versions of regular drinks, we understand some of you by faith my not consume alcohol so all glass wear shall be colour coded, blue shall be booze free. I suggest during the banquets you ensure that you keep such a vessel as then our servers will ensure you don't accidently get such drink. I think though food wise you should all be fine as we have a huge variety and much of it is vegetarian."  Kexing personally didn't understand how people could be so picky over food, the Two Dragons had given mankind dominion over the whole of Mundus, if they hadn't wished a creature to be consumed they'd have placed them in the cosmos alongside them rather than putting them under the control of mankind. A gong began to be continiously rung, "We must take a seat." The ceremony was taking place outside and a huge circle of seats around a platform had been laid out. Kexing took them down to the front and showed them a seat. "It will be about ten minutes until we start so feel free to relax a little, if you have any questions we can answer them while you wait."

Offline DaveIronside

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Re: The Joining of Dragons
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 11:26:03 PM »
Freya and Lilian greeted the others as they arrived, mostly those they had little knowledge of with polite "Hello's" however when Peter and Renee arrived Freya approached. "Your Majesty, I hope the rehab is progressing well?" She enquired before continuing to greet those that were arriving. They listened carefully to the various explanations Kexing and Chun gave and Freya had to marvel at the fact they'd built two almost identical Palaces and for some reason nearly asked the question if a drunk Dragon-Emperor had ever wandered into the wrong one when returning from a night out down the road but kept that thought to herself. She took a few photos of the soldiers arrival, it was something her geek of an older brother would appreciate and would probably be envious to have missed. The two Morelanders had each taken a piece of cloth for the tradition upon arriving at the Sancturory across the river , of course they had both selected Red as it was their nations colour and Freya and Lilian each wrote a message on the fabric.

General Babak Siavas also picked up a piece of cloth, a nice green one and handed it his daughter she was rather an artist and instead of writing a message draw a Seleucid Lion and a Dragon side by side. The teenager stored it in her pocket ready for when they arrived.

They all stood silently watching what appeared to be the first ritual play out before enjoying their ride to the new venue. Upon arrival Freya tied her fabric to the twine, "May The Gods Watch Over You and Your Marriage Be a Happy One." she had written while Lilian had written "May The Gods Watch Over You and Your Family Be Healthy", the young Seleucid girl Setareh stood next to Lilian as she fixed her own to the line bearing her drawing. "That's great" Lilian smiled looking at what she had drawn.

"Thank you Your Highness" Setareh bowed slightly in respect to Lilian's title before rejoining her family. They then followed Kexing to the seats and got settled.

"Lord Kexing" Freya asked quietly, " If I've been informed correctly the Dragon-Priestess and the Dragon Emperor share a common ancestry, is that correct or do we need to sack someone in the briefing department back home." She asked with a slight grin, in truth it had been her brother King David who had told her about what he'd been reading so the chances of anyone being sacked was non-existant, it would though give her bragging rights if he was wrong.

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Re: The Joining of Dragons
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2021, 03:01:28 PM »
"Yes thank you Your Highness." Peter said when Freya enquired about his rehab "I don't think I've spent so much time sparring with my sister in over twenty years." his sister Esme was in charge of ensuring his rehab progressed well. Like a few people Peter was impressed with the landscape they were in, the two palaces were imposing and remarkable in their own way, looking up at them reminded Peter a little of the view from one of the beaches on the north east coast back home where the ancestral Azurewind seat of Crystalline Castle sat. It was Renee who picked up their pieces of cloth, perhaps unsurprisingly both pieces were blue.

"Show off." Renee whispered noticing the academic in Peter coming out once again. Though the Emperor was more interested in the soldiers arrival it was something reminiscent of some formal occasions back home. The ride was enjoyable as well, it had been a while since either of them had been in anything quite like this - on occasions back home he tended to ride on horseback rather than in a carriage. When we got to their destination Peter and Renee tied their fabric up, Renee's message read "May your marriage and family be blessed and joyful." while Peter's message read "May you have a loving, strong and long lasting marriage." but Peter's message wasn't in English or even Achkaerinese, he'd written it in the local language.

Once they settled into their seats Peter relaxed, if they were on their own he'd have been wanting to check his phone and make sure Serenity wasn't doing anything silly but that wouldn't be appropriate at this point. Instead he did a few slight stretches, as subtly as he could while waiting for the next part of the day to unfold. After all Esme would get really annoyed if he didn't keep exercising.

Offline Lijiang

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Re: The Joining of Dragons
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2021, 10:10:18 PM »
The ushering in of so many people to the ritual terrace that overlooked the valley took quiet some time. Fires burned in small shallow stone pits ensuring no one would get too cold and the various sounds of musicians playing fringed the platform. A small construction about head high and with no front to it gave the only shelter and inside its brightly painted wooden walls a statue of two Dragons wrapped around each other stood. Kexing was more than happy to answer the East Moreland Princesses question. "Princess Freya you are correct. "We believe that humanity began through the marriage of the first two humans, Yifeng and his wife Liying. The couple had hundreds of children over their 1000 year marriage and sadly it was giving birth to a daughter called Xiaotong that Liying died an event that in turn caused the death of Yifeng. The Two Dragons returned to grieve and instructed us on how humanity should continue, the descendants of the first child would become Dragon-Emperor and in order to make amends for killing her mother the descendants of Xiaotong would become Dragon-Priestess. Our current Dragon-Priestess could therefore be deemed to be the extremely distant cousin of the Dragon-Emperor. I think Your Highness all your Morelander briefing staff can keep their jobs" He smiled back.

A gong rang and two large trains of people scurried into the terrace area encased in the long traditional dancing Dragon costumes. One of the Dragons had the typical Dragon head while the other was more dog like, a representation of one of the Azure Dragons the two intertwined and curved in and out of each other until the ornate dance had used up all the slack in the long train that made up the body of the Dragon this left the two entwined around each other and the just enough material for the heads to be placed like a makeshift alter at the front. The noses of the two masks touched nose to nose and now those who had carried out the dance carefully arranged the train into a colourful path. A second gong hit and  from the left of the terrace Tielin appeared while from the right Dandan. The male members of the Imperial Family and the various High Lords followed Dandan while the female ones followed Tielin. They each approached the make-shift alter and bowed to it before fanning out around the edges of the terrace. Dandan and Tielin knelt down and sat upon their own feet their backs straight as they faced the alter.

The third gong struck and it was time to begin. The Dragon-Priestess lit some incense sticks and placed them in the hands of Dandan and Tielin as she took a step to stand between the couple who had their back to the crowd and the guests. "You today have come to witness the marriage of the Dragon-Emperor and his Queen. You have a sacred duty to take the news of what has happened today to all corners of the world. Tell the people you meet the Azure Dragons have selected their representative and given her to the Dragon-Emperor." The locals in attendance nodded and muttered their intention to do exactly that. The Dragon-Priestess then returned to the front as her words would now be addressed to the soon to be married couple. "Dandan you have been accepted by the Azure Dragons to be their representative, to wear their crown and be part of the Imperial Family. You must now think whether this is an honour you wish to accept. If you do accept this you are willingly giving your mind, body and spirit to do the duty of the Imperial Family. You will be the mother of the Dragon-Emperors children and you will be his constant companion in this world and the cosmos. Is this an honour you wish to accept?" Dandan responded but in such a feint voice only the Dragon-Priestess and Tielin to hear. "You must say it loudly so even the Two Dragons can hear." The Dragon-Priestess encouraged Dandan who took I deep breath and loudly gave her affirmation that she would accept. The Dragon-Priestess then blew out the burning incense of Dandan.

It was now turn to address the Dragon-Emperor and the Priestess spoke loudly once more. "Tielin you are the Dragon-Emperor.  Dandan has been selected by the Azure Dragons to give you children. She has committed herself to be your wife. She will be your companion until the end of time. Will you take her as your Queen, your wife and mother to your children."

"I will" Tielin spoke loudly and held his incense sticks so the Priestess could blow them out. A forth gong was sounded and a black armoured soldier appeared carrying a heavy cloak that he passed to Tielin as he stood and walked behind the new Queen. Carefully he placed the cloak on her shoulders and then motioned for her to stand up and face him so he could tie the string around her to keep it in place. Dandan kept her head bowed throughout the process and once it was done the couple remained standing.

The Dragon-Priestess moved to once more address the audience. "The Dragon-Emperor has accepted Dandan as his Queen. She will be granted this title once she has proved her commitment to her oaths." This had been the awkward part of arranging the ceremony and one that Tielin had tried to get out of. With Queen's primary role being that of bearing children the marriage and therefore ascendency of the throne was not permitted until Dandan had consumated her oaths of trying to bear children. This evening there would be a final small tradition where the newly weds would be paraded through the Imperial Palace to their bed-chamber and there the Dragon-Priestess and a selection of nobles would be tasked in confirming the marriage had been consummated. It was usually the role of the most senior nobles in attendance and that had meant that by the letter of tradition it would be the visiting royals, Tielin had originally pushed for that part of the day to be left out however the Dragon-Priestess was unwilling to remove it and so the compromise had been reached that non of the visiting guests would be invited to that part of the ceremony. "For now we shall celebrate the blessings the Two Dragons have given the Emperor and future Queen."

The gong was struck for the fifth time and the dancers reappeared and took up the masks before dancing their steps in reverse unwinding the tails of the two Dancing dragon masks. The two Dragons now made a makeshift tunnel off the terrace and the soldiers who had escorted them and the Priestesses stood either side of the tunnel under the canopy made by the tails of the masks. The Dragon-Emperor took hold of the hand of Dandan and the pair made their way up the tunnel with Dandan pinning a white spring of flowers to each soldier while Tielin slid a flower into the hair of each Priestess. The two then found the part of the audience where the foreign guests were seated and Dandan handed each male guest the sprig of flowers while Tielin offered the flower to each female. Once the guests had been given the small token it was the turn of the various High Lords and Ladies. Kexing spoke to the foreign guests. "WIth your various titles it was not known whether you'd permit the couple touching you. It is tradition women wear the flower tucked into their hair while men pin it to their jacket." he demonstrated and by the time he had the couple had gone. "Be prepared that during the celebration you're likely to be asked about the ceremony as those who did not witness it in person would need proof the ceremony took place and these show we are witnesses."

The crowd began to disperse and Jing, the Dragon-Empress appeared among the foreign guests. "Thank you for attending today and seeing our family grow. I trust you will all now be hungry. We have a few moments to allow the crowd to clear from the gatehouse then we shall head back to the Imperial Palace."

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Re: The Joining of Dragons
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2021, 08:40:23 PM »
Freya and Lilian did their best to help each other with the flower in the hair but frankly made a mess of things. Freya suspected hers would look better than Lily's simply because Lily was more accustomed to girly things like flowers and make up and so no doubt would have done things like this once or twice. She reflected on the idea of how Dandan had essentially just agreed to be a baby making machine for the Imperial Family and how different that was to the wedding her and Alex had. She wondered whether she'd ever have her own children with Alex but for now the whirlwind seven year old they'd adopted was all she thought she could handle. As the youngest of the three senior Ironsides she knew it wasn't that important to have children and with Princess Rhiannon being the heir and her brother keen for more children the chances of the family bloodline needing her to continue it was unlikely.

"So you think you can remember all that?" Lilian asked breaking Freya's thoughts.

"Just about" Freya replied. "Can we get drunk and find you a Dragon or something now." she teased her cousin as they waited for the gatehouse to clear.