1866-11-14: Queen Takes Knight - Wedded
Queen Takes Knight - Wedded
Summary: The wedding of Queen Alysande Tracano and Viscount Jaren Cassomir.
Date: 11/14/1866 IA
Related: Queen Takes Knight - The Parade and Queen Takes Knight - The Wedding Feast
Players:
Alysande  Jaren  Alpin  Raelyn  Martyn  Tristan  Clara  Thaddeus  Devlin  Emilia  Destrian  Quentyn  Jean-Paul  Louisa  Lucius  Dora  Sirrah  Rosana  Rashad  Bartolo  

The Cathedral at Sunsreach does not bear the name of any particular Saint, nor is it nearly so famed as the Cathedral of Saint Sandoval in Normont, where the Cardinal of Rivana normally resides. No one makes pilgrimages to this Cathedral, and it is often all but overlooked when most folk think of the great Cathedrals of the Edge. And yet, for all that discounting, it is no less spacious and no less grand than any other Cathedral, thanks in large part to generous donations by both the Tracano and Durante over the years to maintain it. It still boasts high attendance despite Rivana’s sometimes tenuous relationship with Sanctum, and today, of course, it is decorated heavily well beyond the usual trappings of the One Faith and the stained-glass windows depicting various mytho-historical exploits of the One God (and one more recent…though still centuries old…depicting Prince Giorgio slaying the Dragon, though the Church has of course mythologized it as the One God guiding Prince Giorgio to victory). Banners of House Tracano and House Cassomir are draped in an alternating pattern along the walls, though it is, unsurprisingly, the colors and symbols of House Tracano that dominate the back wall of the Cathedral, draped underneath the Sun Window that rests at the apex of the inner archway of every One Faith Cathedral…the stained glass arranged carefully in the shape of the Sanctum Sun.

A large choir stands upon the rearward portion of the dais, voices raised in a pleasant, almost ethereal chorus as the final guests make their way to their positions. Not least of which is Lord Devlin Cassomir, who strides all the way up to the stage and stands beside his sister Emilia, and fostered brother Destrian Rosendal, as well as the royal lancer Quentyn Bazan. Devlin leans over to give the former an affectionate peck on the cheek and the latter two a playful grin before settling into a more sedate posture. On the opposite side of the dais stands the Princes Martyn and Tristan Tracano, and the Princess Clara Tracano, as well as Lord Thaddeus Greycen. It would appear that for a royal wedding, or at least this royal wedding, each party has decided they need more than one person to stand with them, though in truth it is perhaps a symbol of the fact that for all the stories and all the trials that the soon-to-be-wedded couple have taken part in and overcome, they have not done so alone. To either side of the Dais stand two separate groups of Royal Lancers in full armor. Joyous occasion this may be, but the need for vigilance has been well-learned by both participants.

The front pews of the Cathedral are virtually a “who’s who” of the Edge’s nobility. King Jean-Paul and Queen Louisa l’Valdan hold the most honored guest position on the Groom’s side, while Prince Lucius Callidus of Venderos and his daughter Dora occupy the same position on the Bride’s, perhaps not surprising given the man is in fact the Queen’s uncle, though he does manage to look just young enough to make that hard to believe. Beside the Venderos royals sits the brightly-garbed Shahzadeh Rosana Behzadi of Alhazred, along with her husband Rashad…a perhaps-surprising sight for many, though perhaps not so much given rumors of their arrival and presence have been flitting about the city for a few weeks now. On the Groom’s side, the wizened figure of Archbishop Sirrah Lancella finds herself seated next to the King and Queen of Couviere, and beyond that the pew is filled out with various Ducal heirs of Couviere, matched by the Dukes and Duchesses of Rivana (and many of their children) seated on the Bride’s side.

After that, it becomes quite an intermingling of various noble families and houses, though notably Vice Chancellor Marcel Toulan is seated near the front with his daughter Elaida, which is a sharp contrast to the Chancellor Bartolo Mancini of Pacitta….who is seated in the dead-last pew along with several other of the common-born High Councilors of Pacitta. While it should be considered a tremendous honor for ANY commoner not serving the ceremony itself in some way to be seated in here at all, Mancini looks…rather ecstatic actually. Perhaps he is genuinely pleased that he was invited in at all, but regardless, he seems to be both more pleasant and better-behaved than he is ordinarily known for. Though that latter bit may also be due to the two Royal Lancers that stand at the doorway a short distance away from him, ready to handle any disruptions quite…efficiently.

But all of this, of course, is but window dressing for the bride herself, who awaits near the center of the Dais, flanked by the Archbishop Alpin Langford, who, unsurprising to any who know his tale, will be officiating this ceremony, and is openly beaming with pride and heartfelt sentiment already. Still, undoubtedly all eyes are upon Queen Alysande Tracano.

She is resplendent in what appears to be a golden satin gown that compliments every inch of her 5'9" frame. The silk satin, because of course it has to be silk, shimmers in the light…liquid gold that conforms to the Queen's frame with stunning results. The dress itself is mostly sleeveless, with cap sleeves…just enough there to be considered a sleeve, rather than simply a strap, though the cap sleeves, with their elaborate rose pattern, are certainly more ornamental than functional. The rose pattern is not just a part of the shoulders, however. It is a major theme of the dress, empathizing that this is truly the Rose Queen. The golden rose pattern starts at the neck, completely enclosed in a choker-style neck, plummeting down the throat until it is joined by the points of the cap sleeves. Then, it descends further down, past the chest and tapering down to a thin pass, just above the navel, before the obviously meticulously hand-stitched pattern expands to a cluster of 4 large roses, resting just below her waist. This only serves to accentuate her figure, showcasing the curvature of her form, the hourglass figure of the royal. The dress flares out at the hips, adding dimension to the lower half of the Queen, the skirts providing that bell-like form, with the rose design continuing down that solid line along the front panel. The skirt is so long and full that it is nearly impossible to determine what footwear the Tracano is wearing and help to provide the illusion of gliding on air whenever she walks. Long flowing locks of blonde hair cascade down to about mid-back, with the only flash of color apart from the shimmering gold being the emerald jewels nestled within the delicate golden tiara placed gently upon her head. The precious gemstones are formed as delicate leaves, providing the Rose Queen with just enough contrast to make a resplendent ensemble truly stand out. Alysande stands regally at the head of the cathedral, waiting as patiently as she can manage for her betrothed to appear. On the surface, she is calm and dignified. Underneath she is bubbling with excitement and a sense of pure joy— something that she has experienced rarely in her short life. The happiness she has for wedding not only her Champion but her true love shines through her countenance, and the glowing radiance will likely be a line in songs of the pairing after this day.

The young woman standing for the groom is likely not one known to quite as many as those other standing for the groom and bride this day, least not by sight. Some might even question the choice of the young woman, and murmur it away as simply trying to balance out the wedding party, to make things look even and perfect with one young woman upon each side. Or simply due to some sense of family. For family she is, as is easily deduced by the dress Jaren's youngest sister wears. The gown is predominantly Cassomir blue and within a fashionable styling. A thin edging of red traces the neckline and the gentle off shoulder stylings of the gown. A similar edging found along the billow ends to the long sleeves. The slightly corseted waist aids in showing off the gentle curves and womanly form that are most often lost beneath Huntress garb. A sliver of red sets off the bottom of the corseting and travels round to fade beneath the bow that the red lacings that end within after criss crossing down her back before ending in that bow just under the small of her back. The skirts of the dress billow out around her legs, a slight train existing with red embroidery with a hint of gold in the thread forming an elegant scroll pattern. The gown accented by the simple choice of jewelry; small teardrop rubies that hang from her ears and a slightly larger one that rest about her neck. Similar glints of red can be seen upon the gold pins that hold her dark brown hair within the elegant style. The peck to her cheek from Devlin does cause a slight tugging at the corners of Emilia's lips, but they are soon sliding back to a rather stoic expression, even now. Her dark eyes looking past the many people seated, to the doors awaiting for that appearance of her brother and sister.

Although he stands with his adoptive family, the Cassomirs — namely the Lady Emilia Cassomir — Sir Destrian Rosendal is garbed in the raiment of his birth house. That fact alone might identify him to some, if not most, of the guests: a Rosendal raised by Cassomirs, the only one of his House to believe in the One Faith.

Destrian smiles down at his adopted sister.

The man wears a tunic and hose of deep purple with golden trim, beneath a surcoat of similar colours, and a long cloak bearing the golden rose insignia of his House. Brushing the cloak back behind his leg, surreptitiously with a gloved hand, Destrian gives his sister a wink and motions with his chin toward the Cathedral doors.

The other young woman on the Bride’s side is certainly well-known…to the Rivanans definitely, if not to the Couvieri. And, unlike her female counterpart upon the Cassomir side, this particular young Tracano would have no one question her presence, standing besides brother and for cousin. The Princess Clara stands opposite the Lady Emilia, providing the oft-commented symmetry for the wedding party. Clad in a rich green velvet dress, it is apparent that the symmetry goes well beyond merely the number of persons standing for each side. For, apart from the green and golden hues that mark Clara as a member of the royal house, the styling of the dress is very similar. Slightly corsetted waist, long billowy sleeves, bare shoulders, long elegant skirt. Predominately the lush green, with golden accents in all of the same places. Even the train is similar, though her embroidery is decidedly more floral in nature, with leaves and roses prevalent within the detailed pattern, all in golden thread with just a hint of black to set it off. The ensemble is accented by the choice of simple, but elegant pieces of jewelry…emeralds that dangle from both ears, two green teardrops hanging by delicate gold filigree. A necklace rests upon Clara’s throat, again simplistic with another slightly larger emerald teardrop. The hair, the vibrant shade of red, is pulled up into somewhat of a twist. A few locks of hair are curled and hanging loosely, framing her face, while the rest of the tresses just barely dust her shoulders.

The brown eyes of the princess drift over, flashing a smile across the way to her counterpart, as the young woman settles into her part. As she does so, it only serves to fuel the rumour that perhaps it is the Cassomir that was added merely to bring about the perfection of the ceremony. When, in truth, it was the Princess herself that was added to bring about the mirror images. Not that this will ever be known to the world at large. The head tilts, then turns as Clara regards the doors to the Cathedral, awaiting the ceremony to begin.

Thaddeus is the only non-Tracano standing on the Queen’s side. However, he is dressed on the same level as the royals, in the livery of his house. A friend of both parties, Thaddeus is obviously pleased and the smile on his face betrays this.

The doors to the Cathedral open, and four more Royal Lancers file in, with two more taking position near the door, and the remaining two moving along the outer edges of the chamber to join their fellows near the front. Then the Viscount Jaren Cassomir makes his entrance, arm-in-arm with his sister, Lady Raelyn. Despite the Cassomir reputation for stoicism, both are smiling as they make their way down the center aisle towards the dais. Jaren wears his gleaming gold-trimmed Lancer’s plate, so well-polished that one might wonder how many hours Liam Haldis spent working on it in the past several days, and Winterthorn remains sheathed at his side. The wedding cloak he wears is, unsurprisingly, a rather elaborate affair: The crest of House Cassomir prominent in the center, but surrounded with embroidered scenes of battle. For those with an eye for history and a familiarity with House Cassomir, they’ll recognize them as several of the famous engagements where the Cassomir distinguished themselves, often in sacrifice. The scenes are embroidered in chronological order starting at the upper right of the cloak, and working their way around back to the top-center, which appears to depict Jaren’s duel with the Grey Prince.

Raelyn is dressed in a rich dress of deep blue and red, the colors of House Cassomir. Her hair is pulled back and held by sapphire tipped gold pins in an elaborate fashion as to reveal her face entire and give her a noble look. Upon that face, a rather warm smile as she begins that walk with Jaren down the aisle. Something briefly being whispered into Jaren’s ear as they go, lost to all others with the rustle and murmurs of those present to bear witness to the ceremony. That warm smile going Alysande, to Devlin and Emilia, and the others that stand for Jaren and Alysande.

Jaren and Raelyn pause before the base of the dais, and Jaren leans down to both give to and receive from a peck on each cheek from his sister, favoring her with a smile which, for him, is a bright one, even if it might be viewed as subdued by more demonstrative sorts. And with the “farewell” from the house of his birth given, he ascends those few stairs to stand at Alysande’s side, giving her a smile that is, perhaps even a shade brighter still, before looking expectantly to the Archbishop Alpin Langford, as Raelyn moves to stand near her other family members.

Alpin Langford steps forward, lifting his hands a moment and speaking in a clear voice that fills the room thanks to the excellent acoustics of the chamber:

“Honored and esteemed guests, nobles and dignitaries of many lands, we are gathered today to bear witness to the joining of her majesty Queen Alysande Tracano to his excellency the Viscount Jaren Cassomir as husband and wife. It has been a long and trying path that brings them here today, one that has been shared by the nation they will now rule over together. Let us view this day as the close of a dark chapter for our Kingdom, and the beginning of a brighter day for not only Rivana, but all of Creation’s Edge. Here we sit, under not only the eyes of the One God, but of all Gods who may be worshipped by those in attendance. Whether it is your way to look towards Priest or Prophet, Sky or Stone, let us all ask that the deity or deities we hold faith in bless this union, and bless the Kingdom of Rivana.”

The Archbishop knows that some of his words might be seen as controversial, given the acknowledgment of more than simply the One Faith, but he shows no sign of it as he moves back one step, smiling warmly to the couple as he adds, “Let the vows be spoken.”

As the “receiving” party, it falls to Alysande to speak first, and there’s a slight quirk to her smile that might speak of mischief, but it is more out of a general tinge of humor than any lack of sincerity to the words she speaks:

“It would be a lie to truly say that I knew from the moment I saw you that one day we would be wed, for I was too young to know of anything beyond the childish image of love and marriage that all young girls dream of. But in the years that have passed since, I have learned of what love truly is, for you have shown it to me every hour of every day, if not in words, than in action. In truth I hesitated to ask you to speak any vows today, because you have already fulfilled any vow you might make through valiant deeds and unfailing loyalty. You have never failed me, and you have always been there when I have needed you. So today it is my turn to make these vows to you…”

There is a brief pause before Alysande continues, “I vow that I will honor you as my husband for the remainder of my living days, and that I will take no other to my heart or to my bed. I vow that I will do all in my power to insure that our union is a prosperous and happy one for not only ourselves, but the whole of our beloved Kingdom and its’ people. I vow that I will listen to your counsel and respect your position as king. I vow that I will remember and honor the loyalty and sacrifices that your family and so many others have made in service to not only myself, but the Kingdom of Rivana as a whole. These honored dead have made this day possible, and I will not allow their passing to be in vain. Above all else, I vow that I love you and will love you, yesterday, today, and until whatever end I may meet. I swear it in sight of the One God…and in the sight of any other that might be watching.” And with that, it seems, the Queen’s vows are concluded, and she turns her eyes from Jaren to Alpin, who gestures to the former that it’s his turn.

Jaren takes a deep, steadying breath, not always being the most comfortable at speeches in front of crowds, but all trace of nervousness is quickly washed away when he looks into Alysande’s eyes:

“I have often felt as though whatever words I might conjure would be inadequate to the task of describing the depth of my feelings for you, and as you have said, I have already sworn many oaths to you. My loyalty, love, and duty have been yours for many years now. Nevertheless, I make these new oaths to you now.”

Another heartbeat or two, and Jaren resumes, “I vow that I will ever be faithful to you, as my wife and as my queen. I vow that I will do all in my power to lighten the burdens you carry as Queen, and to bring a smile to your face when you need it most. I will counsel when you have need of counsel. I will be your sword and shield. I will speak for you when you ask it, and above all I will lead our people and our Kingdom when and where you deem fit. I will protect you, our family both present and future, and our Kingdom and its’ people until my dying breath. I vow that the love I have felt, do feel and will continue to feel for you will never wane, for it has ever only grown with the passage of time. I vow that when the time comes I will feel not one bit less love for the children we will bring into this world together. All this I swear in sight of every God that is, all that were, and all that may ever be, even if the One God above will ever be foremost in my heart.”

Lord Devlin Cassomir steps forward, offering Jaren the golden ring he’s been palming for most of the ceremony. Jaren accepts it from his brother with a bit of a grin, then turns and places it on the third finger of Alysande’s left hand, bowing at the waist slightly as he lifts her hand to kiss the ring afterwards. Once her hand is lowered, it is Alysande’s turn to accept a matching ring from Prince Martyn Tracano, and the particularly sharp eyed or perceptive might notice that the Prince does seem a bit nervous as the spotlight is placed on him, but despite the slightest of unsteadiness to his hands, he manages the task of handing Alysande the ring without dropping it nor stumbling on the step forward he must take…not that he’s a clumsy man, he is simply often ill-at-ease in gatherings such as these. When he steps back, his wife favors him with a warm smile from her front-row seat, which coupled with the relief felt from his role having successfully been fulfilled, calms him greatly.

Alysande slips the ring on Jaren’s left ring finger as well, and mirrors the kiss to his hand. And with the vows spoken and the rings exchanged, Alysande glances up to Jaren once more, for a brief moment allowing herself the girlish gesture of biting her lower lip before actually fluttering her lashes at him. It’d take a sharp eye or a good seat to notice it, but it seems a bit of a jest between the couple, as Jaren’s own expression shifts to a grin that veers dangerously close to mischievous.

The Archbishop Langford glances between the two, both of which he has known for many years, and there is a great deal of emotion to his words and expression ranging from affectionate warmth to good-humored expectation when he speaks: “Let the bond be sealed.”

With that, to the surprise of absolutely no-one, both bride and groom lean in and share an entirely enthusiastic kiss. It would be a lie to say there is not a degree of calculation in it, though, as they do manage to keep it just on the edge of propriety before it breaks, accompanied by the polite applause of the crowd. After all, the wedding is a more quiet affair, the cheers and more boisterous celebration is to come….not that it stops a single voice in the very back from whooping, before Chancellor Bartolo Mancini of Pacitta manages to clam up, looking around nervously to make sure Lancers aren’t charging forward to throw him out for this minor breach in decorum, but save for a few glares that really hold little malice to them (well, except for a few of the councilors whose glares hold PLENTY of malice), he avoids any real repercussions, much to his relief.

The kiss breaks after a few moments, and Jaren leans forward a bit so Alysande can unclasp the wedding cloak from around his shoulders. Given the royal nature of this particular wedding, it is, after all, only fitting that Alysande be the one to welcome her new husband to her family. Once done, she flips the cloak about with a flourish, and begins to reaffix it. Somewhere in the crowd, those with a familiarity with Rivanan history are likely grinning (we’re looking at you Viscount Giorgio Bazan), as the reverse side of the cloak is “the rest of the tale” from the original side: The center bears the crest of House Tracano, and surrounding it are again panels depicting several battles…specifically the Tracano victories that ensued after Cassomir valor and sacrifice. As with the first side, the panels traverse chronologically around the edge of the cloak, culminating in the top-center panel, which seems to depict the very wedding all here find themselves present for! It’s really quite a piece of work…the tale of two houses that have long been inextricably linked now joined, after a fashion, in one royal couple.

The applause dies down, and Alysande speaks once more, as a previously-unnoticed fellow steps forward, and if anything he looks even more nervous than Prince Martyn did. It is quite clear that the man is of common birth, given the roughness of features and particularly of hands (if one is close enough to see), but he’s wearing a clearly-new set of good-quality clothing with Tracano livery, and bearing a green pillow edged in gold thread, upon which a small vial rests, linked with a fine golden chain. Within the vial itself is a small collection of gold and silver flakes. For a few here, the man with the pillow might be recognizable to them as the foreman of the largest of Goldhollow’s mines.

“I am told that in Ironhold, there is a particular tradition…” Alysande says, smiling reassuringly to the man as she takes up the vial and chain, and turns to face Jaren once more, “The passing of a token that represents the bond between land, people, and liege. In honor of your family and its’ traditions, I present you now with this, containing the smallest sample of the bounty my family and its’ lands provide.” And with that Jaren leans over just enough for Alysande to slip the chain around his neck, smiling with just a tiny bit of amusement at the slightly-modified rendition of his own family’s wedding traditions. Alysande herself goes a tiny bit off-script, though, leaning up on tip toes to give him another brief kiss while he’s leaned over, though he manages to mask any surprise at it. And with that done, and with more polite applause, Jaren offers his arm to Alysande, who takes it, and the pair begins to lead the procession out of the Cathedral, followed by their respective wedding parties. The choir again picks up its’ singing, and once outside the ringing of bells can be heard throughout the City. A crowd cheers loudly, cordoned off a safe distance away by Tracano House Guards and some of the City Watch, and the cheers only grow louder when the new royal couple steps outside, preceded by a pair of Royal Lancers. While it is only a short distance to Sunsreach Palace from here, a fine carriage still awaits, and after a bit of smiling and waving to the crowd, Jaren and Alysande both climb in, before it starts on its way to the Palace, where one last, smaller ceremony is to be held and then a few hours of relative respite before the wedding feast tonight.

Lest the others worry they are deigned to walk, it soon becomes apparent that there is a long line of carriages waiting to ferry the honored guests and family members along behind the newly-minted royal couple, and while there will certainly be those that have to make the journey on foot, they’ll find the path well-guarded, and perhaps mercifully, the only crowds to be found being the direct servants of House Tracano and House Cassomir, who while no less enthusiastic in their cheers, are a considerably less raucous presence than the throngs of people that had been along the parade route and outside the Cathedral. Of course, once the guests are safely conducted to Sunsreach Palace, they’ll find plenty of food, drink, and entertainment for the “pre-celebration” that will ensue prior to the formal wedding feast tonight. There will be others who will join for that particular event, who will filter in over the next several hours, to bear witness in their own way to this momentous occasion. Still, from the general tenor of the city beyond, and the near-cacophony of various bits of music and drumming that crop up throughout the city, the celebrations are already well and truly underway.

THE END….AND A BEGINNING

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