Fireday, 26 Abadius, 4734 – Castle Korvosa
Ecclesia sits in front a large, intricately carved oak dresser with a tall, clear mirror. With the light waning outside, small candles litter top of the dresser between an assortment of powders and tinctures to provide enough light for the young paladin to affix her makeup for the evening’s planned festivities.
Her hair had been tended to hours prior: the long, soft, light brown locks braided neatly in four small chords that accented the bulk of her hair that was pinned up in a neat bun. Although she prefers to keep her hair in a more practical low bun or ponytail, especially now that it has grown these past few months, the extra time and care taken by the royal aestheticians was appreciated.
A beautiful red ball dress with black and golden accents lies upon her bed; the last part of the evening’s preparations. As Ecclesia reaches out for the red lip tincture on the dresser, a familiar voice rings in her ears.
“What a peculiar choice of war paint for fighting giants. Tell me, do you plan on seducing them into submission, child?”
Ecclesia’s amethyst-colored eyes shoot straight up, as in the mirror the familiar form of Ell-Hayzar stands behind her. Her similarly amethyst eyes fix upon the young paladin, her arms crossed as she gives a disapproving head shake. Ecclesia lets out a small sigh as she turns to face her bonded spirit, “Very funny Ellie. You know why we’re here, what I’m thinking. If you have something to share, please make it quick, Ameiko should be in here any minute and you know how she feels about me talking to myself.”
Ell-Hayzar bristles a bit at the nickname, her long, elegant nose wrinkling for a moment before relaxing. “She shouldn’t concern herself with matters that are yours to consider. Nor should you hide our connection to those closest to you. But I will again acquiesce, if only to press upon you once more the importance and imminence of the task of quelling the evils that stir within Varisia. We must move on the information we have with all haste if we are to prevent it.”
Ecclesia shakes her head in turn and moves toward the bed. “I’m well aware of giant war bands marching to Jorgenfist. We fought and won a brief respite, and we’re better served by preparing for our enemy, just as they are hard at work preparing for us. Besides, the King—“
“The King of Korvosa is not my concern, child,” Ell-Hayzar folds her arms, her eyebrows pull closer as she narrows her gaze. “I am answerable only to The Inheritor herself, as are you. It is not his glory that bestows you your powers; it is not in his name that you bring justice into this world. His will is not your law.”
“You forget yourself, Ellie. I am his daughter, his blood flows within my veins. There are…” Ecclesia pauses for a moment to lightly apply the red balm upon her soft lips, “…norms to consider. I am a servant of The Inheritor yes, but I am also a servant of this Kingdom. I need to make amends for my past transgressions.”
“You didn’t care about this before,” Ell-Hayzar raises an eyebrow, softening her gaze. “Why now?”
“Near-death experiences and your lessons are the culprits,” Ecclesia replied, a wry smirk tugged at the corner of her mouth. “I owe it to The Inheritor to be focused on the task at hand: I can’t afford to be hiding who I am any longer. I am a Paladin and a Princess in equal measures, if I am to be successful at both I need to handle the unique demands and responsibilities each bring to the table. And at the moment, not running from my father is more important than tending to the giant problem.”
“A giant problem that stems from the return of a Runelord that threatens all of Varisia,” El-Hayzar sighs, “but I digress. Very well, child, I will acquiesce. Take care that your mortal duties do not cause you to stray from her light, the annals of power are fraught with shadows.”
“Ever the worrier Ellie,” Ecclesia chuckled, “Of course I will. I wouldn’t—“
“Just who were you talking to?”
Ameiko strolls into the room, wearing a familiar smirk but mixed with crossed arms and focused gaze. She taps her foot expectantly as she gives the paladin a once over.
“Just myself, of course, nothing to worry about my love,” Ecclesia hastily discards her clothes and pulls on the dress. “Care to help me into this thing?”
“A likely story,” Ameiko replies, stepping closer, “You know I don’t like it when you…talk to yourself. It’s bad enough you talk in your sleep.”
“I know, I know. She—, err, I had a lot on my mind; just needed to air out my thoughts.”
“I know it’s coming from a good place but it creeps me out. The other night it was in a strange language, I was worried you were being possessed!”
“You know that’s not how it works,” Ecclesia chucked. Her voice is straining as she forces a grin, “besides, neither Iomedae nor any of her servants would ever take possession of me in such a violating manner. If you’d really like to know, I—“
“No, I really don’t want to know. I’ll take your word for it, again.”
“You wouldn’t have to if I could just—”
“Don’t we have a party to go to darling? We can talk about it another time, okay?”
Ecclesia lets out a sigh, “Sure, I’ll put in on the calendar.” She rolls her eyes but before they complete the roll, Ecclesia feels a tight tug at the corset as Ameiko finishes tying.
“Hey!” Ecclesia yelps in protest, as a sly grin flashes across the Minkaian’s face, “I kind of need to breathe tonight you know.”
“Nonsense darling, I very much prefer to be as breathless as you are now.” Ameiko replied giving her a quick peck on the cheek. A light blush flashes across the young paladin’s face. “It’s not often I get to enjoy you all dolled up as you are. Now, let us be on our way before I end up tearing you out of that lovely dress instead.”
“Don’t worry my love, you’ll get your chance after the party.” Ecclesia replies, taking her arm as they head out of the room.