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Enewald

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Omgz, I sometimes forgot to chech new aars daily. :eek:o

Great start!
Hard times ahead, what campaign are you playing?
 

The Kingmaker

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Well, I must say I am terribly impressed. I knew you were a good writer, but your writing is better even than I expected it to be. Your protagonist is both genuine and three-dimensional, and her perspective is excellent. This is going to be a terrific story, keep it up! :D
 

unmerged(83622)

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Since I never read Jestor's or frogbeastegg's AAR:s -- to my great shame -- this is the first one I read with a female main narrator (same a few of phargle's musings). That caused me to, at some points, think that I was reading a real book rather than AARland! :D If I throw the gender-aspect aside for a while though, I would say that you've got an interesting beginning that makes me, for one, wonder what will happen next.

Not to mention that I'm a sucker for first-person narrative. :) Consider me subscribed, to as big an extent as schoolwork will allow.
 

canonized

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Huzzah :D When a certain bird was twittering in my ear telling me of this upcoming story , I was quite excited and I see that you've delivered it ! So much potential is being pursed in a beautiful face right now . I can't wait to see where this is going ! An excellent start !
 
Jul 23, 2008
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@ Enewald - I am playing as Gwynedd in 1066. Such a busy year...

@ AlexanderPrimus - Thank you for your encouragement!

@ Snugglie - Being a woman myself, I feel that I have a distinct advantage in writing the narrative from the female perspective. :D

@ canonized - Some little birds talk too much. ;)
 
Jul 23, 2008
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II. THE LADY OF THE HOUSE​

Morwenna5.jpg

I opened the door and, finding the corridor empty, exhaled in relief. I had not realized that I had been holding my breath. A moment of peace was exactly what I needed to calm my raging nerves. As I headed down the hall, hoping that my steps looked strong and confident, I found myself clenching and unclenching my hands. Breathe, Morwenna! Suddenly, I heard raucous shouting erupt outside. Maybe that was why the hall was empty -- everyone was outside. But why? What in St. David’s name could be going on? A second roar caused my steps to falter. Why was I so nervous? Taking another deep breath, I continued walking and took the longest route possible in order to pull myself together.

Could it be Maredudd in another of his contagious rages? The last time my eldest stepson became upset, his temper got the better of him and the seven unlucky lads who got in his way. The brawl hadn’t ended until every one of them, Maredudd included, was knocked to the ground in a painful heap. What if it was worse than that this time? What if the rancorous young man had decided to assert his claim as man of the household while his father was away? No, no, that couldn’t be it... breathe Morwenna… it’s probably just a small scuffle between the servants, or a footrace or something.

Reaching the front door, I gently pushed it open, just enough to take a quick peek at what was going on. I was surprised to see no fighting whatsoever. Instead, I saw a horse-drawn coach and two wagons pulling up to the gate. Curiosity got the better of me and, forgetting my fears, I flung open the doors. Just as I had suspected, the entire household was there to welcome our unexpected guest. A flash of gold on the door of the coach caught my eye as it glinted in the sunlight. My breath caught in my chest as I saw the coat-of-arms of the King of England. An English caravan, here? And royal no less! The driver leapt down from his seat and made his way to open the coach door. A few seconds later, a beautiful young woman stepped out, shading her eyes with her hand against the bright sunlight.

My stepsons rushed towards her, nearly causing her to fall before her feet even reached the ground. Suddenly my mind was illuminated and I realized that this must be Efa, Bleddyn’s oldest daughter. She had spent the better part of the past eight years in the court of King Edward, learning queenly duties and court intrigue from none other than Edward’s illustrious wife Edith. I had never met Efa previously, as I assume she didn’t find her father’s third wedding worth the long journey home. I stepped back into the shade of the door as she paraded up and down the growing crowd of her admirers.

Turning away from the group, Efa began barking orders to the wagon drivers and the household servants. I watched carefully, noting how her every whim was obeyed as a multitude of trunks were unloaded out of the wagons. Goodness, how much could one girl own? I grimaced as my own handmaiden bowed and groveled, practically begging to be chosen as the one to carry “her mistress’s” personal affects. Her mistress? When last I checked, Mari was my handmaid. I made a mental note to discuss the issue with Mari later. Once she was reminded of just who handed out her pay, her loyalty would swiftly return.

I moved aside as the servants began taking Efa’s trunks inside, wondering if we even have a room large enough to hold them all? I quickly instructed the first man to take them to the far corner room, the only spare room available. It wasn’t magnificent, but it would suffice. My movement, or perhaps my lack of movement (I was after all the only one not visibly impressed by her show,) drew Efa’s eyes in m direction. Knowing that this meeting was inevitable, I summoned the courage I had been working up all morning. Straightening my shoulders and guarding my expression, I lifted my chin to its haughtiest angle.

“Greetings my dear. If I am not very much mistaken, you must be Efa, Bleddyn’s beautiful, long-lost daughter. It is such a delight to welcome you home.”

“Thank you. I assume you are Morwenna? Idnerth’s daughter? Right, well, I suppose I should be the one to welcome you, as this has been my home longer than it has been yours.” Efa’s mouth still held a pleasant, albeit fake smile on her lips as she spat out her challenging words. Impressive…

“Oh my, how charming!” I lightly giggled as if I had taken her insult to be a joke. Two can play at this game. “It will be such a great diversion to have another lady in the house. I do look forward to getting to know you better. I can tell already that we will get along splendidly!”

“You don’t seem to understand, Morwenna. This was my mother’s domain, and now it is mine. I wasn’t sent to the royal court to learn how to watch other women control what is rightfully mine, after all. No, I did not choose to come home, but since I am here, I might as well live up to my education. I was treated like a daughter by the Queen; in fact, her Grace taught me exclusively. I am undoubtedly more qualified than you to run this household.”

I was not suspecting such a direct attack. I batted my eyelashes, flashed my eyes, and raised my chin a fraction higher. “I understand that you have had a long journey. Perhaps a few days of solitude will allow you the rest you require after such a strenuous voyage? I presume you would appreciate some time to refresh yourself. I will order the others to respect your need for quiet, uninterrupted rest. Perhaps you should start with a bath? I myself was never fond of the smell of horses.” I sniffed into my handkerchief with just the right amount of disgust.

Efa’s eyes widened with unspoken frustration and surprise. I had deflected her challenge of leadership as if she were a child playing make-believe. She had obviously not expected to be denied her glory. She even stammered for a moment. “I…I… right, of course. You, there, get a bath ready and then come help me out of this dress. The roads are so dusty. I cannot do a thing until I have rid myself of the smells of the journey. I detest pack mules.“ She was speaking to Mari, seeming to have decided that the woman belonged to her. Mari was eager to rush off, but I raised my hand to halt her departure.

“I apologize, Efa, but this girl is my personal handmaiden and she currently has other matters which she must attend to at this time. However, I am sure there is someone around here who can assist you.” Looking over my shoulder, I saw one of the scullery maids carrying in firewood for the morning meal. Perfect. I called to her before she was out of earshot. “Ah, child, once you have finished fetching the firewood, please assist Efa in taking a bath.”

The girl looked questioningly at me. She must have been startled by the commanding tone in my voice, which was not usually present. Ultimately deciding that this new duty was better than working in the kitchens, she shrugged her shoulders and hurried off to do as she had been told.

And there it was, a direct yet indirect challenge. This was my territory now. Efa barely hid her glower as she whirled around to follow her possessions into the hall. Mari stood where she had previously stopped, wearing a confused look on her face. “Mari, do you need help remembering your duties?”

She blinked, “Ah, no, my lady. Um, I... I will get right to them.” Smiling, I thanked her and walked back into the hall. I trod slowly, deliberately back to my room. These past few days, it seemed that all my energy was consumed by the child within me. It was nearly time for the baby to be born, but people were often deceived into thinking I was just beginning my pregnancy as I did not look very large. My tall frame allowed for a relatively small bump, which was easily disguised by the latest fashion of heavy, flowing, high-waisted, gowns.

Reaching my chambers at last, I closed the door behind me with a sigh of relief. Sitting on the bed, I began to formulate a strategy. This challenge was not the one I had expected an hour earlier, but it was one I was better equipped to fight. The wars women fight with each other are as fierce as the ones that men wage on the battlefield, but the wounds women leave last much, much longer.

Event3.jpg


~*~​
 

Alfred Packer

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You must be psychic...I was just browsing this thread, what 5 minutes ago? Wondering when your story would continue...and now it has!
 

phargle

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Ca-tty. It is difficult to tell from the dialogue who is right and who is wrong, as the high school-ish fighting leaves them both lessened. I dig the scullery maid, who seems right out of any of the Pern books I've read, and like that the queenie's maid played along with her scheming, if scheming it can be called; her opponent had a Plan A (the queen capitulates) and no Plan B (what if the queen doesn't capitulate. . .), and got all aflutter at the mention of donkey sweat. We'll see how this pans out, although presumably there will be no impolite bath scenes.
 

canonized

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I love seeing this with full feminine power channeled through the characters . Excellently done and very refreshing :D Instead of the 'subtle' and 'calculating' political rancor of most individuals sparring , we instead get the clever , witty , and indirect (and sometimes direct) catfighting that phargle mentioned . Well done :D it's really interesting to see how these two fight it out !
 
Jul 23, 2008
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Thanks everyone for reading. I am still new at this idea of writing for other people to read, so I appreciate your kind words and support. I usually leave the storytelling to my husband, but I have apparently spent too much time around him and his hobbies must be rubbing off on me.

@ Alfred Packer - Wow, that is amazing!

@ Farquharson - Don't worry, the updates should be coming more quickly now. December is just a crazy month!

@ phargle - They are catty. That's because they are very close in age and both have a vested interest in playing woman of the house. As for the maids and servants, these roles are noticed much more by a woman than a man. The servants also play a large part of the atmosphere of the household and the underlying tensions that may exist so you will be seeing these kind of characters quite frequently in this AAR. :)

@ canonized - Thanks! I too am interested to see how this all goes down ;)

For those who are interested, Morwenna is 25 yrs old and Efa is 18. Those who are familiar with 18 yr old girls will note that Efa's behavior is very typical of the age: girls trying to prove themselves as women. Morwenna is slightly older, slightly more practiced, and in a more adult mindset, but that does not keep her from also getting steamed when challenged.
 

robou

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Fantastic writing! This is going to be a real war between two women who think they are right... that is nasty. I am eager to hear more of this story, as you write is so well. THe different perspective is, even though it has already been said ad nauseum, is a nice change from the usual war themes... though this seems a war between two very strong characters!
 

phargle

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For those who are interested, Morwenna is 25 yrs old and Efa is 18. Those who are familiar with 18 yr old girls will note that Efa's behavior is very typical of the age: girls trying to prove themselves as women. Morwenna is slightly older, slightly more practiced, and in a more adult mindset, but that does not keep her from also getting steamed when challenged.

As we tend to age in increments of 7 years, 25 is just old enough to feel threatened physically in terms of attractiveness by an 18-year-old.
 

unmerged(59077)

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As we tend to age in increments of 7 years, 25 is just old enough to feel threatened physically in terms of attractiveness by an 18-year-old.

Hahaha.

Now I know why I'm suddenly feeling insecure in my domestic bliss - those bedamned 18 year olds are now potential rivals.
 

comagoosie

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:rofl:

Women are the best!...Not to mention our weakness :eek:o

It seems the household is getting fuller and more dangerous, I fear if there is one more long lost relative the house shall burst and a bloody mess will cover the walls.

btw, girls can be absolutely downright nasty. Cat fights. Meow :D
 

The Kingmaker

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Well, I must say you continue to impress me. :D

You are apparently so full of talents that you can pull a new one out of nowhere and surprise everyone with your capability yet again.

This story is really great, and of course I will always follow it. One thing that really impresses me though are the female characters. You're really good at writing their motivations, as can be expected, but you do it in such an enthralling manner!

Keep up the fabulous work!
 

General_BT

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Catfight! :D

Once again, your writing is wonderful, and really conveys the 'battle behind the scenes' when Morwenna and Efa. I highly doubt that Efa is going to take Morwenna's claim to authority lying down... I smell an alliance between Efa and Maredudd coming...
 

Enewald

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Very mean.
Welsch is a very cruel place. :D
Nice update!
 
Jul 23, 2008
23
0
@ Robou - Thanks for reading! And yes, women are routinely nasty with each other.

@ phargle - Interesting, although being 25 myself, I don't think I would be threatened by an 18 yr old.

@ comagoosie - I'm glad you are enjoying the drama.

@ Alexander - Thanks for your kind words!

@ General BT - Thanks! I guess we will have to wait and see what happens.

@ Enewald - Wales is a lovely place. Women are dangerous.