This is an in-character game thread from Changeling: In Love and War. (This page is not Creative Commons licenced.)
Ilandra and Cain rose late and breakfasted substantially, all the
better to put off their inevitable encounter with Duchess Regara Poppy.
"I suppose", said Cain between slices of toast, "that we shouldn't really be worried. I mean, she'll be happy, right? Just... happy in her unique and explosive way. It can't go too badly."
"Do you reckon it's worth dropping by an armoury and requisitioning
some armour?" Ilandra asked, looking contemplatively into her mug of
"Well, you know, it might... give the wrong impression."
Cain thought for a minute, considering his mother's range of possible responses.
"No, you're right. Armour it is. Possibly also shields, some kind of magical protection, and earplugs."
Ilandra drained her cup and stood.
"I don't know if I have any armour... but I'm fairly sure I have a
shield somewhere... Magical protection might be a little tricky and as
for ear plugs, well, I think we might have some of those as well..."
she said, walking towards the door.
She wandered down the corridor and entered a room with an unassuming
door, emerging a few minutes later wearing a suit of chain mail and
dragging a 6 foot shield behind her.
"This is pretty much all the stuff that's not rotten or broken..." she
told him, looking slightly guilty. "There didn't seem much point in
taking care of the armour so... it's not in very good condition..."
"Um," said Cain. "Um."
It took a good fifteen seconds or so for him to recover his composure.
"Yes," he said. "I'm sure that'll duly protect us, if not exactly
give the right impression. Shall we be going, then?"
"Yeah, might as well..." she said, picking the shield up and carrying
it out the room having to make several attempts to get it through the
door. Once through she looked back sheepishly, as if to admit that
she'd almost forgotten about the shield in her hand as she tried to go
through the door. "Shall I walk beside Hawthorn? The armour and shield
might be too much to carry as well as the two of us..."
"Hawthorn?" asked Cain? "You have seen him, right? Somehow, I think he'll manage."
Ilandra and Cain walked out to the stables, passing hastily through
them at Ilandra's request in case of any terrifying non-Hawthorn
examples of the species, and before long reached Cain's horse.
Hawthorn turned to look at them, and snorted. Cain made skin-to-skin contact, brushing his mane.
"So, since when did Honeysuckle stop being neutral?" asked the horse.
"They still are," said Cain with a sigh. "We're going to see my mother."
Hawthorn snorted again. "Ah. Well, so long as she doesn't
wear anything obviously white, you'll be okay. That shield's
coming with us?"
"Yeah," said Cain.
"Well, we'll have to have somewhere to hang it. You might want to
go and stand with her, she's probably not going to like this."
Cain walked back to Ilandra, and gripped her shoulder tightly.
"You might want to brace yourself for this bit, if you don't like
Hawthorn lowered his head, then with a loud neigh reared up as high as
the stable roof would allow. As he did so, a unicorn-horned
helmet of gold and brass materialised in bands and plates about his
head, before stretching down into a single gold plate that covered his
chest, then back in gold and silver bands all along his body.
They clanked into place with a solid thump, each inch-thick armour
plate slotting neatly into its neighbours. His saddle also
transformed from a flimsy leather affair into a hefty metallic harness,
complete with - as originally intended - a shield-hook.
After a few seconds of stunned silence, Ilandra grinned and excitedly
babbled. "THAT WAS AMAZING! Can any other horses do it or is it just
Hawthorn? Ooooh, Hawthorn... does it hurt to put armour on?"
She ran up to the horse and hooked the shield on to the armour, taking an extra minute or so to look the armour over.
"You've not seen a battle up close, have you?" asked Cain. "The
armour varies a bit from horse to horse, but plenty of them can do
it. The officers of heavy cavalry regiments tend to have horses
with that kind of glamour."
"Oh." Ilandra said, looking slightly embarrassed. "Fair enough.... so shall we get moving?"
Before long, thanks to House Honeysuckle's still unnerving ability to
be just where it wanted to be, Ilandra and Cain arrived at Castle
Poppy. They received sharp salutes as they entered through the
main gates, but the sounds of the guards' whispered confusion were not
far behind. A scuttling sound heading around inside the walls
suggested that one of the guards may have gone to check with his
superiors whether or not they were at war again.
Hawthorn clanked his way into the stables and, as Ilandra lifted the
shield from him, his armour evaporated into the air as if it had been
no more solid than the morning mist.
"Right, you stay behind me and I'll keep the shield up so that any
damage is minimal..." she told Cain, leading the way into the castle.
"mostly because I'm more protected than you..."
Together Ilandra and Cain snuck up to the throne room, dodging the confused looks of servants on the way.
The guards outside the heavy double doors of the throne room looked
like they'd cause trouble for a moment, but a brief flicker of Cain's
eyes conveyed perfectly that it would be best for them to stay
quiet. And so with little commotion Ilandra, dressed head to toe
in armour and with shield before her, pushed open the doors and came
into the presence of the Duchess.
"Guards!" shouted Regara as she stood in indignant rage. "Gua- wait." Double-take. "Wait, what?"
Ilandra cautiously poked her head around the side of the shield. Taking a deep breath she blurted out
"We have a date for you... it's next Wednesday"
before ducking her head back behind the shield where she tried to hide her fear.
Please don't kill me... please don't kill me... oh god, speaking to the rose dukes was easier than this...
"Wednesday? A d-" Regara's eyes virtually boggled.
"What, for the wedding? Bloody hell. Well, that's one less
thing to nag you about."
The Duchess sagged back into her chair, her day's supply of energy having depleted. "Now, second question. Armour?"
"It may have been suggested that you were likely to kill us for doing
this to you..." Ilandra said, stepping slightly to the side. "After
all, I completely forgot to bring any chocolate..."