Wedding of Izikiel Ryatt and Elizabeth Keenan

Hoyce

Artisan
[OOG: This will take place at the end of Winter at Stormbreak Keep. If your character spent their winter at Stormbreak Keep they can have been in attendance and witness to the following events.]


For a week before the ceremony, masses of workers clear snow in the fields and woods surrounding Stormbreak Keep, many of them soldiers from Great Houses clearing the way for their leiges. The days are getting longer and the nights shorter and something akin to hope begins to creep into the corners of people’s hearts. Cart after cart of supplies roll in under heavy guard. A couple report being attacked by Rebels, but the Imperial guards were able to chase them off. A large wooden platform is constructed to keep the bride and groom out of the mud and a bright blue and purple canopy is erected over it. Dignitaries from the great Houses, all bedecked with heraldry and marks of station arrive, as well as a wide sample of wealthy and important people from all over the Empire. Some of them are very nice and some of them turn up their noses at the “quaint” Keep and its inhabitants.

The day of the wedding is bright but overcast. Music fills the air and there are dancers and jugglers wandering the fields and forest. Overnight, another platform is laid down in the adjoining field, but whatever is on it is not only well hidden under cloth that comes up about waist high, but very well guarded. There are blue and purple streamers tied to every structure in the town. People begin filling the field even before dawn. You note that those who show up early are mostly emaciated Wylderkin looking around nervously, not sure where to be. They visibly soften as Loray slowly makes her way out from the Earth circle and up to the Kin. Before she can reach them, several scrawny looking children run up to her and tackle her a in group hug. Loray beams at them and kisses each one on the forehead. As she speaks to the increasing number of hungry looking citizens, a soldier from House Heinlein runs up to them, bows, and clears his throat. He takes a deep breath and motions adorably for the children to cover their ears before he booms, “By order of High Magnates Ryatt and Keenan, I hereby welcome you all to the happy occasion of their wedding! The ceremony will begin at 12 bells, to be followed by a fine show by the Berghalten Extraordinary Nascent Troupe, and we hope you will stay for dinner!” At this, many of the hungry Kin begin to shuffle their feet and try to keep stoic faces, but the children look positively downcast. “But first, “ shouts the soldier, “BREAKFAST!” Everyone looks up, eyes full of hope. The soldier turns to the guards in the adjacent field and gives them a wave. In response, they remove the cloth covering the platform and underneath is food, tons of it. This kids do not hesitate, running headlong at the tables full of succulent meats, eggs, muffins, and other goodies.

Around 11 bells ushers begin herding people into place for the ceremony. A wooden box with gilted corners is brought out and sat upon the wedding platform. All the musicians assemble next to the platform and begin to play a soft melody. The Magnates emerge from the Keep from the Earth Circle door. They make their way to the edge of the dias. High Magnate Ryatt is dressed in a fine silk blue and purple doublet and breeches, while High Magnate Elizabeth is clad in a Purple dress with blue accents. Both are simply glowing and look like they’re barely holding back gales of laughter.

The two make their way to the dias where Overmagnate Sandan Heynard and Overlady Elmary Sterne, both also clad in their best finery showing their house colors, take a position on each side of the couple. General Argus Stratos, his military uniform adorned for the formal setting with a number of metals, stands in the center of the dias. Those familiar with the general see an unusual sight on his bearded face: A broad smile.

As the couple takes their position a trumpet blast sounds, signaling the crowd to quiet down. The highest ranking and most important of the nobles have seats set out for them, and they promptly take them. Lesser lords are required to stand behind the seated. Commoners are forced to crowd around and remain standing, many straining to see and hear the festivities.

“Lords and Ladies, Commoner and Noble alike,” Genral Stratos booms, his voice carrying. “We gather here to see the joining of two individuals, in both spirit and body. And as their lives now are joined, so too do they join their great houses, each bringing the best of what they are to create something new.”

The general then turns to Haynard, “Overmagnate Sandan Haynard, ruler of House Heinlein, Do you have any reservations or objections to this union?”

“None!” Heynard booms happily.

“Overlady Elmary Sterne, ruler of House Sterne, have you any objections or reservations to this union?”

“I do not,” the overlady states firmly, with a broad smile on her face.

“Excellent,” General Stratos says, picking up the gilded box and opening it for the couple.

“Izikiel Ryatt, Magnate and Scion of the great House Heinlein, if you wish to wed this woman declare it.”

Ryatt takes a ring from the box and places it on the beaming Elizabeth’s finger. Taking care to amplify his voice for the benefit of the crowd Ryatt says. “Elizabeth, when we met we were rivals, both vying to bring glory to our house. As I got to know you, I saw you as more than a rival, as a colleague and then, an ally. You impressed me with your knowledge, your intelligence, your level headedness and, when called upon, your furious defense of what you loved. In retrospect I’m not surprised I fell in love with you, I’m surprised it took as long as it did. I ask you now, to join with me forevermore that we may join our strength to serve our families and our people.”

“Elizabeth Keenan,” the general bellows, “Professor and Magnate of the great House Sterne, if you wish to wed this man declare it.”

Elizabeth takes a ring of her own from the box, placing it on Izikiel’s finger and gazing up at him. “Izikiel, I was naturally charmed by you when we first met. How could I not be? Few wear their heart so openly and obviously. Few are so giving and so generous with all their spirit as you are. Although you were a rival, I never really saw you as set against me. As we served together, eventually moving past rivalry and into becoming friends and then...more, I was amazed that I had ever seen you as a rival. There is nobody I’d rather create a new family, and a new house, with than you. Will you bring your heart and spirit to join with me?”

“Elizabeth and Izikiel.” Argus booms. “Do you agree to these requests. Do you now declare your love, your union and your bond to one another for all time?”

“We do!” the two happily shout in unison.

“Then with the power vested in me, granted by Regent Vikkin Stratos and the Cloud Empire I declare you wed!”

Elizabeth and Izikiel each share a clear glass of water, handed to them by Overlord Heynard, and then kiss passionately. The nobles in the crowd begin applauding politely, with proper noble decorum. They are drowned out, however, by the cheers and hoots and hollers of the massive crowd of assembled commoners. Some of the stuffier looking nobles seem somewhat aghast at the uproarious response by the crowd.

On the dias Overlady Sterne hugs Ezikiel, while Overmagnate Sandan embraces Elizabeth. General Argus meanwhile gestures to the trumpeters to begin playing to get the attention of the crowd. After several long seconds the crowd finally quiets enough for the general to boom “Ladies and Gentlemen, High Magnates Ryatt and Keenan have invited you to join us in celebration of their union. A buffet is to be provided by The McAllistar Catering Emporium. But first, a performance by the Berghalten Extraordinary Nascent Troupe!”

There is another cheer as those on the dias clear off, it’s former occupants taking seats reserved for them in the front row, while a troupe of actors and performers takes the stage. After a few moments as the actors get into position a man dressed in a gaily decorated version of Magnate Ryatt’s usual outfit steps forward. “Ladies and Gentlemen, Nobles and Commoners, today we would present to you a performance written solely for this occasion: Victory of the Heart at Weicht-Vig.”

With that a highly fictionalized account of the long siege the Magnates and their forces suffered in the Weicht-Vig Tower is put on. In the play the morale is low amongst the troops. “Elizabeth” and “Izikiel” are able to keep them going only with the enduring power of love. Eventually they are rescued by the attack on the troll led by several adventurers and General Argus, but in the play the couple manage to drive Kraggok the Troll Emperor off the field by working together through their love of one another. Of course those who fought in the campaign know that Kraggok took the tower and turned it into an ice citiedal that day and that the rescue was a bitter stalemate. Elizabeth and Izikiel (and a few of the people who were on the field that day) holler to the performers that this wasn’t how the battle happened. At this the performance briefly stops and the actor portraying Elizabeth addresses the naysayers with the look of an angry school teacher.

“If a flaw with the narrative, one should find
‘Tis best to enjoy, and not to say.
But if so much, the critic does mind
May we suggest, you write your own play!”

At this the crowd bursts into laughter, none louder than Izikiel and Elizabeth. Still laughing Ryatt gives a good naturedly defeated wave to the actors and the performance continues, concluding with the play version of General Argus announcing the creation of House Wyndael on the battlefield (this time even the most strict adherent to accuracy holds their tongue in spite of themselves.)

At the conclusion of the play a loud cheer goes up and the actors playing Elizabeth and Ryatt address the crowd. “And now,” they declare, “Let’s all eat!”

A another raucous cheer comes from the crowd and the celebration begins in earnest. During the meal jugglers, minstrels and magicians move through the crowd entertaining all within reach while the buffet table is ravaged by the guests. The ale and food flows freely and smiles are on nearly every face. Greyson is spotted pointedly avoiding the caterers, but otherwise enjoying himself quite a bit. Some of the stuffier nobles, who are among the few who do not seem amused at the festivities, merely offer their regards to the couple and return to their accomodations for the night, but most remain and share in the joy of the occasion.

The newlyweds are kept almost too busy to eat, as they are constantly greeting those who came, both noble and commoner alike, but in spite of this they seem completely absorbed in one another. Greyson, Tibialis and Oxalis are frequently seen at their sides, usually helping to try to get the Magnates whatever they may need and safeguard the many gifts they are provided.

Most of the locals, the kin especially, partake liberally of the food and drink provided, enjoying both the delicacy and abundance of food they have not experienced in quite some time. Several of the children eat far too many of the sweets provided and throughout the day Loray and Mardex are spotted giving the wylderkin children a fizzy drinks to settle their upset stomachs.

As the sun starts to set some of the celebrants, drunk and full and sleepy are ready to call it a day and retire to their beds. Many more, including the happy couple, are still celebrating though. More casks of ale are brought from the Keep and food continues to be provided. Many of the nobles who traveled here are among those who have retired by now, but the locals continue to embrace the joy after such a long war and hard winter and the festivities continue long into the night.

It’s well past midnight by the time the happy couple finally retires, both more than tipsy and still smiling so hard it’s a wonder their faces don’t break. They head to the Keep amid drunken cheers and bawdy suggestions from the crowd about the fun to be had once they reach their chambers.

Still, even though the couple of honor has retired the locals continue to enjoy the food and drink well into the night. There are a few near incidents as the liquor reaches a saturation point for those still celebrating, but the watchful eyes of Captain Fortingard, Oxalis, Mardex and Tibialis keep any harsh words from escalating and they escort anyone whose drunkenness will ruin the good time to a bed for the night.

The next day the scene looks like the aftermath of a warzone. Those who manage to rise early find that dozens of locals have slept where they fell the night before. Loray, Guilsmistress Acara, and Mardex make their way amongst those stirring to ensure everyone is suffering only from too much fun. They provide fizzy water to help settle roiling stomachs and hydrate the celebrants.

Those who celebrated a little too hard make their way home in the dim hours of the morning, physically a little worse for wear but still with a smiles on their faces. It is hoped that such a festive celebration of the creation of House Wyndael is a sign of good things to come.
 
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