This was originally going to be an attempt at the Royal Kingdom Challenge for Sims 2. However, it just so happens that I am now InSimenator-dependent and can't possibly spare a minute to make my sims use a toilet or prepare a meal or anything like that. So I'm just storytelling.
As someone who has dabbled in novel writing, I'm finding it rather difficult to accommodate the pictures with my writing at the moment, but after a while, I should get over this.
I may not be the most frequent updater out there, just as a warning; I'm painfully lazy. I didn't even bother to make up new names for these characters and places--they're recycled from an old, doomed story I wrote in junior high.
I apologize for any inconsistencies in the text formatting. This is my first time using Blogger, and when I pasted my post in from word, some paragraphs were randomly a different size or font. It looks fine in compose mode, but absolutely disgusting in preview mode. I have no idea why it's doing that--I guess I'll figure it out eventually.
Anyway, that's enough rambling from me. I'm pretty sure anyone who purposely navigated to this page probably has some degree of interest in reading this blog, so without further ado, here you are. :)
January 1, 1155
Roderick stared blankly at the wall in front of him, his mind both full and empty at the same time. He was seated at the desk in his second floor study, as he had been unable to sleep the previous night and did not wish to wake his wife and baby. How Geneva had found such peaceful slumber, he would never know—nor understand.
It hadn't been long since the sun had risen; he guessed that it was about seven o' clock. The coronation was to be held at three, meaning he only had eight short hours left as Prince Roderick of Dovia. In eight short hours, he would be King Roderick of Naroni.
Once more, he found the recent events of his life replaying themselves in his mind's eye. It had all started out so innocently—merely a forbidden bachelor party for his cousin Rudolphus, held at a tavern in the village instead of at the castle as his father and uncle would have preferred. Just five or six young men drinking, mingling with the village whores... nothing too serious at all.
But then, Roderick had one beer too many. Two too many. Three too many.
Before long, he was standing on the bar counter, drunkenly spewing his list of grievances against the kingdom for all who were there to hear. He had been told he had called his father "an incompetent fool", and he vaguely remembered something about referring to his older brother as "a man of uncontested idiocy." Shortly after, he began making promises to the patrons of the tavern, assuring them that all would be well "when I am king".
The next morning, a terribly hung-over Roderick had been woken by the steward, telling him to be in his father's study within the hour. There, with the Crown Prince Oswald and Duke Lonriad of Luperia, brother of the Queen of Dovia, as witnesses, King Farilon formally banished his younger son from the kingdom for high treason, along with his wife and newborn baby.
Of course, the young family had not been exiled from Dovia alone. Feeling some guilt, Roderick suspected, his father had sent along two Dovian nobles of about his same age to accompany him, as well as their wives and a priest. Three peasant couples, each leaving Dovia for their own reasons, managed to tag along, as well as a few servants sent to tend to the nobles wherever they ended up staying.
The first few days had been difficult. The party had wandered mindlessly, barely speaking, stopping only to eat and sleep. It wasn't long before they had found themselves in the mountains, cold, hungry, and hopelessly lost, most of their food gone and nothing they could readily use to hunt or build a shelter. This was the end, they were sure of it... until something incredibly unusually—if not positively miraculous—occurred.
The group had found themselves in a large, lush valley, nestled neatly between the majestic peaks. A wondrous forest spiraled downward around it from the surrounding mountains, and a clear blue lake could be found in the southern corner. There was plenty of good earth for farming, green grass for their surviving livestock, and an abundance of wild animals for game. Of course, there had to be something strange about so perfect a new home...
Dovian lore told of a small kingdom in the mountains. It was a kingdom of unrivaled prosperity, home to the Naron people. The Naron, so the legends spoke, were the half-human descendants of the pagan gods of an age long past. They lived in isolation in their valley kingdom of Naroni, until, one day, they vanished entirely. Some said that men had began to make their homes in Naroni. Others said that the gods of old had called their children to the next world. But whatever the reason, the Naron no longer dwelled in the mountains, though some elders seemed to agree that the time would come when the ancient race returned to their kingdom.
Roderick, however, was not a man to put faith in old legends. The way he saw it, the valley had been a gift from God—there were even empty castles and houses waiting for them, as if they had been built mere weeks ago! Only God could have provided them with such an unexpected blessing. A miracle, this was; not any proof of those foolish childhood tales.
Sighing, he pulled himself to his feet and hurried down the corridor to his bedchamber, where he found his wife, Geneva of Bandera, still in her nightgown, their son in her arms.
Roderick loomed over young Prince Ietrin, making a face as Geneva held the baby up to him. He felt foolish, as he always did when he played with his son, but fortunately, only his family was there to see him.
"Hello, Ietrin," the future king greeted the boy in a silly voice that the child seemed to like, but he himself hated; Ietrin giggled, a vile bubble of snot emerging from his left nostril. Babies were so disgusting—Roderick prayed that Ietrin would grow up both as well and as quickly as possible.
However, he chose to ignore the boy's nose in front of Geneva. "Who's going to be Crown Prince of Naroni in eight hours? Is it Ietrin? I think so! Oh, yes it is, yes it is!"
Was he in love with her? Not in the slightest. She was his wife and the mother of his heir, so he loved her merely out of obligation, if at all. He also knew that she in turn had no romantic feelings for him; she just liked having someone she could take advantage of. Despite all this, it wasn’t as if they hated each other. No, in Geneva, Roderick had a beautiful treasure that drove other men mad with jealousy, and in Roderick, Geneva had a husband of both royal breeding and considerable stamina, so in the end, they both had all they could want or need. Roderick had little doubt in his mind that Geneva would make a decent queen, having grown up in the court of the Earl of Bandera, and she would raise their children well.
Before either Roderick or Geneva knew it, it was three o' clock and the coronation had begun. In exchange for permission to return to Dovia, the priest that Farilon had sent quickly crowned them King and Queen of Naroni, then hurried on his way, leaving them to celebrate with the other two noble couples. It was a rather dreadful party with only six, really, one of whom was pregnant, but it beat resorting to inviting the lowly peasants and servants; that, of course, would have constituted a true disaster.
Their first few days as rulers passed uneventfully. One day, a messenger from Dovia arrived, bringing with him some displeasing news.
"Oh, Geneva," Roderick sighed as he joined her in their bedchamber. "It so happens that none of the priests wish to join us out here."
However, she didn't seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation. "Lighten up, Roderick. It can't be too difficult to get a priest from somewhere. Don't you have a cousin studying to become a priest at the monastery? He should be done his training soon, correct? And he’s a very handsome man."
The king frowned—how he wished women would pay attention when they were informed of such things! "If you mean that half-gypsy bastard of my uncle's, you must not have heard the news we received several months ago back in Dovia. My cousin ran away from the monastery and hastily married a young noblewoman—the very same young noblewoman my cousin Rudolphus was to marry before they betrothed him to Eudocia."
"So he's married now?" she mused aloud. "What a shame."
Roderick's scowl deepened. "In case you've forgotten, you also are married now."
"Really?" demanded Geneva in mock surprise. "Maybe you should remind me once in a while."
"I do remind you... every single night."
Later that week, Geneva invited her dearest friend over for tea. Medea was the Baroness of Tetran, one of the four shires Roderick had established in Naroni. The king and queen themselves resided in Ambrin-Naroni, the south-western corner of the valley. Tetran, ruled by Medea's husband Octavius, lay diagonal to them, in the northeast. The northwest shire was Armion, where Duke Dalston reigned. The remaining shire, Veldora in the southeast, was currently unoccupied; no peasants could settle there until Roderick found them a lord.
"Oh, Geneva, even your own father didn't know how well you would marry!" exclaimed Medea as she sat down in Geneva's sitting room. "King of Naroni! And to think, my husband is a only a humble baron."
Geneva didn't seem overly proud. "It is nice, I suppose. But I do wish he was a little more exciting. He's rather something of a prude—I daresay he and you would have been quite happy together!" she teased.
Medea smiled. "I could use a frigid husband; my own can scarcely keep his hands off of me."
"You lucky little devil!" exclaimed the queen in envy.
"Babies," sighed Geneva. "That is why I asked you here today, actually."
The baroness raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"
"You see, Medea... I believe I may be pregnant again."