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Silence from the Throne of the Angevins


Maelstrom Vortex
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It'd been a few months since they had changed into.. whatever they were. Chimeras.. the scientists had chosen to call them. Geoffrey and Christine had mostly secluded from public view, letting their ministers run the country. Truth is, it was probably best that way or so Geoffrey thought. With the hands of the throne off the economy, it was thriving. Laissez Faire, a french term for a style of governance perfectly fit the description.

They had the beach to themselves, it was a small stretch rented from a private property owner. The warm Mediterranean sun beat down on them. Christine relaxed, part buried in the sand from the actions of her menacing husband. She didn't mind, felt a bit like a cocoon.

Geoffrey went for a swim. A favorite hobby for him had become diving. The gills granted by this new form worked well enough that he could stay under for quite extended periods of time. He felt much more at home in the water. The world had went to war around him.. and he had decided.. he would relax. Why bother with fighting that was unnecessary? Why spend the blood of France on toils that were not France's? He pondered all this while quietly poking at a crawling star fish.. amazed at its slow and purposeful motion. He idly wondered if any of it was in him. There were times, after his change, he wish he had spent more time paying attention to the sciences in his schooling than becoming an actuarial accountant.

He pondered taking the small creature with him, but thought it to cruel to remove it from its natural state.. something he was all to familiar with. He swam back to the shore line to find Christine having dosed off in the pleasant surroundings. He gently nudged her with his foot.

"We've been out here too long.. we need to return or people are going to begin to wonder what has happened to us." He smiled, bending over to offer her a hand.

She groaned wearily as he pulled her to her feet. "Must we?"

"I'm afraid so. Unless you wish to set the Republic free early." He shrugged.

She smiled, "And who else would stand in your stead to keep those shorelines so beautiful and these skies so clear and free of bloodshed?"

He shook his head, "Do not mistake fortune for skill my love. They sometimes are hard to discern, but I could not hope to control this fickle world's whims. It could have easily been us targeted for aggression." He smiled softly, "But we weren't, thankfully." He pulled her into a gentle kiss.

"I feel much better now." She smiled as they parted lips.

"I.. do as well." He put his forehead gently against hers. "This respite was so needed and over-due."

"So we part the first thing on the morrow?" She asked sadly.

"Reluctantly, but definitely."

They sat on the beach, watching the sun go down.. then made their way back in to the private estate they had resided in to pack and prepare to leave. They left a thank you note for the owner and maintenance guests. In the morning, they were on the plane back to Angers.

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Meanwhile as things were heating up in the Andorran coastal city of Perpignan between the Andorran military and the terrorist organization known as the Black Death, Paul was in the palace in the Andorran Capital City going over footage of what was happening. Then Adrian came to him with some news, "King Geoffrey and Queen Christine are finally going back to Angers. I do not know if they are going back to take control of the government once again, I hope so, or something else might be going on."

Paul was pleased to hear this, "Did you send them the package of books I got out for them. The ones my grandfather had that told about the Dragon cult and what they do."

Adrian made a firm reply, "Yes sir. If there is anything they want to know about the cult and how they are connected with what happened to them it is in those books."

Paul, "I don't know if they know it or not but we are in a bit of a situation here, but those books should be able to help them with the stuff that the doctor did not tell them. The books will keep them busy until we are done with the terrorists here, then if they have any more questions I will be happy to answer them, if I know the answers to them."

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When they returned there was little fan fair. Geoffrey and Christine had never been much for large crowds or boisterous parties. Geoffrey set about his work, evaluating the events around him. There was no England. If he wanted to go reclaim Angevin land now would be the time to do so. East France seemed to be back in turmoil. He was amazed that the Athenians still had any desire to keep it. They needed a stronger hand. There were rumors though of another leader organizing there whom it was, he did not know as of yet. The Angevin lands themselves were thriving. Government coffers were filling and there was little to be concerned about. The people were content.. and quite happy they had avoided the last great war.

The Minister of the Interior inquired, "So what shall we do now?"

Geoffrey shrugged, "If it is not broke, do not attempt to fix it?"

The Minister shrugged and nodded at the wisdom.

"Keep saving for a rainy day. The storms will come eventually." Christine gently rubbed her husband's right shoulder as she stood by him looking over the maps and books of France.

The books sent to them were archived in the royal library. The ministers had seen the contents thereof before in the Museum of Nations in Angers. The King and Queen really had little interest in the cult. They didn't care anymore about what had made them what they were.. they simply wanted to move on with their lives.

Edited by Maelstrom Vortex
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Meanwhile, as Elisabeth sent her letter of independence to Rome, Claire had her own mission to undertake for Her Empress. She set out from Paris the day after Therese' demonstration and crossed the Angevin border on horseback, dressed in a black frock coat signifying her rank as Commander of the Empress' Imperial Guard. Together with her black horse and bleach white hair, Claire was a daunting figure thundering across the darkened countryside for a few days until she finally arrived at the palace in Anjou. When she presented herself to the guards, she did so calmly, delicately and with a broad smile with a letter in her hands, from both Prime Minister Courtois and Empress Therese. She figured that for a nation led by two people who had turned themselves into reptilian creatures, they wouldn't be hard pressed to believe that the idea of resurrection was possible.

However, Claire had no intention of simply letting Angevin France lay. France could simply not exist divided in two, Burgundy and Andorra were weak nations, but there was strength in Western France, strength that if played correctly could be made into a loyal following for the Empress. Claire had come with an offer, an offer that would guarantee glory in the face of Geoffrey's prosperity. If he accepted, France could sooner enter into the world stage as a united and powerful nation. If he refused, it would mean a possible end to all the dreams that the French people had, for war would be inevitable.

Taking off her hat and bowing her head low, the General's gray eyes looked at the Herald of the Palace. "I am Claire Delacour, Commander of Her Majesty's Imperial Guard, Ambassador of Eastern France. I come to speak with the King and Queen of Angevin France. It is of the most importance that I see them immediately."

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She was admitted immediately to the throne room. There the "White King" and "White Queen" as the people had taken to calling them, quietly sat on their thrones, watching her approach.

The court's announcer proclaimed, "Claire Delacour, Commander of Her Majesty's Imperial Guard, Ambassador of Eastern France."

Geoffrey's emerald eyes settled upon her as she neared the throne, "You road here on horseback, I was told. A feat of endurance and style, I must say. To what do we owe the pleasure of meeting such a charming and robust individual?"

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Claire approached the throne, her hat still in her hands and her rapier gently clanging at her side. She smiled at the two monarchs, albeit put off that the rumors of their condition were actually true. It made her chuckle, that makes four of us then, she thought to herself as her knees graced the ground only for a moment before standing firmly in front of the King and Queen.

"Thank you for the compliments, Majesty, I come from a France still owned by Athenian overlords, but that age will soon end. Surely you have heard the news that Paris and the rest of the Eastern Cities are welcoming a new regime and I am sure you have heard the unbelievable rumors that at the head of this revolution is the Empress, Therese Zelle. Whether you chose to believe said rumors or to dismiss them is your own prerogative, what cannot be dismissed however is that once Eastern France comes to be, no one in our government approves of the idea of seeing our grand country balkanized."

The Lady-Knight sighed for a moment but her smile stayed gentile and welcoming. "Of course I realize how this may produce problems for our states. It brings a question of sovereignty that cannot be overlooked, however, you King Geoffrey and you Queen Christine, may find Her Imperial Majesty's offer enticing. You have both brought prosperity to your realm and whether you wear the name of the English or the French, that is a fact that cannot be overlooked. But our people must be ruled by a family that speaks to the essence of France and while Plantagenet bears a name of prosperity, Zelle bears a name of glory, power, and destiny.

Her Majesty's offer is such; The Angevin Monarchs will hold the titles of Duke and Duchess of Anjou and have voice on the Imperial Council and in Parlement once formed. They will swear fealty to Therese Zelle, Empress of the French. The militaries we are raising in the east will combine with those in the west and through cooperation we will have strength. There is no doubt you both are capable administrators, but the current world requires action, and while I mean no offense, the Angevin Monarchy has seemingly faded from the world stage as of late."

Claire stood firm and bowed her head at the Monarchs, "I must tell you both, these offers are non-negotiable as France cannot exist separated or with dual-powers. It is either one country with all power vested in the capital or a separated land which will eventually lead to war. Your thoughts, Majesty?"

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(OOC: I don't know if this was planned or not but either way this will affect Andorra as well since it is currently a protectorate of Angevin. So I believe that Paul should have a say in this as well.)

Edited by jesbro
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(OOC: He is not there right now but he can be there the next day, we are still trying to keep it realistic so he can't be in two places at once.)

IC: Paul was in the Andorran palace packing his suitcase he used when going on trips. Damion saw him packing and wondered what was going on, "You look like you are getting ready to go somewhere."

Paul answered, "I have been called up to go to a meeting in Angers. It seems that rebellion in Eastern France will be affecting us pretty soon. I have already been notified on what was going on. It seems that Eastern France has come under control of Empress Therese, and now she wants control of Western France as well. Geoffrey may be a pacifist (OOC: I think) but he really doesn't like threats."

Damion was now a little confused, "Wait, she threatened him?! I thought the Empress was dead?"

Paul, "I believe the words she used were 'these offers are non-negotiable as France cannot exist separated or with dual-powers. It is either one country with all power vested in the capital or a separated land which will eventually lead to war.' That might not have been a direct threat but I can still read between the lines. It was a 'This is how it is going to be or else there will be war.' I read the reports about her death as well and I am not sure about what is going on either."

Damion, "Wait a sec, are you saying this may be the Austrian Empress and she somehow magically risen from the dead."

Paul, "There are many things magical in the world but there is a hint of doubt. She may be an imposter and if she is then I intend to expose her."

"How?"

"Not sure. I'll think of that once I see her."

Damion, "I can't believe Geoffrey and Christine are actually considering this. We bow down to Geoffrey when we need to but I don't think I have ever seen him bow down to someone else like what will happen if this goes through."

Paul, "That is why I am going there. It won't be much different with us but no matter what she says this is still negotiable and Geoffrey should know that, and if she is an imposter than I have to warn Geoffrey about that as well."

Damion, "So you are not against their plan but you are not agreeing with it either."

Paul, "Exactly. Andorra won't be different with this but I won't let them threaten any of us either. I need you to take my spot here in Andorra while I am gone again. You did good last time and the terrorist situation seems to be over so I am sure you can handle it."

Damion, "Yes sir."

And with that Paul went out the door and to the train station. There he got onto the bullet train and was now heading to Angers.

Edited by jesbro
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## In Angers.. ##

"Well spoken. I do not know what to believe of the rumors yet. This is why I think you will find what I have to say rather wise." He paused before continuing, "I wish to speak to Empress Therese Zelle in person. Christine and I are public servants. We are monarchs not out of want, but of necessity. I have not felt the trust in any leader to serve the people of this realm as well as I in representing my people's wishes and they likewise agreeing with me set me up as a King. But the burden of the crown wears heavy on one who only sought to be an administrator, and not a ruler. The proposal you have set before me is one I posed to my peers in this Kingdom some time ago.. the ones who abandoned East France. Which makes me all the more wary, and leery, of whom I entrust authority over this domain."

He stood, popping his sore back and walked towards a nearby window overlooking the courtyard and gardens while continuing to address Claire, "If Empress Therese Zelle is alive, I will want to meet her in person to confirm this, confirm her commitment to her cause, and be certain in doing so.. that this decision is the best for the citizens of my domain. Ask her to come to Anjou, she may bring whatever retinue she desires and any security she wishes." His white scales were radiant in the light of the failing sun dipping towards the horizon.

"If it is she, and I am assured of her ability and will.. that she will not fail France as did the prior regime.. then this may have been the opportunity Christine and I have been waiting for to ease our own burdens. However, while the burden of the crown is great, the responsibility to get the choice in this matter correct the first time is all the greater. Choices which make things easier on me personally, must not make it harder on my nation." He thought about the proposal of their positions.

"I can see an arrangement where the titles are as you say, and I sit as Prime Minister in the House of Lords in parliament. I've always seen myself more suited for that kind of role than as a direct executor. Christine shall just be Duchess. She never has meddled much in government or wanted much of a part of it. This is, assuming, things were to go as we have planned and Empress Zelle is who she claims to be. This leaves just one question. How soon can she be here?"

Edited by Maelstrom Vortex
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"I am not entirely sure of the structure of the government that will come from talks with the Athenians. Madame Courtois is an able administrator and for those who in the world who could not bear believing such rumors they will be talking to her, so I am sure she would be happy to work along side you in the Estates-General. I will talk to the Empress myself, to nominate you as Speaker of the Aristocracy, I believe she would be most obliged to see someone so capable and from a traditional noble family, dealing with the wealthy voices of France. Thus we would have a speaker of the Aristocracy, a speaker of the Clergy, and a speaker of the Bourgeois all under the command of our Empress."

Claire clicked her heels as she stood straight, the light streaming from the window slightly coloring her pale face and hands. "I can speak to Therese after my audience with you, Majesties, and I trust she can be down to Anjou much faster than I rode here. If you will let me have my leave, I can arrange a meeting."

Of course being allowed to do so, Claire left the Throne Room and retired to guest quarters in the castle to await for Therese' arrival the next day.

---

There was no fanfare when the black town car arrived in Anjou, there were no guards or no great retinue. Only Claire approached the limousine and bowed deeply upon the opening of the door to take her Empress' hand. "Welcome to Anjou, Your Majesty, I've arranged everything for you to meet with the Lords of the region. They have only shown cooperation in building our new France."

Therese smiled and picked up Claire's head with her slender fingers. "You know all this formality, especially from someone like you Claire, puts me off. Stop it, address me as you always do and we can go see these two English Dragons who call themselves Queen and King of Western France."

The two women went through the palace back towards the throne room, Claire's hand on her rapier and her eyes piercing looking for anything, anything at all that could present danger to her Empress. But Therese had no worries, she had been given a second divine chance and she could fight herself. Long gone were the days of leading from a cozy room in Paris, if she was going to restore France to Napoleonic strength it would require a leader who would stand at the front. She had no worries when the doors of the throne room opened again and she stood facing Geoffrey and Christine.

She nodded her head with a smile, dressed, much like Claire in the uniform of the French Imperial Guard, though a white frock coat instead of Claire's black. Her body had not changed from the day she had been killed outside of Reims, her features still stunning, her eyes still sparkling, beauty and mind molded perfectly into one being who God had granted a second chance.

"General Delacour tells me, that you, Lord and Lady of Anjou have no qualms of the joining of our states to keep conflict from occurring. I cannot agree more and I am happy that you find my requests acceptable. She tells me," Therese said gesturing to Claire, "That you wanted to see me in person, to prove the rumors are true and I can assure you they are. Whether you want to feel my stomach where Martens' sword pierced me or if you'd rather take my presence at face value, I am not an impostor. General Delacour has also informed me of you willingness to serve, Geoffrey, and I would be happy to entrust you with the Aristocracy of the Estates-General and of course both of you to be my personal guests at Versailles for your loyalty.

This brings of course the question of your other vassals, the Duke of Andorra immediately comes to mind. Like yourselves, an oath of fealty is required, but while I see your honest and faith. I would like your word if the Duke can be trusted in swearing allegiance to a new France and not to his former lords. If that is so, then Andorra will be pacified without problem, if not, I will have to speak to Duke Paul personally."

Therese rested her hand on her waist and looked up at the two reptilian monarchs. "So are we in an agreement?"

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Paul arrived a bit after the Empress did. Once he made it to the palace and went to the throne room he spoke, "Sorry I am late. The weather was bad down south so it took a little longer to get here on that train. Was there anything you guys wanted to tell me at this moment or should I wait?"

Edited by jesbro
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"Paul, excellent timing. We are working on bringing France back together again. A plan I have had in motion for a long time coming into fruition thanks to the tides of fortune. We will get to you in just a moment." His serpentine green gaze turned and locked upon Therese. "You are here.. that shows more motivation than the rulers before you. It is sufficient for me to accept you as who you profess to be that the people of East France have invested their trust in you."

"Let me first say Empress, that this whole affair shall be as a fish swallowing a whale. Know that I am technically not giving up all sovereignty, as sovereignty is not something that can technically be surrendered so easily. The hearts and minds of my people will not forget my doings in any near time I would dare guess. Even when I [i]give[/i] you that which you require in order to re-assemble the greatness of France; you will still have to work for a time to stand outside of my shadow in the west. It is fortunate for you that I am at a phase in my life and my career that I have no desire for that shadow to any longer be great. It has granted you a unique opportunity that no other ruler in this world can claim at this point in history. For, while I have brought France closer together and worked diligently towards her unity stemming from its Angevin past, you will make her whole again in entirety. You will cap the foundation that I have laid. That said, I am willing to accept the position you have offered in your government and grant you the oath of loyalty you require. However know that while you rule; out of duty.. nay.. out of the requirement of my people and my honor.. I shall have my eye on you and so shall many others. Do us proudly and you will retain my pledge for my pledge is conditional that you must keep all French as free subjects and content in their affairs. Also, I had been meaning to ask, what banner shall we be united under? I'm kind of keen seeing that which heralds our future."

Then he realized he needed to address the issue of Andorra.. "But before we even get to talking of heraldry.. about Andorra." He looked to Paul, "This day, France becomes one. You may be part of it, and part of history.. or you may go your own way with Andorra. Take heed this decision is important and will determine the future of you and your people. If you wish to remain loyal to me, then you shall pledge your loyalty as I shall mine.. to the Empress of France. I'm sure we can find a place in the government for you to preside from that you would find suitable."

Edited by Maelstrom Vortex
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“Well if Geoffrey really believes that this will work than so do I.” He looks at Theresa, “You have my loyalty as well, that doesn’t mean that I am not keeping my eye on you though.”

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Therese simply smiled as she listened to Geoffrey speak of the past of Angevin France, Aquitaine after all was her birthplace and she was extremely familiar with the region. She figured that in time, things would return to normal and Aquitaine and the West would welcome her as they always had and always would. The Angevins had provided stability to her people in their time of need and for that she was thankful. His talk of keeping an eye on her was only normal, he was after all, entrusting his home to her rule and one of the features of being a good ruler was to inspire loyalty. She had never had a problem with inspiring loyalty before and King Geoffrey seemed that he desired nothing else than to become only the most loyal of vassals to the Empress of France.

Paul's tone was a bit more worrying and his tone of voice set her off for a moment, but the Empress only smiled and nodded her head at the Duke. "It is the beginning of a happy French family, don't you agree Claire?"

"I do indeed, Majesty."

"As to proceeding, Geoffrey. I will be leaving Anjou immediately to return to Versailles. Both you, Christine, and you, Duke Paul, are requested to accompany me to the capital where you rooms have been prepared. For such a great celebration as this, I believe that a party of special magnificence needs to be held. A birthday party if you will, an anniversary, the reunification of France. This kind of event only happens once in a lifetime and in all truth, I hope that it never has to happen again. In that, France will never fall again."

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"That sounds great. Do you mind if I bring in some personal security guards to help with the security at the party?"

(OOC: Yes he is talking about Jesse and Delta.)

Edited by jesbro
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"I'll be glad to accompany you there. I just hope our appearance will not put off to many of your guests." He let out a bit of a sigh. "Our personal doctor will have to accompany us, otherwise I'm willing to trust our security to you and your personnel. I can't wait, it's going to be a Grand Bash." He smiled and Christine saw stress that had for some time been etched in his expression draining away.. which made her smile also

"We're prepared to leave whenever you're prepared to depart. We're already prepared for the need to travel on the spot."

Edited by Maelstrom Vortex
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