The bell tower showed me such a sight
That in my head sticks day and night.
There did I learn out of a grate,
For all favour, glory, or might,
That yet thunder rolls around the throne of kings.? ? Thomas Wyatt
To pass into legend is a fate most men yearn for although many seldom achieve, no matter how gallant or honourable only a fair few will have their names remembered in history. For the men of Seabel not many will have this honour despite their bravery and sacrifice, for life is cruel when you are living but death can be crueller for who will remember you? Your children will, yes. Your grandchildren will, most probable. But sooner rather than later your name will cease to fall from their lips, your memory extinguished and your sacrifices unknown; you will become one of the forgotten.
I suppose I am starting on a rather solemn point, but it is a poignant one nonetheless, for our story is about two families both shrouded by hate and blinded by power, they will tear a country apart, loose those they hold dear and all in the name of a throne. Ah-but not just any throne, a throne stained red by the blood of thousands, a throne hardened by the clashing of swords, a throne to the country of Seabel. It was a prize that much is true but the true story has been clouded over the years, each generation adding a new twist, a new hero?a new villain. What is fact and what is myth is hard to distinguish, but I am here to tell you the truth; to tell you the tale of Seabel?s bloodiest period in history; a story of war, love and betrayal, it may seem to be part of a ballad but I assure you this is the truth behind the forging of Seabel?s future; but to get to the present I must begin in the past and so begins the journey of our tale?
Seabel is a powerful Island nation, who?s history stretches back thousands of years to a time when man still lived in mud huts and were considered savages or barbarians, these were simple people who lived off the land, whom thought he world ended at their shores. That was until the ?First Few? arrived off the North-Western coast, from a land across the Black Sea called Halla, bringing with them education, innovations and new religions. The new settlers did not conquer but rather integrated in with the ?Old Ones? taught them new things, educated them and slowly but surely the inhabitants of Seabel began to develop.. These,? first few? managed to turn a untamed island into one of the most desired Kingdoms of the old world; however this did not come without sacrifice. Many battles were fought on land and sea for power over Seabel, a strategic stronghold for any country wanting to conquer more land, no more so than between the people of Seabel and the people of Luxor, who?s feud has seemingly been taking place since the original settlers and has continued onwards. Over the years many King?s have devised peace treaties with Luxor and many have been broken, their relationship was and remains fragile, friendships do not last long and treaties even less.
However this is not the only problem Seabel face as the country its self has in recent years become divided between two regions; the North and the South, dividing the country in half by war. History will come to know this period as the ?Dynastic Wars? where supporters of two rival branches of the House Davenport fought over the crown of Seabel. The two great Houses of Lancaster and Rayleigh have had a feud stretching centuries, both having claims to the throne, skirmishes between supporters have happened in the past but now war reins over Seabel as these families vie with blood for their head to sit upon the throne.
When the Old King Tiberius died leaving no living male heirs, the throne went to one of his nephews, either Robert Lancaster or Harold Rayleigh?Robert ascended the throne and thus the feud began. Although rivals and competitors for the throne the Rayleigh?s remained at court with the Lancaster?s, both buying their time, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. The moment came Francis Rayleigh was executed for treason by King Harold Lancaster, Francis?s son, Charles rode South with his family back to his family?s estate and waged war on House Lancaster.
Many battles were fought and lost until King Harold was slain by Charles in the Battle of Mountains Pass and soon after seized the countries capital of Briar, driving the Lancaster?s and their supporters to exile in the North and the Rayleigh?s became the reigning family. To add another twist to the tale the two Queens? are sisters, their marriages dividing a family in two, forever dividing them as enemies.
Lying in wait in the furthest northern cities, the Lancaster army are preparing once again, the new King James has rallied his supporters both old and new and prepares to march south to reclaim his throne. Soon Seabel will once again be thrown into a Civil War and the country stands at its most pivotal point in history; thousands will dies, neighbour will turn on neighbour, brother upon brother in a war which will define a country.
Charles Rayleigh, King of Seabel, is the eldest son of the late Francis Rayleigh who was executed by King Harold, after his father?s death Charles declared war upon the Lancaster?s and after the defeating the King upon the battlefield Charles took the crown of Seabel. He is an excellent military strategist, not only by defeating the Lancastrian army but for his previous skill in battle. Once a reckless man, who abused his wealth and power he has mellowed since the marriage to his wife, becoming a dutiful and affectionate monarch, husband and father. || FC: Tom Hiddleston || TAKEN
Harriet Rayleigh, Queen of Seabel, is the eldest daughter of Henry Stanford and sister to the exiled Queen. She was married to Charles a little over five years ago when her father fledged loyalty to the Rayleigh?s. Harriet is very much her father?s daughter, passionate and ambitious yet fearful for her children?s sakes, the throne may be in the Rayleigh?s hands now but she must bear the King a son in order for their dynasty to continue. || FC: Rebecca Ferguson || TAKEN
Mary Rayleigh, Duchess of Vale, the widow of the late Francis Rayleigh, she play a large role in persuading her son to rise up against the Lancaster?s after the execution of her husband. Mary is a strong woman, with a hatred which runs deep for the Lancaster?s and their loyalists, she trusts very few people, least of all the Stanford?s after the youngest daughter?s betrayal. || FC: Michelle Fairley || OPEN
Charlotte Fitzroy, Duchess of Clerence, is the eldest child of Francis and Mary Rayleigh and wife of William Fitzroy. Elegant and graceful she is popular at court and rather close with her younger brother of a year, Charles. Her marriage to William was purely one of connivance but she has grown fond of him, if only for her children?s sake. Her children are her sole purpose in life she is adamant to leave them in a high position and will do anything to achieve this. || FC: Lotte Verbeek || OPEN
William Fitzroy, Duke of Clerence, is the husband of Charlotte and brother-in-law of King Charles. His family have been strong supporters of the Rayleigh?s from the beginning and his loyalty was rewarded with the hand of the King?s sister, along with land, titles and greater wealth. His loyalty is unwavering but so is his lust for power and he seeks to increase such through his children, as well as getting them into high posisions.|| FC: David Oakes || OPEN
Jasper Rayleigh, Prince of Seabel, is the youngest son of the Rayleigh?s and is very much like his older brother. He is loyal and protective over his family, he will defend Charles claim to the throne and his children?s until the day he dies. || FC: Eddie Redmayne || OPEN
Margaret Rayleigh, Princess of Seabel, is the youngest child of the Rayleigh family. She has been very much sheltered and protected by her family and has lived most her life going in and out of sanctuary. She has a gentle soul but is slightly na?ve to the world and perhaps trusts too easily. || FC: Sophie Turner || RESERVED
Henry Stanford, Earle of Briar, is the father of two Queens, one sits on the throne whilst the other is in exile in the North. He takes no rejoice in the situation for his youngest daughter married the enemy and betrayed his family, dividing them in the process. Not only did he loose a daughter but also his eldest son and heir as he followed Eleanor north as she married her lover. Now he looks for his family?s future in his eldest daughter and his younger son, although he had ?disowned? his daughter and son, he still thinks and worries about them often even if he does not show it. || FC: Russell Crowe || OPEN
Annabelle Stanford, Countess of Briar, is a woman very much divided, she has two children in exile whilst another sits on the throne of Seabel, this was not something she wanted for her children. Annabelle is a loving and nurturing mother, she is loyal to the Rayleigh?s for her daughter and husbands sake, however always keeps Eleanor and Jonathon in her prayers and close to her heart, she longs for the day she will see them again. || FC: Joely Richards || OPEN
George Stanford, Knight of the Garter, is the youngest child of the Stanford?s and also the heir to his father?s title and land since his elder brother, Jon?s betrayal. He is very close to his sister Harriet and solely loyal to her family. George has become very influential at court under her influence, as well as their father and had recently been appointed a member of the Knights of the Garter a very great honour. || FC: Richard Madden || OPEN
James Lancaster, Exiled King of Seabel, is the son of the late Harold Lancaster whom he saw slaughtered on the battlefield at the hands of Charles Rayleigh. On that day he had no option but to retreat or face complete desolation of his troop. He fled North with his family and those loyal to him, along with his new bride, Eleanor Stanford. James is preparing to re-take his throne and bring the tyrants to their knee?s by any means possible. || FC: Jonathan Rhys Meyers || OPEN
Eleanor Lancaster, Exiled Queen of Seabel, is the wife of the King James, married for little under two years, it has been a relatively happy marriage although marred by the loss of two children and the disowning from her family, she knows now that she can never return to them as she is known as a traitor amongst those whom she once called kin. However, there is time to rejoice as the Queen has just found out she is expecting again. Although she is not without her own fears; she fears for her families safety daily and prays that she could see them again.|| FC: Scarlet Johansson || TAKEN
Henry Lancaster, Duke of Arva, is the brother of the exiled King. A hot headed Prince with a greater want of women and wine rather than his duties, he has a lust for war and is rather excited for the prospect of war between the two Houses once again so he can create a name in blood for himself like his brother and father. He is currently in exile with James in the North. || FC: Henry Cavill || OPEN
Bess Lancaster, Duchess of Arva, is the wife of the Henry Lancaster and the daughter of a very wealthy Northern Earl. She married the Duke only a few months prior from an offer made by the King to secure her father support and men. Bess is a hard woman, strong, intelligent and independent; she has a dangerous mind and could quite possibly push for power through her husband. || FC: Katie McGrath || OPEN
Sara Lancaster, Exiled Princess of Seabel, is the younger sister of James and Henry, with her mother and father dead she has been left in the care of her brothers, just another pawn in their race for the throne. She is a gentle soul who will do her duty with her head held high and dignified like a true princess; many see her beauty but most seldom see the iron within her bones. || FC: Eleanor Tomlinson || OPEN
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