“Curious... Are you familiar with this one... lonely... lovely little tale; spoken of by the locales here with whispers of an age most romantic?”
“If you mean that I’m aware of the history of this room; it’s telling of forbidden love, broken oaths and tragic decisions, then yes.”
“... does this mean you’re not fond of role-playing? And to think I was about to ask if you’d like me to be your Lady of Roses ...”
-- Shae and Klaus
In an age when the lusts of power and glory in the northern realms of Elshanae, (also known simply as the northlands to those who have dwelled there), were sated and withdrawn for more peaceful endeavours within their reach, many romantic tales bloomed on the lips of bards who lived when they unfolded. But of all these tales there was one so great that it became almost a myth: the passion between a nobleman and a mysterious woman kissed by fire. The fabled love story of Naithen, Lord of Elsest, and Kalyna, the Lady of Roses.
Nevertheless, according to a series of old building letters, it is believed that before Naithen took Kalyna as his second wife, she was given a bedchamber in Elsest’s main keep that once served as the personal living quarters for one of Raleigh King Rurik the Maker’s closest retainers. The room was not extravagant back then, but its closeness to where Rurik and his family once slept centuries ago offered certain comforts that were not properly visited upon in that age till Naithen had the room refurnished for Kalyna’s wellbeing.
Among these, none spoke greater kindness than a bath Naithen had masons build with the aid of a personal friend of his, who was a practitioner of moonstone magic. To the untrained eye the bath was built with stone collected from a riverside quarry, but beneath the bath itself rested a chamber for triggered, uncut red moonstones, placed beneath smoothed stone tiles that eased the strength of their naturally generated heat. The tiles absorbed it enough within themselves that the bath's water stayed at a comfortable, fixed temperature, which was something of a heavenly luxury for those who called Elsest Fortress home during long winters. A luxury few among even nobles understood.
Kalyna was blessed with her lover’s ingenuity, yet it can be said Naithen was no fool and knew he created their newfound favourite place of romance. There were few nights after it where they cared for the support of a good bed and, by the time the two married, Naithen ignored his original quarters in favour for the one he furnished for his beloved Kalyna. Ironic, given his former place of rest was King Rurik’s own and was fit for the concern of travelling royalty.
By the time Naithen and Kalyna’s love became a topic for bards, centuries later, few people ever called the Lady of Roses’ bedroom their own. Even those who inherited Naithen’s title as Elsest’s ruling lord over the years hardly ever used it for personal use, (though that is possibly debateable...), leaving the room to the interests of dust and, on very rare occasions, a place for esteemed guests loyal to House Raleigh's lords and their once powerful sovereignty.
That was how Klaus came to call the room his own when he travelled to Raleigh lands in search of answers few were willing to tell. In some ways it can be said the room was given to him as a good-humoured jest by his good friend, Rhys Raleigh, who alike many other minds among the young would-be king's fellow northmen there believed all Klaus really needed was a woman’s passion to settle his mood over things and remove his depressing outlook on life.
What none knew at the time, however, was how one woman may have seemingly read their minds and knew the history behind Elsest Fortress nearly as well as the stone of the forthright had.
Yeah, yeah. I’m sure it’s not the kind of lore some people wanted to read... so okay! I’m teasing! ... that and it’s hard to write about this pair's intimacy without giving spoilers away...
Looking on the bright side, though, I will draw a couple art for Naithen and Kalyna next month. They’re new, but... well, maybe I’ll hint at something else they’re related to lore wise...
So... yes! Finally a proper couple art for Shae and Klaus. (I swear, I should have done this long ago...) The question, though, is this reality for them? Or little more than a dream?
Artwork // Shaelyn, Klaus, Lore, Etc - © Kristopher P. Love