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Found 7 results

  1. The only foot access to and from the Imperial Palace is a heavily fortified (if very aesthetically pleasing) drawbridge over the moat, connecting the palace island to the Forbidden Lake's southern shore. As far most people are concerned, the closest they'd ever get to the Imperial Palace is the gatehouse at the bridge's southern end: the Water Gate. An ornate tower situated upon a wall-like platform, the Water Gate is one of the most famous landmarks within Huangjing. Lying in front of the Water Gate is the Imperial Square; a massive plaza lines with statues of Long Guo's greatest rulers and heroes. On occasion, subjects of the Dragon Kingdom gather within the square to listen to an address by their emperor from reviewing stands atop the Water Gate's platform. For many, such momentous events are the only time they ever get to witness their beloved monarch. Today would not be such a day. Yet for a group of fillies and colts, something even more magical was in the works: a tour of the closed-off Imperial Palace itself! ------------------ It was a half-hour past breakfast, and Kaze fidgeted impatiently as she waited in the Imperial Square with her golem companion Mr. Twig and the rest of the kids in her field trip group. Aside from them, there was little activity in the Square aside from well-to-do denizens of the capital city's Inner Ward mulling about or the occasional official passing through the Water Gate on imperial business. The little sister of the Neighponese Shogun was now of age to start visiting the world outside her home nation. But rather than visit Long Guo in the company of her distinguished brother or even Daddy, they had somehow inserted the young ryuma into a delegation of young Equestrian children; the first Nations of Harmony initiative of its kind. Truly a historic day to be sure, but Kaze wasn't interested in all that. All she wanted to know was what was taking the Prince so long to get here. Gosh darnit, Kaze wanted to start exploring a forbidden palace that wasn't also her own home for a change..... *OOC: Sign-up thread is here. As of this post, two child slots are still available.*
  2. Cold scales lay on colder tile. Fur and feathers did little to hold heat against the shivering wreck that wrapped itself in loneliness and soft sobbing. Limbs, tail, and wings splayed, Qing was a right mess. The cool floor of the small bathroom down the hall was momentarily soothing to Qing’s aching stomach, but only just. The feeling of malaise lingered long after the offending allergen had been disposed of. Physiological ailments Qing could recover from. She had encountered many in officer school and while growing up. But the wounds which continued to weep and fester were not inflicted upon her body. She had failed in her service to the empress. Where a flawless party was to be planned and executed, she had let one thing after another derail her, resulting in the debacle she now had on her hooves. Then there was the matter of Discord. God of Chaos, Prince of Puns, Monarch of Mischief. Whatever he chose to call himself he had disrupted the proceedings with all the graceful elegance of a typhoon in a vase shop. Except the evening was not ruined by Discord. It was ruined by Qing’s failure to adapt. She could choose to blame the spirit for his antics. The court might even believe her. But in her own mind, she knew the truth. Her stomach rumbled one more time, but Qing was far too tired to move herself from where she languished. She would pick herself up and return to her apartment when she had gathered her strength. But until then, the cold floor was what she needed… what she deserved.
  3. Two Weeks Off Duty. It wasn't as if Feng hadn't dealt with such lapses in his guard schedule before; the Watcher's very zeal was often the cause of his involuntary vacations. Well, 'vacation' wasn't quite the right term; 'recovery leave' was more accurate. This time, however, things were different. This was an Empress-Dictated relief of duty, pursuant on certain lapses of decorum at a certain banquet with certain foreign dignitaries. In his defense, Feng would still maintain that it could have been poison! Some poisons looked very much like allergic reactions. Nonetheless, it had caused an unseemly ruckus, and he was hardly going to argue the point with Yu Yue. But the upshot of this break was, instead of being confined to his rice mat while his body healed, he was in full physical shape with nothing to do. This was a novel and somewhat distressing situation. Not having very many hobbies, he found himself working his exercise routines even harder, just to keep himself from going crazy. This led him to being hungry beyond the ability of his rations to satisfy... and therein lay the main problem. Normally, he'd head down to the kitchens, chat up the cook, and leave with a bundle of goodies. However, his friendship with Yanhua, the Imperial Chef, was under a bit of a strain since his allegations of poison had naturally thrown some suspicion upon her. The whole thing had been proven wrong, of course, but the distress caused to the innocent was real, and difficult for him to face. Eventually, after a few days, the emptiness in his middle grew too insistent to ignore, so Feng felt he had no choice but to stallion up and face the music. And so, after too many hungry nights, he allowed the savory smells down the hall, and through the steam-shrouded doors into the kitchens...
  4. *THE IMPERIAL PALACE: ROYAL BEDCHAMBERS* Curse the overdiligence of palace servants! Whereas a normal being would have been left to limp on following a sky chariot crash in the mountains, the Empress of Long Guo was confined to a world of rest and recuperation on the recommendation of the imperial household's wood synergist. As long as the healer Xiu deemed it necessary, Empress Yuè was kept a virtual prisoner in her own palace while she recovered from a bruised left foreleg and other minor cuts and lesions. Until the royal qilin's leg was fully healed, she wouldn't be permitted to go anywhere — not even to the washroom — without the assistance of a palanquin... and all its bearers. No expense was spared in maintaining the imperial sovereign's well-being. Although the Empress understood that her good health was of paramount importance to the Dragon Kingdom, it didn't make her recuperation any less frustrating. So many things Yuè could be doing to rule her nation, yet none of them feasible without constant interruptions from the many many treatments ordered by Healer Xiu each day. Between those and all the prescribed teas, the qilin mare was currently reduced to laying belly-first on her implausibly luxurious emperor-sized bed, not bothering to wear any garments. With the drapes surrounding the bed all closed, Yuè was at least free to waste the afternoon catching up on her anthology of historical Trottin Hoof ballads, all translated into Dragonese. Suddenly, Qing's voice from the entryway; "Miss Yuè, Mister Silverheart is here to see you." That news from Yuè's personal assistant elicited a smile out of the qilin. "Send him in," she authoritatively instructed. The silver-maned stallion from Trottingham never failed to be a good source of company; something the Empress could probably use right about now.....
  5. Greetings! While I’m no stranger to OOC threads, this is the first time I’ve done anything of this particular sort. So then, let’s cut to the chase; my newest OC is no other than Yù Yuè — the Empress of Long Guo — and I’d like to see plenty of relationships established between her and other characters. Since she comes from a new land we’ve just released, this will mean that in many instances, you fellow players will have to make new OCs entirely from scratch. However, for those who want opportunities to RP with the Empress and weave stories for our new Eastern realms, well this is your big moment! Here is a general list of the sort of relationships that I’d like my Empress to have. These suggestions are by no means the only ones possible, so lemme’ know here or through PM if you have something unique in store. Due to the unique nature of this thread, I encourage players to promote prospective characters that are not yet apped. ----------- The Imperial Secretariat - This body of five high-ranking ministers serve as Yuè’s personal advisers on all matters of state. Each of them would have served under her late father and are highly experienced at their administrative jobs. More likely than not, an adviser will likely question whether Yuè is fit to be an empress or not. Regardless of their feelings towards Yuè, they are expected to strictly obey courtly protocol and decorum in her presence. The five positions in the Imperial Secretariat are as follows: Chancellor - The chief adviser. A scholarly mandarin who would have needed to pass many imperial examinations and kiss up to all the right officials to earn a post in the Imperial Palace in Huangjing. Runs everything that’s not directly handled by the other advisers. War Adviser - A general or admiral of some sort who has participated in many campaigns. Oversees the armed forces of Long Guo. Revenue Adviser - Their accumulated wealth earned them this position. Responsible for collecting taxes and handling state revenues. Spiritual Adviser - A Master of the Harmonious Path; preferably from a branch that doesn’t promote asceticism. Highly skilled in dragonbreath magic and is a purveyor of mystic wisdom. Manages court ceremonies and diplomatic affairs. Most likely to approve of Yuè as the Empress. High Censor - Head of the Imperial Watch. Must be comfortable with issuing morally questionable orders when necessary, and keeps certain secrets hidden from the Empress herself (and her late father before her). The Imperial Family - Yuè already has a twin brother, but there are still plenty of other potential family members to be apped. Yuè’s mother is still alive, and there are plenty of older half-siblings as well sired by her late father (from a different mom). In one capacity or another, a half-sibling ought to legitimately claim greater aptitude to rule than their younger sister, although each would also have a fatal flaw that made their father reject having them on the Dragon Throne. I imagine that one or two of them REALLY want to become the next ruler... no matter what it takes. The Imperial Household - Hordes of servants are required to keep the Imperial Palace as a beacon of Imperial majesty; from artists and dancers, to hoofmaidens and guards of the Watch. Directly supervising them is a Chamberlain, a veteran at the job who enjoys closer personal access to the Empress than even the Chancellor. All Household members are also expected by tradition to strictly obey courtly decorum in Yuè's presence. NOTE: no servant should be an actual eunuch, although they are free to have the mannerisms of one. Prospective Consorts - It is only logical that many would want Yuè’s hoof... in marriage. She’s the most eligible bachelorette, after all. Likely, many who wish to seek the heart of the Empress will do so with less-than-noble intentions, although there are probably also a few with genuine unrequited feelings for their beloved Empress. High Society - The rich and famous who are lucky enough to be granted entrance into the Imperial Palace for select occasions. Most likely reside either in the Inner Ward of Huangjing or a posh neighborhood in Long Kong. Except for a few cultural differences, they highly resemble the high society of Equestria. Fellow Monastery Students - Yuè and her twin brother spent their adolescence learning with the Fenghuang Monks. Yuè would have gotten to know many students there. Older students may have acted as mentor-figures during her early days as an initiate. Younger ones may have had the honor of being mentored by Yuè herself. Anyone at Fenghuang would have gotten a positive impression of her. Monastery Tutors - Likewise, Yuè would have made a positive impression on the Masters who live as monks at Fenghuang Monastery. Perhaps one or two monks still keep in touch with the Empress. Childhood Friends & Acquaintances - Yuè didn't confine herself to the Imperial Palace in her pre-adolescent youth, so she would have met various Long Sun either in Huangjing or the secluded Fenghuang Valley village where her ex-consort mother moved to. Yuè would also be known to additional Fenghuang Valley locals once she became a Harmonious Path initiate. Enemies - As a new empress, Yuè will likely encounter opportunistic foes of all sorts. Frontier barbarians, triads, cultists, ninja, coup plotters... the list of potential threats goes on and on. Allies - Of course, the Empress will have to rely on all sorts of allies outside her Court. Serpent Dragons, characters who'd be right at home in a wuxia-inspired setting, even foreigners from across the sea... Yuè will need everyone she can get for the conflicts to come..... APPED CHARACTER ROSTER: ----------- I hope that didn't overwhelm you all, haha. But yes, tell me if you have a different sort of relationship with the Empress in mind.
  6. To say that her day had been hectic would be putting it politely. In the privacy of her own head, however, Dēnglong Xiu felt safe to think some very unflattering thoughts about the entire situation, from the extra-vigilant guards that watched her warily as she hurried past, or the extra-frantic healers who maintained vigil over the Empress. As well as they should be, too, because it wasn't exactly common practice for the ruler of Long Guo to go tumbling down a mountainside during the middle of the Long's equivalent of a temper tantrum. Entirely understandable, that the entire Imperial Palace was in an uproar, regardless of whether or not the severity of her injuries actually measured up to the spiraling rumors that had started ever since the bedraggled group had been picked up a ways off from Huangjing. Which was probably the worst part in all of this, being tugged in two directions - mentally, not physically. Physically, all efforts had been poured onto the Empress and the visiting Shogun, wringing her hooves as she had carefully monitored the effects of each and every Breath she had breathed upon the royal. Mentally, she had been just as fraught with concern as the rest of the Palace when she'd entered the private rooms, the visible blood causing more than enough alarm...until she had learned of the others that had been caught in the Long-induced storm. Only then had the mental war started, one Xiu had valiantly pushed to the back of her mind to focus fully on the well-being of her Empress. That had been ages ago. Now, however, with the Empress and her guest resting and recovering in the privacy of their rooms, now she was free to be elsewhere, leaving the apprentices to keep vigil. They would summon her if something happened, but for now, Xiu could return to her infirmary...which would undoubtedly be empty save for at least one soul, or perhaps two. It wasn't unnatural for all available healers and physicians to be called in to treat a wounded Emperor or Empress, after all - the more the better - but Xiu held out hope that the two bodyguards that had gone down with the chariot had received at least some semblance of medical care. And one most especially, most particularly. He couldn't have been left to silently suffer while the rest of them ensured the health of the Empress, right? Right? With her mind running in a different million directions at once, Xiu tried to keep a cool head as she rounded the last corner, the familiar doorway entering her vision. As she'd suspected (dreaded) the infirmary was quiet and still, moreso than normal, and Xiu bit down hard on her lower lip as she approached one of the mats in the far corner of the room, its occupant looking blessedly familiar. And at the same time, not. "Fēng?..."
  7. Morning court in Huangjing's Imperial Palace always begin the same way. As per tradition, the imperial monarch's courtiers assemble during most early mornings in the Hall of the Dragon Throne; the largest and most central structure within the royal complex. Inside is a tall and expansive throne room: every square inch inside is lavished with gold ornamentation and countless decorative motifs, while rows of pillars support the weight of the ceiling above. At the head of the great audience hall sits the fabled Dragon Throne; a gold-forged treasure raised above the rest of the room by a massive set of marble stairs, and adorned with depictions of majestic serpent dragons both on the chair itself and the enormous backdrop behind. Precious few ever get a glimpse inside the Hall of the Dragon Throne, but those who do and describe what they see never fail to add further fuel to the legends about its unearthly splendor. Truly a worthy throne room for an emperor or empress of Long Guo. Once the courtiers assemble on both sides of the hall (leaving a wide gap in the middle), the Empress finally enters to take her seat, flanked by the solemn brocade-clad guards of the Imperial Watch. All the gathered officials are expected to kowtow at this time, shouting; "LONG LIVE THE EMPRESS! LONG MAY SHE REIGN!" With proper reverence to the Heavenly Daughter of Dragons having been demonstrated, proceedings of court can finally begin. All those gathered must abide by the ancient rules of stately decorum: step directly in front of the stairs leading to the Throne when prompted by the Empress, always step forward (for the chief ministers who stood in front) or walk to the hall's center when commenting on the words of another, no outbursts of unchecked emotion, no gazing directly at the Empress unless addressing her, and NEVER use the sovereign's given name..... — The Empress herself looked radiant as an empress should. Decked in her finest diyi of red shimmersilk along with a delicate crown of great beauty, there was little doubt that the qilin mare looked the part of Long Guo's ruler. Her attention this morning was drawn towards a very important guest, standing in front but off towards the side. His presence meant that today's morning court would be a symbolically important one. "Before we move on to usual matters of state, there is a very important dignitary among us today who must be granted due attention. He has traveled a long distance, in the name of friendship between beings... of all nations. .....May the honorable Shogun of Neighpon present himself at this time."
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