When she was young, Queen Arialla often went tor the family’s mansion up in the Dragonridge Mountains. It was where Z’Lé first saw her, and where many other events unfolded. Later on, the mansion is not visited very often, and Prince Zarrek takes an interest in it. Reviving Bricks asks what he would do with it, were it up to him.
The Onsiran royal family did not visit their home in the mountains anymore. There had once been a time when Queen Arialla would take her sons there, just as her parents had taken her when she was young. But her parents were no more, and the mountains now left a bitter taste in her memories. She avoided them, avoided the dragons… and her son avoided her. Prince Zarrek might have forgiven his mother, but she refused to forgive his father for everything that he had done. He might have accepted that and still forgiven her, if it had not been for that confounded bard.
That word pounded through his mind like the stomping of his boots across the wooden balconies of the summer home. IF she had found it in her heart to love him, despite– But what IF he had never– and what IF Métius had never offered him that trade? There were too many IFs, and some of them could have affected Zarrek’s very existence.
There was something that he did not ask IF about: Starshine. It had taken years for him to sort through his feelings, but he was sure about her now. He would not have come to the mansion unless he was certain.
By that time, his heart was so brimming with emotion that he wanted to make the place his entirely. His heart pounded with the notion of staying in that mountain home with her until the end of their days, curse whatever her father or his mother said. She was perfect. Love perfected. She was tender and kind and… all the things he couldn’t be, yet she loved him all the same. He had never understood how she could love him despite who he was… what he was… but she never stopped, and he saw no reason to deny her.
The mansion had been built by order of a king centuries past; Zarrek did not know his name. His father had spoken of a new era, not the traditions of the past. Old as it was, it had been built to last. The foundation was stone, of course, and a few beams had been replaced here and there over the years. Some of the walls on the main level had been reinforced with cobble, and later brick. The prince was fond of the age of the structure, the craftsmanship that did the kingdom such honor.
Had he been at all inclined to want children, he would have wanted to raise his sons there. As it was, Zarrek was secretly afraid of what he might father. After what his own father had done, it seemed as though his legacy was quite… trepidatious. He could not be assured that his children would not harm their mother simply be being born… could not be certain of how they would look… whether the kingdom would accept them.
But if he could… there was that infernal– that damnable— IF again… but if he could be moved to dare, or if his circumstances had not been quite so complicated, he might have wanted heirs. Someone to run through the halls, someone who would run through the forest and come back with leaves and lizards, and perhaps a few stories. Someone to read the books to by the fire so that they did something more than collect dust.
As it was, the forest was just a place where dragons wandered by now and again, and the halls were quiet most of the year. The books in the mansion’s small library were still collecting dust, and the fireplace… it would keep them warm when the rain came. The winds were blowing strong, pulling in clouds like a winter blanket, and Zarrek was going to consummate their love that night. Even though it meant risking that which he dreaded, he knew that if he didn’t, he would forever regret it.