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  1. #11
    Isobel

    Isobel had hoped that they wouldn't run into to many guards - but once they had slipped through the passage and into the dungeons, she realized they had the opposite problem. She didn't see a soul. Not a guard in sight. And no prisoners.

    "This isn't good," Isobel whispered. "Either she moved them, or..."

    Or Blanche had already executed all of her captives. Isobel didn't finish the thought, not wanting to upset Mariel, but she didn't have to. Mariel clearly understood.

    "We have to keep looking," Isobel said encouragingly. "We haven't searched everywhere yet."

    But once they had searched everywhere, they were no closer to finding Dinah. The dungeon was completed deserted.

    "Close your eyes for a minute, Mariel," Isobel said, gingerly pushing open a door to a small stone ledge. In Isobel's time as queen, it had held several large planters of flowers, but Blanche used it to display the remains of petty criminals who didn't merit heads on pikes in more prominent locations.

    "Oh no..." Isobel whispered. She was so distraught by what she saw that she didn't realize Mariel hadn't closed her eyes until the girl started to cry.

    Dinah was on the ledge, impaled all the way through her body on a thick stake. She was so still and so bloody hanging there that Isobel assumed she was dead, but then she opened her eyes and saw Isobel staring at her.

    "Your majesty...?" Dinah murmured through cracked lips, sounding dazed and barely conscious.

    "We're here, Dinah," Isobel said. "We came to help you. It's going to be alright."
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  2. #12
    Princess Aurora & Prince Phillip



    Isobel was right it seemed about her stepdaughter, it seemed the word of 'gifts' got the castle moving quickly. Her father would have scoffed if he saw Blanche and Aden. Aden didn't even fix his crown before greeting them. Both she and Phillip gave them smiles, though. They had a role to play, distract Blanche and Aden while the rescue happened. Their mouse turned mute human servant was behind them, holding the gifts for the Royal Couple.

    "Thank you, Queen Blanche."

    Phillip told her and Aurora said.

    "We have brought you belated wedding gifts. I apologize my kingdom could not give them to you on the day of your joyous union."

    It was rather difficult for Perrault to send anyone to Blanche's wedding since the whole kingdom was under the sleeping curse when it happened.

  3. #13
    Maleficent



    This was too easy, Maleficent thought to herself. There should be guards, but she didn't see any. She frowned at how too quiet the prison was. No guards, no prisoners...Did Blanche already kill the poor girl?

    "Yeah, I agree."

    Maleficent said, not wanting Mariel to think the worst, but Maleficent had a bad feeling about this. When Isobel pushed open the door, Maleficent's mouth dropped open. Queen Blanche could compete with King Stefan in cruelty. Poor Dinah, left on a pike to die. She was strong, though, somehow still alive.

    "We're going to help you."

    Maleficent told the girl, not that she was sure what to do. They had to get her off the stake but...That could also be the only thing keeping her alive too.

  4. #14
    "I think I know a way to help her," Carrie said. "The restoration spell in the grimoire that said it would mend broken body parts. It should be enough to save her. But... it can only be used once. We were planning to use it to fix your feet..."

    Isobel shook her head. "Just do it," she said. "This is more important."

    Before they could use the spell, they had to pull Dinah off the stake, so her body wouldn't just heal around it. That was a difficult, painful process. By the end, Mariel was in tears, and Isobel and Carrie were near so. Dinah, mercifully, had fallen unconscious.

    Carrie produced the grimoire and read the spell. As the page destroyed itself, Dinah's wounds began to heal.

    ***

    "Your gifts please us," Blanche said with a catlike smile. "And your apology is accepted. Your reason for missing our wedding is... adequate. Tell me - have they caught and punished the culprit yet? Such a dreadful crime!"

    "You could have learned something about punishment if you'd come to our wedding," her husband added offhandedly, with an easy smirking grin.

  5. #15
    Maleficent



    When Carrie brought up the restoration spell, Maleficent remembered it. She had briefly flipped through the grimoire but thought, like Carrie, that they would use that spell for Isobel's feet. She also knew a spell could only be used once and knew that Isobel was going to pick Dinah over herself.

    "Right."

    Maleficent said, helping remove Dinah from the stake. It was an awful thing to do it.

    "I'm sorry, Dinah, but I promise it will get better very soon."

    She tried to assure her, she had believe it would. If the spell didn't...Well, then she hoped the poor girl would die fast, so her pain would end. It had been a long time since she had felt close to tears herself, but helping Dinah...It brought back a compassion she hadn't felt in a long time. Not since Stefan had destroyed her home to someday become King.

    "What Blanche did to this girl...She has to pay for it."

    Malficent said quietly as she watched the spell thankfully work. Dinah would be okay, but there would be others, she realized. If Queen Blanche was not stopped, there would be another Dinah. More innocents would suffer. The people were ruled by a cruel Queen. One who had to be stopped.

    "She cannot sit on the throne. If she does, there'll more Dinahs. You have to take back your kingdom, Isobel."

  6. #16
    Princess Aurora & Prince Phillip



    "We are pleased you like them."

    Aurora said and exchanged a quick look with Phillip. One would think being in sleeping curse would more then 'adequate' reason to miss a Royal Wedding. Of course, when one was in the company of cruel narcissists, they shouldn't expect too much compassion.

    "So, I have heard but things are well for us. I personally dealt with the fiend."

    Phillip replied. Both he and Aurora assumed that Blanche and Aden were so self obsessed they wouldn't know too much that was happening outside of Azure. Hell, they didn't think they knew much of what was happening outside their own castle. Aurora took a hold of Phillip's arm and gave him a loving smile.

    "That you did, slaying that awful dragon, my hero."

  7. #17
    Isobel

    "I will never rule this kingdom again," Isobel said firmly. She looked to Carrie; Carrie nodded encouragement, and Isobel went on. "But nor will Blanche. Nor, for that matter, will anyone - at least not as king or queen. The time has come for the government of Azure to pass to the people. They should vote for who will govern them and make their laws."

    "I've thought a lot about this, and I'm sure of it. I don't want to be the queen - but it's not enough for me to abdicate and let someone else have the throne. Lines of succession are too uncertain and unpredictable. I could put a saint on the throne... but their grandchild could be a monster. It can't depend on blood. The time has come for Azure to become a democracy. For the sake of those like Dinah. And for the sake of everyone."

  8. #18
    Queen Blanche

    Blanche's eyes narrowed. She didn't like seeing anyone else as the center of attention - even newlyweds who had eyes only for each other.

    By now, the guests had probably noticed that the court was looking a little... sparse. As always there were nobles there to fawn on the royal couple - but not as many as past monarchs had in their orbit. There were servants tending to the needs of the guests, but the palace did not appear fully staffed.

    Blanche said nothing of that, though. "I'm so glad you're so happy," she said, not even bothering to pretend she actually cared. "How long will you be gracing us with your presence? You should see the gardens while you're here. I had all the ugly old flowers torn out and replaced with white ones. The gardens are so lovely now."

    Clearly the country's funds were being put to... unusual uses, under Blanche's reign.

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