Celeste was born on a balmy summers eve, the youngest child of the Asard noble family and only daughter. Her lot in life was decided the second she was born - a noble daughter to be brought up to become a noble wife.
Her childhood was relatively uneventful. For a while she was allowed to play with the other children in the castle but when her studies began in earnest when she was five, she was told by her tutor that people of her birth did not play with lowborns and streetrats. At the time she didn't quite understand what that meant but after being caught playing in secret with a scullery maid's bastard daughter, she found she'd rather not play with the children than risk the switch.
With only her older brothers around, Celeste turned to art and music. Naturally talented as music, she mastered the flute, the harp, and the lute. Usually a shy child, her apprehension at being the centre of attention disappeared completely whenever she had to perform. Art she was less talented at but it gave her great pleasure to spend hours trying to recreate what she saw. A lover of horseback riding too, she never left the castle without some paper or a small canvas on which to sketch or paint some ephemeral natural beauty that caught her eye.
Her childhood suddenly became very cloistered before she had even had her first blood. Claude was supposed to been going to house Caran but no word came of his arrival there. She remembered her mother being distraught and her father furious, riding out almost immediately to find his heir. For weeks the castle was tense and even Celeste found herself walking on eggshells around her mother. She desperately missed her older brother and was overjoyed when the scouts came back to inform the castle of their pending return. On the battlements she watched for the tell-tale dust kicked up by riders before rushing to the gates to be one of the first to greet them. She was suitably horrified by the scars on her brother's handsome face and immensely angry at her father for refusing to allow them to be healed... not that she ever said as much to anyone because she knew her place.
After that, her mother became very protective and Celeste's horse riding in the forest came with a retinue or guards and her lessons strived to cut out anything that was vaguely adult (and therefore interesting). When Celeste's first blood did come she was not at all prepared for it and was convinced she was dying, screaming bloody murder and scaring the chambermaids. No one had even bothered to tell her that that was a sign of her womanhood.
In the years that followed, her lessons turned away from history, needlework and music to focus increasingly more on running a household and dressing appropriately. She was only vaguely aware that this was all running up to one thing - her impending presentation at court that would herald her of marriageable age.
At fifteen she was brought to the castle of Cear Edon for a tourney and her official introduction at court. It was exciting to see all the beautiful dresses, the gallant knights and the lords and lady's of the land. She was overwhelmed, starstruck, and also had her first taste of alcohol - the sticky, sweet summerwine that went straight to her head and saw her being led away to her guest chambers early in the evening revelry by her mother. Despite the excitement, she was ill-equipped for the intrigues of adults. She did not understand the relations between man and woman, she did not understand the lengths people would go to because of ambition, and things like politics were dry and historical, not this nest of vipers that she was suddenly thrown in to.During AoK Season 1
Two such snakes were Prince Emerich Valera and Lady Alysan Lenocast.
Celeste's concept of love and courtship was taken straight from novels and fairytales, something that made her easy prey for Emerich Valera, the king's second-born rake of a son. With a few sweet words and the right amount of chivalry, he brought out all the Asard rebellion she thought stamped out of her long ago. She willingly went along with the secrecy of their affair, fully under the impression that when it was a 'better time' they would be able to announce their love for each other. Of course, this never happened and at the end of the tournament, held in her brother's honour in Cyangat, her heart was shattered when Emerich made it clear that she was simply the latest in a long line of conquests. Things wouldn't have been so bad if she hadn't given him her maidenhood.
Alysan Lenocast was a large part of that eventuality. Whether it was some twisted way of helping Celeste overcome her naivety or simple cruelty, she would never know. Celeste was no small part of Alysan's scheming. Celeste provided a good character reference of Alysan to her brother Claude, who Alysan desperately wanted to marry so she could have a castle of her own. For whatever reason, Alysan had appeared to take Celeste under her wing but whispered poison in her ear of following her heart rather than her mind and that was how she ended up in the bed of the prince.The Past Year
Celeste rarely left Tabynq since returning from that fateful tournament. Unbeknowenst to Celeste, her interlude with Emerich had planted a child within her. She didn't even realise she hadn't had her monthly blood until she was almost due for her next. She panicked. For all her sheltered upbringing, she at least knew what a missed blood meant. Eyeing her chambermaids everyday, she wondered if they had noticed and how she was possibly to explain this when she began to show. Her slight form would not need long to herald her pregnancy.
It was not meant to be, though, and on a ride through the forest to clear her head, she fell from her horse when it lost its footing. Two days later, she woke, sweating and cramping. When the maids came in the morning, they found her with bloodied sheets and moaning in pain. The child, barely bigger than a rosebud, lost its hold on life. Before she finally lost consciousness, she grabbed her maid and made her swear an oath to the gods that her secret would never be revealed.
Celeste did not mean to have a child and knew what shame it would bring upon her and her family but never had she felt such loss. She did not wish it purged from her body, naturally or otherwise, and the wound was salted by the fact that she could never confide her pain.
Pain was to follow her, though, with the Lenocast's involvement in her family. She harboured some resentment towards Alysan for telling her to follow her heart, seeing how that turned out, but couldn't bring herself to dislike someone who made her brother so happy.
That all changed when Lord Eian Lenocast, heir to House Lenocast and Alysan's younger brother, decided to kill Claude as he couldn't stand the thought of someone taking his beloved sister away. Although Celeste couldn't prove it, in her grief she lashed out at the person who was with her brother when he died and, by association, his sister. Despite Alysan's supposed child, without a marriage she was simply carrying a bastard and Celeste did the first cruel thing in her life - she begged her parents to send Alysan home and to wash their hands of the Lenocasts.
Now, Celeste is one of the most eligible maidens in Cyriol, entertaining seemingly endless suitors who are hoping to bring home the child of one of the main houses as a bride. She hopes no one will ever find out she does not still have her maidenhood.
None, not even metaphysical ones.
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