Coridel's story is nearly ended! There is one final installment after this one. My next project with her is to create the paper doll book and set it up for printing. I usually end up putting that off because I find it boring and tedious... a necessary evil. I have more stories planned for future dolls. I can't seem to draw a doll without having an entire background tale. It makes it easier to create the dresses because I can imagine the scene they're wearing it in.
Click below to read Coridel's story:
Coridel said goodbye to the camp with little fanfare. She rode a brown pony through the woods, led by her guide. Rastruan had wanted to give her a large escort but she had protested. He needed his men to protect their lands.
A week in the saddle caused more pain and discomfort than Coridel had thought it would. Every morning she woke up sore and every evening she could hardly move her muscles to pull herself out of the saddle. Finally they arrived at the capital.
“Thank goodness!” The princess exclaimed when she caught sight of the castle.
Coridel and her escort shared a mournful goodbye at the castle gate. She invited him to stay the night, but he refused. Lord Rastruan had wanted an immediate report on the princess’s safe return.
The guards recognized their lost princess and took her to the king with great rejoicing. Coridel laughed and spoke with them a great deal as they marched her through the streets and up the castle steps.
“Coridel?” A feminine voice cried out just before Coridel entered the castle door. “Coridel, sun skies and moon! Is that really you?”
Coridel turned around to see her younger sisters. Tears filled her eyes at the familiar sight of Jonquil in stained and patched breeches with a dagger at her waist, while Alisaid wore pristine white lace and a chain of daisies in her hair.
“Where have you been? What happened to you?” They pushed past the guards and hugged her. “Father has been so worried, and us too! We feared you were dead!”
They chatted on and on until they reached the King’s audience chamber. The guard at the door was about the restrain them from entering, but upon seeing the lost princess he knelt down with his hand to his heart.
The door crashed open and everyone in the hall stared. The king began to shout for the guard but his voice was lost as soon as he saw who the invaders of his court were.
“Coridel?” He whispered, standing slowly. “Daughter?”
Coridel ran to him. “I’m home, father!”
“There was no dragon then?”
That night, father and daughters sat together by the fireplace in the library. Coridel was on the floor leaning against her father’s legs, with her two sisters leaning on either of her shoulders.
“No, father, not a fire-breathing dragon. Just a group of good men who are being unjustly abused by the laws we’ve made.”
“Hmmm… perhaps I was a bit hasty.” The king mumbled. “But the letter arrived… it was signed… never mind, all that’s over. It’s good to have you home, my girl.”
“And I’m glad to be back, father, but I want to be involved with revising the laws.”
“Hmm? Oh, yes, yes.” Mused the king, “I will read your observations tonight; tomorrow a council will meet to discuss the matter. I invite you to join us, daughter.”
The family sat in quiet comfort for a long time, simply enjoying being together.
Coridel ran from the council meeting with joy. “Alisaid! Jonquil!” She cried, crashing into her sisters’ room. “It’s done! They’re safe!”
“What?” Asked Alisaid, her pretty blue eyes wide with curiosity. “Tell us what happened, please!”
“Father asked me to explain the situation. Everyone was appalled! They immediately agreed to act. The scribes are working right now on a copy of the law to be sent to Rastruan and the members of the Dragon.” Coridel pulled her sister into a sloppy but joyful dance around the room. “I’m so happy I could fly!” She fell onto the bed.
Jonquil laughed from her backwards position on a chair. “Will you go with them to deliver the message?”
“If father lets me!”
Alisaid and Jonquil shared a pensive look. The latter bit her lip and shook her head slightly.
“Don’t worry,” Alisaid said brightly, “I’m sure he wouldn’t keep you from going.”
“Yeah, what could happen anyway?” Chirped Jonquil. “They’ve already kidnapped you once.”
“My scribes have finished the Mountain Act,” The king announced at dinner. He had requested to eat alone with his eldest daughter.
“I will deliver it, father.” Coridel eagerly offered.
“No!” He frowned severely at her. “Your recent escapade in the woods has made me think twice about allowing you to travel. You are my heir and I need to protect you.”
“Nothing will happen to me; Lord Rastruan and his men would protect me.”
“As my soldiers were suppose to protect you from them?” The king shook his gray head, “No, daughter, you will remain in the castle. I cannot afford to lose you; neither of your sisters have the head for ruling a kingdom like you do.”
Coridel’s mood plummeted after this news. She had been looking forward to seeing the Dragon again. It was one of the only things that made her smile; imagining Rastruan’s face as she rode into the camp with the victorious Mountain Act that would give freedom and safety to his people.
“Will I be allowed to move freely within the castle and the grounds?” She asked bitterly.
The king pondered this, “Around the castle yes; but I will appoint bodyguards for when you go outside.”
“That’s preposterous, father. You are being overprotective.”
“I am merely insuring my kingdom will have a ruler after me.”
“I don’t need guards on the castle grounds! Half of the army lives there; aren’t they protection enough?”
“You will obey me in this, Coridel. You go nowhere alone outside or you will not go outside at all.”
“Yes, sir.” She stared straight ahead. “May I be excused, sir?”
He granted her permission and she left to her quarters.
Her sisters arrived later.
“Did you and father have another argument?” Jonquil asked.
“How did you know?”
Alisaid sighed and plopped on the bed. “He always asks to dine alone with you when he has plans to discuss that you won’t like.”
Coridel stared out the window, towards the mountains. “I am under house arrest.”
“What?” Both her sisters rushed to her side.
“For my own protection,” Coridel assured, “I am not allowed outside the palace without guards. And he is sending someone else to deliver the good news to the Dragon.”
A teardrop leaked down her cheek. She pushed it away and remembered how Rastruan’s rough fingers had felt wiping her tears.
Jonquil pulled Coridel away from the window. “I have a plan.” She announced. “We’ll dress up as men, all three of us, and ride away! We can be in the mountains by tomorrow evening if we ride through the night.”
Alisaid laughed, “That’s your solution for any problem! You just wish you had been born a man so you could be a knight.”
“So? Maybe this time my plan will actually work.”
“No.” Coridel sighed, “Father would simply bring us back. He is doing this for my own good and that of the kingdom. He doesn’t want his heir to go missing again.”
“But you will never see Rastruan again.” Romantic-hearted Alisaid whispered.
This time the tears would not be stopped. Coridel cried and her sisters comforted as best they could.
About the Artist
I'm a full time veterinary technician who enjoys winding down by creating beautiful costumes and recreating historical outfits on paper.
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