Welcome Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Welcome Lords, Ladies and Gentlefolk.

This blog will be devoted to my literary and cosplay interests and stories set in my own alternative historical steampunk background. I hope people enjoy the stories, as much as I enjoy devising and writing them and that it stimulates their own artistic interests, entertains them or if nothing else fires their own imaginations.

A special note to new readers of this blog, the entries "Nation States" are gazetteers of the nations as they exist in the An Age of Steam, Steel and Iron background, each with a few remarks/observations about each nation as they exist within. Any post headed by the title containing the words "Story Snippet" or "Fragments" is a stand alone, snapshot of the background, they will be developed into fuller stories in future, but at present they serve to give the viewer/reader a measure of what this world is like, what is going on in it and who some of the players are. Full stories, will be headed by their title and a roman number, as they will generally be in several parts.

Comments, suggestions or remarks by readers are welcomed.

I would like to thank the following people:

Yaya Han, for getting me seriously interested in cosplay at a time when things were looking very glum for me back in 2006 with several extended stays in hospital due to illness, and motivating me to get actively involved.

Ashley Du aka UndeadDu, for her unfailing friendship and cheerful support since we first met in 2014 at the Hamilton Comic Con, and for being my Cosplay mentor and advisor.

Sara Marly, for her interest in and support for my writings, since we first met in 2016 at the Hamilton Comic Con and incidently helping me make up my mind to finally do this.

Stephen Thomson, my friend, for his advise and assistance with creating and setting up this blog.

Daniel Cote, my friend and co-worker for his advise and friendship over the years.

The People of the The Aegy's Gathering (particularly Jonathan Cresswell-Jones, Scott Washburn and Jenny Dolfen, all of whom I have kept in contact with over the years), who were brought together in friendship by a certain randomness of chance and a common interest in the Honor Harrington books and stayed together despite distance and the strains of life.

The People of the Wesworld Alternative History website, who gave me the opportunity to sharpen my writing and story telling skills while directing the affairs of Lithuania and briefly France during their 1930s timelines.

My parents Mary Ellen and Logan, my siblings Adam and Danika and various friends both online and at work and play for putting up with me, encouraging and supporting me both in the very good times and the very bad times.

I remain as always yours very sincerely, your obedient servant, Matthew Baird aka Sir Leopold Stanley Worthing-Topper

Monday, July 16, 2018

Attendence at the Kendal Ball (Part XII)

Kendal Palace, Grosvenor Square, London, Great Britain: January 1886

Regis Augustus Crossley, 11th Baron of Landseer sat fixedly in his seat as his carriage moved through the great gates of the Kendal Palace. On the face of it, he seemed both unhurried and unconcerned, in point of fact he was just a bit nervous and apprehensive about this evening's ball. His younger brother Roderick Octavius Crossley sat across from him looking as was all too usual for him, distinctly bored and vacant eyed. Neither spoke for some minutes as the carriage slowly crossed the courtyard and moved to a parking space at the direction of one of the Kendal Palace uniformed servants. Regis regarded his silent, indolent younger brother carefully for several long moments before he finally spoke.

"I trust you will behave yourself, Roderick, and not embarrass yourself as usual."

Roderick, jerked out the silent reverie that had enveloped him for much of the carriage's journey, shook himself to clear his thoughts before responding to his older brother's non too subtle dig.

"I never embarrass myself, Regis, although I suppose I do sometimes embarrass you." Roderick responded lightly and languidly. Regis regarded him with a skeptical, jaded air. Roderick was all too capable of making a complete fool of himself on any and all social occasions to both his family's and his own personal discomfort. At least he had so, with astonishing and cringe worthy regularity over the last few years. Mother and Father, really had coddled, spoiled and indulged Roderick, whom they regarded as their golden boy far too much both as a child and as a young man. It showed in every way he acted, conversed and moved through life.

Regis bit back on the caustic remark that immediately presented itself to his brain, and lapsed into a resigned silence. Roderick responded to that with a slight but irritating smirk. Regis was devoted to his younger brother and his numerous sisters but that did not mean he was impressed or happy with their occasional antics or equally ocassional scandals. Regis broke off this line of thought as the carriage rolled to an abrupt stop. Two Wraithdale postillions  appeared at the carriage door, opening it and letting down the moveable steps.

While Regis expected this evening to be generally pleasant, he had a sneaking suspicion that Roderick would commit some gaff or faux pas before the evening was out. Oh well what will be, will be He supposed. I just hope it is something I can easily smooth over or dispel easily, he thought mildly as he nimbly exited the carriage and made for the palace doors, Roderick trailing behind him.

The two gentlemen, went through the paces as they had their outer garments taken by the cloak room pages and waited at the top of the stairs to be announced to the assembled throng of guests and the hostess of the gathering. They were amoung the last arrivals, Lord Landseer noted, some five hundred people packed the hall and side galleries everywhere one looked it seemed. This was not unexpected, the Wraithdales had a lot of friends in various stations of society and had been generous patrons of numerous causes. Regis felt his mood lighten a bit as he was announced and walked down the stairs and followed the people ahead of him to pay his respects to the ball's hostess, the Duchess of Kendal.

Ursula, observed the Baron Landseer as he slowly, gracefully walked down the stairs. He looked very splendid in his black and gold embroidered diplomatic uniform. His not inconsiderable height, broad shoulders and very trim figure and pleasing light blonde hair and sparkling grey eyes did not hurt his looks either, Ursula thought mildly. Ursula sensed Thomas stiffen at her side, she shifted her gaze to follow his, and saw Roderick.

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