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Beauty and the Beast - with a twist ( f/f - playlist link - prefer princess role ) | arranged marriage · fantasy · shifter · magic
A beastly emperor plagues the lands with neverending war as they conquered one kingdom after another. Terrible rumors circulate about the tyrant that is trying to consume all land and kills nobility without batting an eye. In an effort to assuage the emperor's war efforts, a small kingdom in the north has sent one of their princesses as a tribute with the full intention of that princess using her beauty and whims to tame a tyrants heart. Upon her arrival, however, the princess discovered that the beasty emperor was not a man, but a woman. She hadn't fully intended on seducing the emperor, but now it seemed the assumptions of her father and his advisors would sentence her to death. Surprisingly, she's invited to dinner instead. Living in an unknown castle, the princess starts to uncover more about the tyrant's curse, why they conquer the lands and the shadows that haunt the castle.
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A general medieval-fantasy setting. Magic can be generated spontaneously in the right setting with the right person or crafted through the careful application of reagents, will, and work, with the latter form offering a lot more application than the former. There are magical beasts and gods are assumed to exist. I am indifferent to the existence of other humanoid races on a large scale (e.g., elves and dwarves). The beast has already conquered a number of kingdoms and built an impressive collection of powerful artifacts.

The empire does not span all the known lands, but it is both vast and varied. Its reach includes fertile valleys, long stretches of grassy prairie, high shrub-steppe, mountain forests, and even a touch of warm coastal lands. Despite an abundance of options to claim a more comfortable or convenient capitol, the emperor resides in a boggy castle in a far corner of the empire.

The views are undeniably spectacular from the windows of the castle's high keeps, looking over the Affte sea and archipelago. At night, the sea glows a vivid blue where it stirs and reflects the ethereal purple and blue hues of the broken sky above . By all hours, the archipelago is a dramatic landscape of deep fjords lined with steep and often snow-capped mountains .

The castle itself sits on a spit of land bordered by a shallow river, cliffs overlooking the Affte, and a narrow spit of land that leads to inhospitable swamp. The climate is too wet, windy, and cool to permit tall plant growth and the soil never quite dries, yet the castle itself is difficult to see due to the sprawl of keeps and towns that grow on the lands across the river nearer where the emperor holds court in a great manor. Compared to the many castles that dot the empire elsewhere and even some of the buildings that have sprung up near it, the emperor's residence is assuming. The stone exterior is simple in design and shows the wear of its exposed position on the landscape. The grounds are well-kept but plain, yeilding to the inhospitable bog that surround it.

Inside, the decor is... Inconsistent. Entire wings are abandoned, with heavy statues and shelves blocking their entrances, yet their interiors look like they have been lived in just hours before. The occupied wings are generally simple and always well-lit. In truth, the curse that holds the emperor holds the castle under its sway and anywhere that darkness touches will be returned to the form it held when the curse was laid. To keep the darkness at bay, staff are tasked with what otherwise appear to be absurdly nonsensical, winding routes through the castle to carry on their regular duties.

Inspirations: Sea, Archipelago, Castle
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Character Reference

The Curse
  • A blood curse that cannot be broken by mortal magics.
  • Under darkness, returns all things on the sacrificial grounds back to the moment the curse was laid. The slain return as haunting spirits that may then wander until banished by light. Any object removed from the area are returned to their original state, including Golden and Rav. Any object that does not belong is banished to the river beyond the castle's grounds.

Emperor Golden: The Beast
Inspirations: Beastly Form
Background: Not only beastly in appearance, but also personality. She had a knack for magic before being cursed, particularly the crafting of powerful enchantments. Her rise to power began by serving a warlord as a battlemage, a role she was absolutely ruthless in. The warlord's ambition outraced their resources and the battlemage fell with them... At first. She defeated the defenders of the kingdom she was sent to conquer only to be caught in a curse crafted from their blood. The curse twisted her form, left her haunted by the spirits of the sacrifices used for the curse, and limited her ability to yield new magics.

That was a very long time ago, though, and obviously from her conquests since, she adapted to the different kind of power her new form offered. She's operating on the impression that the only ways to break the curse is to either appease the spirits that haunt her or steal a bit of divinity from the gods. Thanks to her stubborn and poorly socialized personality, she decided the latter option sounded more reasonable and is consolidating power toward the goal of stealing from the gods themselves.

Duke Rav: The Squire
Inspirations: Beastly Form
Background: Was Golden's squire/apprentice. Now a proper beast in their own right. The curse left them with bodiless beneath their armor. Like Golden, they retain the power of the enchantments in their armor.

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