dontcryformememetina ([personal profile] dontcryformememetina) wrote in [community profile] bakerstreet2013-11-29 03:29 pm

The Courtly Love Meme

The Courtly Love Meme

That's COURTLY LOVE. Not COURTNEY LOVE.

Courtly love or domnei was a medieval European conception of nobly and chivalrously expressing love and admiration. Generally, courtly love was secret and between members of the nobility. It was also generally not practiced between husband and wife.

The "courtly love" relationship is modeled on the feudal relationship between a knight and his liege lord. The knight serves his courtly lady (love service) with the same obedience and loyalty which he owes to his liege lord. She is in complete control of the love relationship, while he owes her obedience and submission.The knight's love for the lady inspires him to do great deeds, in order to be worthy of her love or to win her favor. Thus "courtly love" was originally construed as an ennobling force whether or not it was consummated, and even whether or not the lady knew about the knight's love or loved him in return.

The "courtly love" relationship typically was not between husband and wife, not because the poets and the audience were inherently immoral, but because it was an idealized sort of relationship that could not exist within the context of "real life" medieval marriages. In the middle ages, marriages amongst the nobility were typically based on practical and dynastic concerns rather than on love. The idea that a marriage could be based on love was a radical notion. But the audience for romance was perfectly aware that these romances were fictions, not models for actual behavior. The adulterous aspect that bothers many 20th-century readers was somewhat beside the point, which was to explore the potential influence of love on human behavior. The behavior of the knight and lady in love was drawn partly from troubadour poetry and partly from a set of literary conventions derived from the Latin poet Ovid, who described the "symptoms" of love as if it were a sickness. The "lovesick" knight became a conventional figure in medieval romance. Typical symptoms: sighing, turning pale, turning red, fever, inability to sleep, eat or drink. Romances often contained long interior monologues in which the lovers describe their feelings.

tl;dr characters are in a fantasy/medieval setting and having a courtly romance.

How to Play
- Comment with your character, preferences, etc. Also, be sure to include what "role" your character will be taking on in this little affair.

  • Lord/lady
  • Knight (gender neutral, of course)
  • Prince/princess
  • Bard or poet
  • Servant
  • Commoner (for the ultimate "forbidden romance")
-Comment to others, using the RNG to determine your fate.

Prompts
  1. When I First Saw Your Face: You are meeting your liege or your knight for the first time. What you see takes your breath away.
  2. Lovesick: Your pining for your beloved has made you ill! You can't eat, you can't sleep, you're in loves throes.
  3. Playing Hard to Get: If you're of nobility, you at least have to pretend you're not interested.
  4. You're So Coy: The art of flirtation is just getting started, but you have to be subtle about it.
  5. In Your Honor: Be it a jousting match or a battle, you're going to win this for your lord/lady's name!
  6. A Token: You must give your knight something for good luck.
  7. A Gift: This is the reverse of the above. You must give your love something.
  8. Keep a Secret: Kisses behind columns, holding hands under the table. You must sneak away little moments together, but you have to keep others in the dark.
  9. Back from War: Your knight has been away in combat, and now they've returned. You want to shower them with affection.
  10. Consumate: Believe it or not, courtly love could have a physical angle, as well. Sometimes physical afairs happened.
  11. To Defend Your Honor: Someone has insulted your fair lady or lord. You know what that means! DUEL.
  12. I'll Protect You: The lands are under an attack, and you must protect the person you love!
  13. Breaking the Rules: You've decided to abandon the pretense of courtly love and actually be with this person, even if that means running away.
  14. WILDCARD
riverborntorun: (River Song Archaeologst)

River Song || Doctor Who | Open

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-01 12:34 am (UTC)(link)
[Lady, knight, or commoner.]
cadcamlan: ([grown])

RNG says 9, so making shit up it is?

[personal profile] cadcamlan 2013-12-03 04:50 pm (UTC)(link)
It was different, riding with a lady's favour. It was different, knowing when he glanced up at the crowd that he'd be able to find a set of captivating eyes looking fondly at him. It was the lightest his heart had been since childhood.

He had often wanted to win a tournament for himself--desperately, really, hoping to prove finally worthy of his father's affection, the other knights' respect. It had always failed. Wanting to win for Lady Song, apparently, worked far better. Led to a certain edge of viciousness in the supposedly friendly competition.

Nearly felled Gareth in the pitch.

Of course the King was furious. Of course it didn't matter how well he had been doing. Of course, without the chance to so much as seek out the Lady whose colours he wore, he was sent along with the knights meant to patrol the kingdom's borders.

It was weeks before he returned. Weeks pondering whether he had hoped for too much and was being punished for it.

Weeks before riding back meant any chance of seeing the Lady Song again.
riverborntorun: (Angelic)

feeeeels

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-03 08:21 pm (UTC)(link)
The King was furious, and anyone with half a brain in his court knew it. Lady Song most of all. To some it seemed she had overstepped her bounds, giving favour to the king's bastard. Though the men changed little in their treatment of her, the rate of female whispers and gossip increased around her.

Who does she think she is? Is she challenging the throne? Is she daft? What would her father, god rest his soul, think of her spitting in the face of the king's hospitality?

Prattling idiots, the lot of them. Did they really think her so stupid? She kept her head held high as she completed her daily duties. River had her own fury, but she kept it tightly bottled while under the scrutiny of pubic eye. Her only catharsis was in archery and rides through the woods; there was a treasonous sense of pleasure she took in imagining the king's face in the wood of the target, or being trampled under the hooves of her horse.

Days passed. She went through the motions of her duties. Then a week. Her appetite faded. Then a fortnight. The earnest energy she normally possessed gave way to a mask of indifference.

Being alone with her thoughts at night was not any easier, the more time passed. She was still curious about Sir Mordred, and the peculiar feeling he aroused in her. How quickly she had opened up to him, had toed the line of propriety.

When he returned - if he returned, would he still uphold his promise of loyalty? Was it true what they said about absence and the fondness in one's heart, or was that another cliche created by the romantics?

Several weeks passed. Her mind languished, but she accomplished an awful lot of embroidery projects in that time. And then, suddenly, her servant came to bring news that the knights had returned. The other ladies squealed and swooned over seeing their favoured men again. Lady River Song remained utterly still, save for the embroidery stitch she missed.

Hope was a bittersweet thing to have. She retired to her chambers almost immediately, embroidery and all, but she could no longer focus.
cadcamlan: ([grown] batty;)

In a good way? A good heartbreaky way?

[personal profile] cadcamlan 2013-12-04 01:32 am (UTC)(link)
The days weren't so bad. The days could be filled with diligence, with skirmishes and travel. Part of the nights could be filled with watchful vigilance.

It was sleeping he couldn't stand, as the weeks drew out. The time meant for sleeping became filled with more than just worry after Gareth's (hopefully improved) condition.

Time for sleep became filled with worries for Lady Song as well. How she was faring. How she was treated for the favour he still lay to sleep clutching tight in his hand. Whether she had completely forsaken him now to keep herself afloat in court. Whether she would see him when he returned.

The homecoming was bittersweet. The other knights were greeted fondly, met with fanfare and affection. Mordred? Mordred was left alone to slink and sneak his way to his half-brother's chambers to check on the other man's progress.

It took some vigil sitting before Agravaine was able to prompt Mordred to action again. If nothing else, it's polite to return a favour to a lady after a joust. Perhaps she allows one to keep it and perhaps she takes it back.

He's not certain which to expect as he raps at Lady Song's chamber door, waits to be announced by her maid.
riverborntorun: (Wary)

Yes good and heartbreaky

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-04 03:44 am (UTC)(link)
"...Let him in and wait outside, please. Thank you." Lady Song's voice was colder than normal, and the maid timidly scurried off as soon she let in Mordred. The door hung partially open.

River stood in front of the fireplace of her chambers, face stony and her hands clasped in front. Her embroidery sat abandoned upon the bench they'd shared weeks ago. For a good minute, the crackle of the low fire was the only noise between them.

"It seems you've finally returned from your duties, Sir Mordred. I trust the borders have been well-patrolled?"
cadcamlan: ([grown] bitty;)

[personal profile] cadcamlan 2013-12-04 01:33 pm (UTC)(link)
The blood had been cleaned from his armour, but there was still mud on his boots, his knees, his cloak as he brushed into the room. He only noticed now, as he dropped almost instantly to his knees before her.

It was fitting to be on his knees. It was natural to drop before her in a position of obedience and devotion. It had always been a hard pill to swallow with the king, but with Lady Song... it already came so easily into his body. Into his heart.

She's different. She's held back from him the way most others are. He hadn't expected that the shift would hurt so much.

"...quite safe, milady."
riverborntorun: (B&W Sorry My Love)

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-04 01:49 pm (UTC)(link)
"I am glad to hear it. But why do you feel the need to bring it with you into my chambers?" With a nod of her head she indicated the mud that still clung to him. "This simply will not do."

She strode past him and called for her maid. "Helena! You are to take my guest's cloak and have it cleaned immediately. I won't tolerate such a mess in my private quarters." Lady Song swept behind Mordred, placing her hands gently upon his shoulders. She leaned in to whisper into his ear.

"Appearances are deceiving things, and I value honesty here. Would you like your boots tended to as well, my knight?"
cadcamlan: ([grown] patter;)

[personal profile] cadcamlan 2013-12-04 02:18 pm (UTC)(link)
It was always unsettling, the first day back from the front. Here, worried more than he ever had been before about the response of another human being, he found himself reeling slightly in the struggle to follow Lady Song's intentions.

His breath came short to have her close, to have her fingers on his shoulder. Looking up at her came as a jerky sort of motion.

"If it allows me to stay longer in your company, milady."
riverborntorun: (River Song Archaeologst)

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-04 02:35 pm (UTC)(link)
"Then come sit by the fire and let's get these things looking proper," River replied, guiding him to stand up. She made Helena wait in the doorway for Mordred's cloak and boots, and once they were secure in the girl's arms, River shut the door.

"There. That should keep her busy for a while," she said softly, standing in front of Mordred. "Now. As for you, sir - I think you have some forgiveness to earn. It's despicable, making a lady wait so." There is a flicker of her old humor now that they're alone again. She's fighting not to smile. "What have you to say for yourself?"
cadcamlan: ([grown] bit;)

[personal profile] cadcamlan 2013-12-04 02:57 pm (UTC)(link)
He wasn't certain he had ever divested himself of cloak and boots more expediently. He wasn't certain he had ever been so pleased to see a door closed, to hear that satisfying click.

He knew for a fact he had never felt so completely compelled to reach for a lady's hand to hold half-desperately between both of his own.

"I have regrets only that the most expedient method of returning to your side has taken such a long time. If you require an apology for fighting so fiercely in your name, I'm afraid I'll come up short."
riverborntorun: (Good night/Maternal)

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-04 04:25 pm (UTC)(link)
His desperate clutch of her hand is startling, but only briefly. Really, it's a pleasant feeling, the warmth of his hands around hers again.

"I would never ask an apology for that, sir knight," she replied, shaking her head. "Each of your blows on the field I've carried proudly in my heart these weeks you've been gone. I share the same regret that we've been parted for so long. I...must confess, I feared that perhaps you had forgotten your promise. I am quite happy to be wrong."

Her free hand rested upon his shoulder as she gazed upon him fondly. "My knight. How wonderful it is to look upon you again. Have I crossed your mind at all in this time?"
cadcamlan: ([grown] bitty;)

[personal profile] cadcamlan 2013-12-04 04:43 pm (UTC)(link)
It's a relief to have her hand in his again. It's a relief to have her speaking fondly rather than actually chastising him.

"Often, Lady Song." And there's no hesitation in admitting it. There's no aversion to showing exactly what's been living in his heart, now he's back in her presence. "There was not a night passed I did not think on my promise to you."

One hand has to be relinquished from holding hers to fumble at the clasps holding his light armour in place. It takes a bit of extricating to get the well-preserved scarf from its spot over his heart.

"It has been-- consuming, Lady."
riverborntorun: (Beauty)

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-04 07:30 pm (UTC)(link)
His honest declarations pleased her, and she smiled down at him. Her fingertips brushed the scarf in his grasp. He's taken good care of it, she noted. And he kept it close. What might it feel like, pressed close to Sir Mordred's heart like that? She wondered.

River tilted her head at him, eyes wide with curiosity. "Consuming? Why, tell me more of this. Does it consume you even now?"
cadcamlan: ([grown])

[personal profile] cadcamlan 2013-12-05 01:00 am (UTC)(link)
She was still smiling. She was still allowing him to clutch her hand. She was looking on him with a calm sort of curiosity, still focused on him with intensity.

It felt like a piece of himself being restored. He hadn't expected that.

"It... it does, Lady." He wasn't certain he could kiss her fingers--that it was allowed while she evaluated him. His lips were pressed briefly instead to the scarf still tight in his grip. "I cannot close my eyes without the worry of you presenting yourself to me. I cannot-- breathe without wondering if you've thought of me in that moment as well."
riverborntorun: (Dressed up)

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-05 01:34 am (UTC)(link)
"Present my-- oh, Sir Mordred, I fear you'll make me blush," River said coyly. But the warmth that spread across her skin was not the weakness of a blush, but something else. Something she couldn't quite name yet.

"I have thought of you from time to time over these many weeks - but oh, I dare not tell you what I've thought. Minds can be wild things, you know." She sat herself beside him, her hand still upon his with the scarf.

"Perhaps...I will feel more comfortable if you do something for me. A test, if you will?"
cadcamlan: ([grown] bit;)

[personal profile] cadcamlan 2013-12-05 01:50 am (UTC)(link)
She had thought of him. That was all that mattered in the moment. The rest could come to him with time.

"Name it."

He almost dropped to his knees before her again. He was only kept in place by the fact she was so warm and close here beside the fire already.

"Name what you would have me do, Lady Song, and it shall be accomplished."
riverborntorun: (River Song Archaeologst)

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-05 01:56 am (UTC)(link)
"I have every faith in you, my knight," she said tenderly, gently taking the scarf from his grasp. She placed it upon her lap and began to fold it in thin overlaps.

"I am going to put this over your eyes - once I do, I want you to answer any and all questions I put to you. You must answer honestly, not what you think I want to hear or what is 'appropriate' to say. Are you ready?"
cadcamlan: ([grown] batty;)

[personal profile] cadcamlan 2013-12-05 02:07 am (UTC)(link)
"Of course."

What else was he going to say? What else could he say with her smiling at him, sitting just this close?

"Why... must my eyes be covered?"

Not that it changed his readiness. Not that he wasn't ready to set his safety into her hands completely for the moment.
riverborntorun: (Blue background)

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-05 02:22 am (UTC)(link)
"I don't want my appearance affecting your response, especially if I ask something embarrassing." River replied as she reached around his head and gently placed the fabric upon his eyes.

"Besides - sometimes we have to make sacrifices for things we care about. But I promise this is only temporary." She knotted it behind his head in a gentle knot.

"Tell me what you think of me."
cadcamlan: ([grown] bit;)

[personal profile] cadcamlan 2013-12-05 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
The tension took a moment to bleed from his shoulders at the loss of vision. There was no help for it. Being blind in his own context absolutely meant the intense likelihood of not coming back alive.

But he's not in his own context. He's in hers. He's in her room, quiet and safe from so much of what court meant.

Words come impulsively as he tilts his head, looking half like a wolf listening for his meal. "I think you're of a different breed, Lady Song. I think you're-- sharp enough to live in a more reckless fashion than half the people here. I-- think you're quite beautiful."
riverborntorun: (Thoughtful)

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-05 03:07 am (UTC)(link)
River smiled and tilted her head down, flattered though she knew he couldn't see her expression. "...Thank you."

She was quiet again, formulating her next question, or perhaps still stewing on his answer.

"From what you said earlier, it seems my beauty's been consuming your thoughts as of late. How did you manage with it while you were out patrolling?"
cadcamlan: ([grown] patter;)

[personal profile] cadcamlan 2013-12-05 03:22 am (UTC)(link)
The pause came less from a sense of propriety and more from a pondering over the question. His head tilted further, wondering over the words he didn't quite have.

"It's always been a pleasure to think on, Lady Song. A comfort while so... far from home."

It feels as if he's not quite hitting the point. There's a fairly youthful sort of clarity to his brow as his head tilts slightly deeper.
riverborntorun: (Blue Secrets)

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-05 03:34 am (UTC)(link)
"Tell me about it. A comfort in what way? Make me see myself through your eyes."

As if to encourage him, she placed both her hands upon his, voice soft and calm. She didn't mind waiting. But she gave him another option.

"Or tell me what it's like to be here with me now."
cadcamlan: ([grown] bit;)

[personal profile] cadcamlan 2013-12-05 03:43 am (UTC)(link)
He didn't flinch as her hands covered his. He only lifted his head, unseeing with the scarf still covering his eyes but face angling in what he guessed was the direction of hers.

"It was-- a comfort to think of your smile." His fingers shift under hers, thumb moving to catch hold and rub a delicate circle against her knuckle. "At night. When I was meant to be resting. It's-- impossible to rest, half the time, wanting to-- do something and having to lie still. It... helped to think on you. To think what-- you'd want me to do. To lie still and rest well and return to your side swiftly having behaved myself well."

The pause came for an almost absent lick of his lips, the slightest pause as his thumb squeezed tight around her hand.

"And now, Lady Song, it's-- I've not felt such-- relief to see anyone again in my life. It's-- so much warmer than the fire."
riverborntorun: (Good night/Maternal)

[personal profile] riverborntorun 2013-12-05 03:40 pm (UTC)(link)
"I believe I know the feeling," she admitted, warmth in her breast pulsed in time with her heartbeat. She squeezed his hand back with a sigh.

"There's been a gloom over my days the past few weeks. I thought at first it was merely the sour appearance of the court following the tournament, but I do believe it is something else. Something that has been missing...." She let her voice drift off as she looked at him, really looked at him, studying the tilt of his head, the slope of his brow, the shape of his lips...

"I am pleased to know that I am a good influence upon you, Sir Mordred. Perhaps this means that in time, others will see you as I do. Although, seeing as I am the only one gifted with such sight at the moment, I find myself tempted to monopolize you."

She tenderly reached a soft hand to his cheek, almost caressing his face as she slid her fingers beneath the scarf and pushed it up to his forehead. "The test may continue later. After so long, I didn't anticipate how much I missed your face as a whole, my knight."

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It happens!

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ooc;

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Re: ooc;

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Excellent! And happy New Year!

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5ever late

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