What appears below is being prepared for the current challenge at "The Tenth Daughter of Memory".
She strode over the polished floor of the corridor with the heavy footfall of a man. Tall, with a striking mane of red hair, piercing green eyes and the thin gold crown of the Westmarch on her brow, she was an imposing sight. Especially now, in her anger. She burst through the door to the throne room and the King's Ministers fled, knowing, as they did, that to displease her was to court disaster and even from a distance they could sense her foul mood.
The King watched her approach.
"Your arm bleeds and you have a bruise under your eye. Things did not go well?"
"Things never go well when dealing with brigands, my Lord. But, in the end, a resolution was reached that We approve of. We are pleased with the result."
"Is he dead? I can't afford to lose more Nobles, Katherine. You haven't killed him, have you? If you have done ..."
"No, Sigmund. He is fine. Unharmed. Well ... his armour may be dented in some small measure, but he lives."
The King seemed satisfied with her answer and sat back on his throne. Katherine, his new wife and queen, was a strong and strong willed woman, and as she settled members of her family into marriages throughout the Kingdom, she met resistance with force of arms. Her young cousin, Lady Diedre, had been betrothed to Aeldred, Duke of Clarence and he had refused the troth. Her bruises were evidence of her efforts to persuade him to stand to his obligation. Inherited or not, Aeldred held his title at the King's pleasure, and elements of 'noblesse oblige' meant that there were certain aspects of his life under direct control of his King - including and especially marriage. Queen Katherine knew the King needed Aeldred and the men he held at arms to balance off against the growing faction in the South that might rebel against Him. A marriage into the King's family was just the thing to cement relations.
Many of the high born Nobility were miffed at the King's choice for his Queen. They saw it as an erosion of their power and position. Or perhaps they felt an insult or that there was an obligation not fulfilled. Whatever the slight, real or imagined, they were going to rise up against Him, of that she was certain, but Aeldred's presence on the side of the King would slow them down, perhaps long enough for her to solidify power behind the King.
That, she knew, is what a good Queen does.