Merida walks into the great hall after a hard day of riding Angus out in the forest. It had been a wonderful afternoon, with lots of chances for target practice, but now all she wanted was to have a nice hearty dinner and then hit the sack. Unfortunately, as she joined her family at the long banquet table, she could tell from the look on her mother's face that her plans were most likely going to have to be postponed.
"So mum," Merida said, sliding into her chair and deciding to just get whatever the bad news was out of the way. "What's that piece of parchment say?" She was referring to the letter that her mum was holding tightly in her hands.
"It's an announcement from Queen Elsa of Arendelle," her mother responds with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. "We have received an invitation to attend what she is calling an "Expo"--a sort of gathering of the kingdoms where everyone is supposed to bring examples of the progress and culture of their land."
"Sounds fun," Merida says, stuffing a roll into her mouth and feeling surprised that her mother doesn't look more happy about this. Her mum was usually thrilled at the idea of showing off their kingdom in it's best light. "When does it start?"
"That's just the problem," Queen Elinor responds, pushing her bangs and consequently her crown up off of her forehead, a nervous tick which Merida knew she reserved for only the direst of occasions. That, combined with the fact that she hadn't commented on Merida's table manners (or lack thereof) meant that she was terribly upset about something. "It's all ready begun! The messenger arrived late, and we were supposed to have contacted Queen Elsa long ago telling her that what we were going to be bringing. Now there's no time let her know if we're planning to attend or even to prepare anything!"
"I wouldn't worry about it too much," Merida tells her, not understanding why her mother was so ruffled. "Surely any Queen who's worth her salt wouldn't get her kilt in a bunch about a minor mishap like this--no offense, mum. I say we just load up the carriage with a few of your tapestries, bring along a tray or two Maudie's pastries, throw in the family tartan and go, simple as that."
Her mother looked absolutely scandalized by this speech, but fortunately Merida's father stepped in before things could get tense between them. "There's just one small problem lass," he told her. "Yer mother and I are supposed to be heading to a counsel of the tribes tomorrow. There's no way that we can make it."
"All right then, we'll just send a diplomatic apology back to Queen what's-her-name telling her why we can't come," Merida said, sitting back in her chair, not seeing what the issue is.
"Merida." Queen Elinor smoothed her bangs back again, letting Merida know that the solution wasn't going to be that easy, "as much as it pains me to say it, we're going to have to send you as our ambassador."
Merida, who had just taken a swig of watered down mead from her mug, instantly spat it back out. "You want me to be what
?!" She looked at her mother with wild eyes. "Ye can't be serious! Ambassadors are all diplomacy and tact--that's your sort of thing! I'm a horrible choice for an ambassador!"
"Merida, we don't have a choice," Queen Elinor responded, her knuckles turning white as she tightened her grip around her own goblet. "You're the only one who's available to go, and even though I'm allowing you as much of your freedom as possible, you still have duties as a princess which you must uphold."
Merida was about to protest again, but her father stepped in again. "Think of it this way Merry," he said, using his pet nickname for her. "You'll get to go out and explore new lands. You'll have a whole week all to yourself, to do whatever you like in Arendelle--"
"Within reason," Queen Elinor added quickly.
"You'll get to make new friends. You'll have some quality time with Angus." Merida started to smile as she considered what he was saying. This was starting to sound like a fun adventure. "And," he leaned in and whispered the last part, "you'll get a break from your mum's pestering and your brothers' antics for a whole week."
Merida jumped up from her seat. "All right, I'm in!" she cried, taking off for the door.
"Merida, where are you going?" her mother called after her, sounding slightly distressed.
"To pack! I'm goin' to Arendelle!"
About an hour later, Merida, dressed in her favorite dark green frock and her wool traveling cloak, mounted her steed, Angus. Her saddle bags were bulging with traveling supplies and, ironically enough, a few of the Queen's tapestries, a sack full of Maudie's pastries, and the family tartan.
Queen Elinor flitted about nervously. "You haven't forgotten anything, have you?"
"Nih, I've got everything," Merida responded confidently. "And even if I had, I don't think poor Angus could carry anything more."
"All right." Queen Elinor sighed, then took her daughter's hands. This was the first time that her child was going away all on her own for more than a day, and secretly she was worried sick. "Be safe. Don't take any unnecessary risks. Don't forget to carry the currency we gave you in different pockets in case you meet a pickpocket. Do remember to smile and try to be as diplomatic as possible--"
"Aw, just go have fun!" her father said, interrupting Queen Elinor's speech before she could work herself into a tizzy and giving Angus a firm slap on the flank to get him moving.
"Goodbye!" Queen Elinor called, waving to Merida as she took off towards the sunset. "I love you sweetheart!"
"Have a good time lassie," her father shouted, waving too.
"'Bye!" Merida waved to them, then turned forward in the saddle as she pointed Angus in the direction of Arendelle. Her adventure had just begun
((Hey everyone! Merida is off to the Expo-finally! To save time, I'm not going to be able to RP with anyone on her journey--she's got to get there pretty fast and will probably ride straight on through. But I'll post a journal saying what she's going to be doing at the Expo once I've conferred with Elsa, so hang tight! This Scottish monarch is about to bring some 'culture' to the Expo