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HIM The Empress Asa

THE WEDDING CEREMONY

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The setting was perfection. A field of blue creeping myrtle surrounds the scene - the guests are seated facing an archway, which sits on a cliff overlooking the ocean. There is a calm and soothing breeze blowing from the water, as waves softly crash against the rocks below.

 

In the archway, Emperor Harald Thorstein I stands with Master Abdul Qadir. They are flanked by the members of the Emperor's Wedding Party, who look on as the ambient music which was playing stops. Master Qadir steps forward.

 

"My friends - I present to you Horiah al-Baqir, Empress Companion of Stormark, Empress Consort of Alexandria, Imperial Princess of Inis Meáin, Sultanah of Hatay, Duchess of Howitzstadt, Duchess of Normandie, Duchess of the Vaan Aujoen, Marchioness Thorstein, Countess of Araxion, Countess of Geshencht, Countess of Haldarsvik, Countess of Poitou, Countess of Wintergleam, Baronetess of Holmborg, Lady on Korsou, Lady of the Five Boroughs."

 

He takes a deep breath, and continues.

 

"Sit tight, there's more!"

 

A laugh breaks out as the Emperor and many others enjoy the relaxed atmosphere granted by the Master.

 

"Overlady of all Vikings, Overlady of all the Northern Land, Lady of the Northern Seas, Lady of the Battlefield, Lady of the Isles, Lady of the Highlands and the Islands, Lady of the Rivers and Lakes, Lady of the Heartland, Lady of the Land of Legends, Guardianess of Frigga Island, Guardianess of Freya's Necklace, Eternal Guardianess of the Lakes of Hurmu, Paramount Chieftainess of the Ancient Tribes of Hurmu, Guardianess of the Sacred Lakes, Lady of the Isle of Avalon, Lady of the Isle of Finistére, Chieftainess of all Chieftains, Sea-empress, Holder of the Lightningsword,

Keeper of the Silver Chalice, Keeper of the Spear of Destiny."

 

Once he's finally completed with the introduction, the music picks back up, playing the song "Highland Cathedral", an homage to the Empress' first husband and his Celtic heritage. Everyone rises as she is escorted down the aisle by her brother, Emperor Edgard II of Alexandria, and several members of her Bodyguard detachments from both Stormark and Alexandria.

 

The Empress is wearing a simple, yet elegant gown made of golden-colored silk and cotton. Her face and head are covered with a traditional hijab. Once she arrives at the archway, Edgard hands her arm to Harald - and the couple turns toward Master Qadir.

 

"In the times that we live in, having people that you can trust and rely on is the most important thing in life. True friendship is something to be cherished above all else. Without it, we are not complete. We are gathered here today to recognize the close ties between Emperor Harald Thorstein I, The Generous Giver - and Empress Asa the Beloved. They have gotten to know each other very well, and have been drawn close together. Today, we want to recognize the close tie between these two closest of friends, and demonstrate the power of the friendship binding them together. A marriage is not something to be entered into with haste or abandon - and above all, the bond of friendship is the most important for two people who pledge to spend their lives together. Love in its purest form, is friendship in its highest form."

 

He pauses for a moment, and looks to Harald.

 

"Are you ready to proceed, Your Most Imperial Majesty?"

 

Harald nods.

 

"Their Most Imperial Majesties will now recite their own vows to each other. We begin with Emperor Harald. When you are ready, Sire."

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Edgard stood in the front row, looking on as they are about to say the vows. His heart leapt inside of his chest, his face humid with the small emotion-filled tears that escaped his eyes as he escorted his beloved sister to the archway.

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Emperor Harald looked at Horiah. She truely looked smashing. He himself was wearing a magnificent regal Viking tunic made of azure-coloured silk and linen and a cardinal red silk cloak which was fastened by a Most Blessed Imperial Order of the Sacred Lakes brooch. His outfit was completed by the Insignia of the Grand and Glorious Imperial Order of the Two Silver Longships and the Triquetra of the Most Revered Imperial Order of Odin.

 

He had rehearsed His Marriage Vow to Horiah countless times but there is nothing that could prepare you for the real moment. After a couple of seconds of silence which seemed to last ages he commenced reciting His Marriage Vow to Horiah.

 

"Horiah, I love you. Today I give Myself to you in marriage and solemnly pledge that I shall, at all times, give you the best of Myself. Wholeheartedly accepting you the way you are, I shall ask of you no more than you can give.

 

I deeply admire you for the qualities, abilities, and outlook on life that you have, and shall never try to reshape you in a different image. I promise that I shall always cherish you, hold you in the highest regard and respect you as a person with your own interests, desires, and needs, and realize that they may sometimes be different, but are no less important than My own.

 

I promise that I shall always remain open to you, to let you see through the window of My personal world into My innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams, that I shall encourage and inspire you, laugh with you, comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle, grow along with you and be willing to face change as we both change.

 

And finally, I promise to love you in good times and in bad, with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how... completely and forever."

 

 

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"That was very beautiful, Harald. Now my turn."

 

She smiled at him as she recited her own vows.

 

"This past year has been the most difficult of my life. No woman should have to lose her husband, and doubly so when both are so young. You have been there for me when some whom I thought were friends failed. Through everything, you have remained a steadfast and noble friend. I cannot imagine anyone better than you to guard my life and my happiness - as well as the life and happiness of my daughter. You are my best friend, and I love you. No matter what joys and difficulties may lie ahead, you will always find me here, by your side."

 

Master Qadir wiped a tear from his eye.

 

"The pledge now, Horiah."

 

"Yes, Master. Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim. Harald, I offer myself to you in marriage in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Qur'an and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon Him. I pledge, in honesty and with sincerity, to be for you an obedient and faithful wife."

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Master Qadir steps forward, and addresses the crowd.

 

"It is our tradition for members of the couple's families to present speeches. We will begin with Horiah's Wali - her Guardian. Emperor Edgard - if you please, sir."

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Jacques found the vows very inspiring and was now busy looking for a hanky to give to his sister Caroline who's eyes were full with tears.

 

** Lovely vows, didn't you think Jacques?

* Yes indeed, my beloved sister. Here have my hanky.

** Thanks.

 

They set to hear Emperor Edgard's speech as Caroline wipes her tears away.

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After his time to speak was announced, Edgard hesitated a little as he got up, attempting to regain whatever little bit of composure he still had to speak. He quickly wiped his face with a handkerchief and sighed.

 

"Ed, go!" hurried his brother, Gus.

Edgard replied with a shush as he finally got up and turned towards the audience.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

For those of you that do not know me, I'm Edgard. Most of you might know me as a powerful leader, but today I am humbled before your presence in this beautiful ceremony as just Edgard - Horiah's guardian and faithful brother. On behalf of my sister and my now brother-in-law, I welcome you all to this ceremony.

 

Now as to my speech, Henry VIII said to each of his wives in turn - I’ll try not to keep you very long. *chuckles, some mlaughs from the audience*

 

I was told by my brother and by my close advisors the ABC and XYZ of public speaking: ABC - Always be confident and XYZ - Examine your zipper. *chuckles, audience laughs*

 

I must admit that standing here - speaking as the brother of the Bride today, is a much more daunting prospect than I am used to. The last talk I gave was hard enough - I was addressing the Alexandrian nation in regards to a bill that was being discussed in Parliament. Believe me, I am absolutely delighted to see so many familiar faces here today!

 

On behalf of my brother Enrique and myself - I would like to start by saying what a pleasure it is to welcome, on this very happy occasion friends and relatives of both families many who have travelled from the far reaches of the micronational world.

 

At this point I would like to mention one important person who is not here today.

 

My good and trusted friend Rob Davis - who passed away at his prime, we all know that he looks down upon us from the halls of Heaven proud of the way the happy couple have turned out on this their happy day.

 

I would like to say that Horiah is looking wonderful today - she's had a hard week leading up to the wedding. Not many people know this but she was constantly prepping me on what to do, what to say, when to say it, and I imagine that she probably may have lost her patience at some point. She says that I'm slower than a super-obese woman putting on her size 84 panties. *laughs, the audience laughs as well*

 

Angel - you are the sister any brother wants to have. You are understanding, supportive, loving, caring, incredible... there is no adjective in this world that can even comprehensively represent the amazing woman that you are. I love your sense of humor and down-to-earth nature. We have shared so many special memories together and I’m sure that there will be many more in the future - I love you in more ways than you can ever believe.

 

Today I am the proudest man in the whole world, seeing my sister looking so happy and radiant is a truly amazing experience. What compliments this happines even more is the fact that it is a good friend and brother like Harald that you have married.

 

When Harald asked for Angel's hand in marriage - I was elated. There isn't anyone else in this world whom I would have gladly and proudly allowed my wonderful sister to marry. I think Rob is looking down upon us, smiling with pride. This - this is a great and special moment for all of us.

 

It is also traditional - that at this point in today’s proceedings - that I should try to give these two people who are starting out on their married life together - some advice. I am not particularly qualified in this subject - I thought at first I could get some ideas by looking back in history to see what others might have said on this very complex subject. As you all know my history with marriages isn't quite clean - my first marriage in Alexandria almost ended in a civil war! *nervous laughter*

 

It seems to be a widely held belief by so called experts that a man is not complete until he has taken a wife – after he is married, he is finished.

 

Another quotation, I found said that marriage is a 50/50 partnership. I could not find out who made this statement, but whoever it was, they knew little about marriage... even less about mathematics, and nothing at all about women. *laughs with audience*

 

Harald and Angel - there is no challenge in a marriage that cannot be overcome by the following three - three word sentences - I was wrong - You were right - I love you.

 

May God bless both of you in this new adventure.

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The Empress approaches her brother, tears streaking down her face. She embraces him, then gives him a kiss on the cheek.

 

"That was wonderful, Ed. Thank you."

 

Master Qadir nods and then addresses the guests again.

 

"We now ask that the eldest sister of the Bride speak now. Your Majesty, Queen Ēma te Vāikona - please."

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With the Empress' sister looking overwhelmed and unable to speak at the moment, Master Qadir steps forward.

 

"It is obviously an emotional time. We can get back to you in a little while. In the meantime, I believe there are a couple of people from the Groom's side who wish to speak now. Your Majesty, please call forward your first guest."

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Emperor Harald rose from his seat.

 

"Horiah, Master Abdul Qadir, Most Honoured Guests;

 

My first guest who will present a speech at this joyeus occasion is a man who is, due to his intelligence, loyalty and kind heart, the perfect person to deliver a Wedding Speech. He is also a very good friend of mine: Chairman Richard Andelarion of Hurmu. Go ahead, Ric."

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Richard Andelarion stood up and walked slowly to the podium. He was followed by Ellendir, his servant, as moral support. Richard was very nervous. I’m not used to speak to large gatherings, he thought to himself.

 

“Your Most Imperial Majesties,”

 

He started and coughed. He realised that he had forgotten the wedding gifts. Oops! A bottle of water from the Lakes of Hurmu, and a crystal ball filled with Babkhan salt. Oh… when was he going to give the gifts? I’ll have to invite them to Hurmu or Babkha… Yeah. And he continued with his speech.

 

“First of all, I’d like to congratulate you two on this momentous occasion. [pause ]Not only because of you two, my lord and lady, are joined in marriage, but you also have the honour of being the first two persons joined in matrimony in Stormark.”

 

“By judging on the standing of this wedding, it will certainly be remembered for a very long time. For eternity! Stormark’s first wedding. The first wedding of the Emperor! Isn’t that something?

 

“I am so honoured for being a guest here. Looking at you standing there smiling… It brings joy to my heart. What two better people are to be joined in marriage?

 

“I am lost for words. I had planned for a great long speech, but no… I can’t talk. But I want to say that I am so happy for you. I am so happy that you’re getting married. It’s amazing, and I am glad to have witnessed your union.

 

“I would also like to thank Master Qadir for performing the ceremonies.

 

“Please forgive me, your Majesties, for me being so… I don’t know… lost for words. I am touched. It’s all too much.”

 

As Richard left the podium, he slipped. A nervous laughter broke out from his mouth. “I’m s-s-sorry” he stuttered. And he smiled towards the Emperor and Empress. Ellendir helped him up and they both hurried away from the podium, back to their places in the crowd.

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Emperor Harald rose from his chair again.

 

"Thank you for your speech, Chairman Andelarion."

 

He then turned to the audience.

 

"Ladies and Gentlemen, my second guest who will deliver a speech at this wonderful event is a very special lady whom I hold in very high regard. Ever since she entered Stormark she has highly active in the political life of this country and has served this Most Sovereign and Noble Viking Empire with distinction. Her name is: Her Most Sacred Majesty Aoife the Celt, Ard-Ri of Dún Gail Dara, Viking Princess of Stormark. Go ahead, Lady Aoife!!"

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Lady Aoife the Celt stood up and confidently walked to the podium. She was delighted that Emperor Harald had chosen her to deliver a speech at the Wedding.

 

"Imperial Cousin Harald, next time you ask Chairman Andelarion to present one of his most enlightening speeches, don't forget force feed him some chill pills by a

couple of Imperial Beserkers. Before his speech, of course."

 

* Audience laughs *

 

"Most Honoured Guests, it is my pleasure and privilege to address you on this very special occasion. I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for coming to celebrate this marriage with us. We are so happy that so many of our friends and relatives were able to come here to enjoy this splendid occasion with us."

 

"Today seems like a magical dream. This morning, Horiah was proudly walked down the aisle by her brother Edgard to marry Harald, the man whom she loves so much. It was so beautiful to watch them exchanging their vows on this fantastic location. It is marvellous seeing these two good people come together."

 

"May 4, 2007 is a day that will go down in history as the day that Horiah and Harald have set sail on their new voyage together discovering virgin lands untouched by time or space, testing both familiar and unfamiliar waters as well as celebrating their conquests together."

 

"The great Viking discoverer Leif Eriksson left Iceland with several ships, each ship had its own crew and responsibilities. Harald and Horiah's new journey can also be compared to the ships that accompanied Leif Eriksson. At times Horiah and Harald will travel in their own ship over seeing their own responsibilties but will meet to watch the sun rise and set on their joint ship more times than on their own separate ships."

 

"In their old world Horiah and Harald have found one another, laughed, cried, matured and have become even stronger as a result of each other, all in preparation for their new expeditions in their new world."

 

"Horiah and Harald, I would like to say that I really am absolutely delighted for the both of you. I wish you a very long and happy married life together. May your lives be entwined like the strong leaves of ivy on a high castle tower. May your joy never end like the circles of your wedding rings and I look forward to speaking at your golden wedding celebrations in 2057."

 

* She wipes a tear out of her eye *

 

"Harald and Horiah, there is something I need to ask you to do. I need to you to both stand. Now Harald place your hand on top of hers ..... Take a moment to feel how it feels," * pauses for a moment*, "because this will be the last time that you have the upper hand in this union!"

 

* Audience bursts into laughter. *

 

"May you, Horiah and Harald, always sail in the same direction, sharing aspirations, hopes, dreams, laughter and co-sharing all conquests. May your love be modern enough to survive the times but also old-fashioned enough to last forever.

 

I would like to end with the words from an ancient Celtic song. The translator is unknown, but I think this summarizes what I would like to say. It is called, 'Now you will feel no rain.'

 

Now you will feel no rain,

 

For each of you will be a shelter to the other.

 

Now you will feel no cold,

 

For each of you will be warmth to the other.

 

Now there is no loneliness for you;

 

Now there is no more loneliness.

 

Now you are two bodies,

 

But there is only one life before you.

 

Go now to your dwelling place,

 

To enter into your days together.

 

And may your days be good

 

And long on the earth.

 

It now gives me immense pleasure to invite you all to stand and give the bride and groom a very big hand.

 

To love, laughter and happiness ever after!"

 

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Wow, Richard Andelarion thought as he heard his queen's speech. She is such a skilled woman, and to invoke so many feelings in a speech - yes! Amazing! He blushed as his attempt at a speech. He stuttered - he slipped as he left the podium. Disgrace! Disgrace!

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Sitting discretely in the background, the King of Sangun reflected on the advantages of leaving the speechmaking to others. Better by far to be free to observe the fascinating ceremony unencumbered by such concerns, particularly when there was so much to take in. By the look of it a similar thought had probably occurred to the Chairman of Hurmu…

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Looking over at the Queen of Maloa, Master Qadir realizes that she is too emotional to speak for the moment.

 

"My friends, we will now conclude the Wedding Ceremony with the official signing of the Wedding Contract by their Majesties."

 

Harald steps forward and places his signature, and seal on the document - followed by Edgard and then finally, Horiah. Once everything is in order, Master Qadir holds the document aloft and proclaims:

 

"It gives me great pleasure to announce the joining of Harald Thorstein and Horiah al-Baqir in marriage! May their lives be full of love, understanding, and strength!! ALLAHU AKBAR!"

 

As they walk back down the aisle, arm-in-arm, the Emperor and Empress of Stormark are greeted with cheers from the guests, a lot of rose petals, and silver coins - a tradition amongst Sufis.

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HTVK user posted imageHTVK

 

 

AGVEHVNAuser posted imageLKSKPIM

 

 

Aqd-Nikah

 

"And give the women their mahr as a free gift."

 

Wedding Contract between:

 

His Most Imperial Majesty Harald Thorstein I the Generous Giver, The Eternal Sovereign Viking Emperor

 

AND

 

Her Most Imperial Majesty Empress Asa the Beloved

 

 

 

Let Our Family, Friends, and the World witness that on the Fourteenth Day of the Month Thrymheim in the Sixth Year of the Second Viking Age/16 Raby' al-THaany 1428 A.H at Ást Klettaveggur, Yrjar, Stormark the Most Sacred Covenant of Marriage was entered into between the Bride, Her Most Imperial Majesty Empress Asa the Beloved, and the Groom, His Most Imperial Majesty Harald Thorstein I the Generous Giver, The Eternal Sovereign Viking Emperor. Surrounded by Family and Friends, We Affirm Our Commitment to Each Other as Husband and Wife. Our Lives are now forever intertwined. We will celebrate all of the Passages of Life together with Joy and Reverence. In Times of Happiness We will cherish Each Other, and in Times of Trouble We will protect Each Other. Our Home will be a Place filled with Warmth and Light, shared freely with all who dwell there. We willingly enter into this Covenant of Companionship and Love: from this Day forward, we are as One.

 

As a token of His commitment to Her Most Imperial Majesty Empress Asa the Beloved His Most Imperial Majesty Harald Thorstein I the Generous Giver, The Eternal Sovereign Viking Emperor has, in accordance with the requirements of the Sufi Religion, agreed that He shall give Her Most Imperial Majesty Empress Asa the Beloved the following as dower:

 

Froya Farm in South Gulathing; and

 

Haldarsvik Isle, including all the land, and the right to all the islands' natural resources on the island itself, the continental shelf and the surrounding waters in Stormark's Exclusive Economic Zone; and

 

Exclusive fishing rights in the waters in Stormark's Exclusive Economic Zone surrounding Kejsarinna Asa Land; and

 

Port Chloe, including all the land, and the right to all natural resources, the continental shelf and the waters beyond its coast in Stormark's Exclusive Economic Zone; and

 

Her own Imperial Yacht; and

 

Her weight in silver.

 

His Most Imperial Majesty Harald Thorstein I the Generous Giver, The Eternal Sovereign Viking Emperor declares and grants for Himself, His Heirs and Successors that Her Most Imperial Majesty Empress Asa the Beloved shall have the right to retain the Titles that She will acquire in consequence of Her Marriage to His Most Imperial Majesty Harald Thorstein I the Generous Giver, The Eternal Sovereign Viking Emperor after divorce from Him or His demise.

 

His Most Imperial Majesty Harald Thorstein I the Generous Giver, The Eternal Sovereign Viking Emperor also declares that Deryacezamin will be made an autonomous country with Her Most Imperial Majesty Empress Asa the Beloved as Sultanah.

 

His Most Imperial Majesty Harald Thorstein I the Generous Giver, The Eternal Sovereign Viking Emperor shall allow Her Most Imperial Majesty Empress Asa the Beloved to follow Her faith, and shall also permit Her Most Imperial Highness Viking Princess Chloe to be raised a Sufi, and also declares that He will never interfere in matters concerning their Sufi Religion or attempt to convert either of them.

 

His Most Imperial Majesty Harald Thorstein I the Generous Giver, The Eternal Sovereign Viking Emperor shall, in accordance with the Sufi Religion, provide Her Most Imperial Majesty Empress Asa the Beloved with the lodging, clothing, and support appropriate for an Empress.

 

His Most Imperial Majesty Harald Thorstein I the Generous Giver, The Eternal Sovereign Viking Emperor hereby guarantees that He shall put at least sixty servants at the disposal of Her Most Imperial Majesty Empress Asa the Beloved to perform domestic chores and wait on Her.

 

His Most Imperial Majesty Harald Thorstein I the Generous Giver, The Eternal Sovereign Viking Emperor guarantees that Her Most Imperial Majesty Empress Asa the Beloved shall have an equal share of His time.

 

His Most Imperial Majesty Harald Thorstein I the Generous Giver, The Eternal Sovereign Viking Emperor hereby invests Her Most Imperial Majesty Empress Asa the Beloved authority as female head of the Imperial Household and shall in consequence thereof be free to run the Imperial Household as She sees fit.

 

user posted image

 

Harald Torsten I den Givmilde, genom Vikingalagarnas Nåd Evig och Enväldig Vikingakejsare av Vikingakejsardömet Stormark, och genom andra Höga Lagars Nåd Kung av Sina andra Riken och Kolonier.

 

 

user posted image

 

Edgard II R

 

 

user posted image

 

Åsa den Älskade, genom Vår Enväldigaste Herre Vikingakejsarens Nåd och Ädelmod, Ledsagande Kejsarinna av Stormark, Kejserlig Prinsessa av Inis Meáin, Hertiginna av Vaanöarna, Grevinna av Haldarsvik.

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At the end of the aisle, Master Qadir joins the now married couple.

 

"The Rukhsat Ceremony now begins!!"

 

The Guardian of the bride, Edgard kisses Horiah and wishes her well. He then gives Horiah's hand to Harald and asks him to protect her always.

 

"Final farewells are now welcome from all who wish to give them, before the couple departs."

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