glacial_queen: (Introspection)
Karla stood in front of her entire army, expression formal and solemn. Those who had been left behind to train had been recalled, as had those who had gone ahead to scout. It had taken several days, but Karla had not been willing to begin until every person who followed her was in attendance. Behind her were five shrouded boxes; small ones, not full-sized coffins. One each for the five dead, Blood, landen, enemy, and ally alike. Here, in death, they made no distinction. They were all the same now. All dead and gone.

No matter who they were or what they had done, they were probably leaving behind someone who would miss them, someone who loved them.

We have faced the first attack on our army, )

Once her speech was done, Karla stepped away from the hastily-constructed dais and gave permission for anyone to come up and make their final goodbyes. Their two dead would be returning to their homes, along with several hundred goldmarks for the family. The other three would be sent off with another group, to see if their families and identities could be found. Black Widows ambled through the crowd to see if anyone needed help with their grief, and, further away, a warm and hearty meal was waiting. Karla thought that her army would want food and company tonight.

[For folks what are in Kaeleer. NFB. SP for date night and general blah.]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/Keep)
The last time Karla had been here, she'd been incredibly nervous about how that evening would turn out and affect her future. Standing in the Keep tonight with a crowd of people around her--some of them almost complete strangers--made her almost laugh at how naive her fear had been the last time.

Her Offering was nothing. This was the completely terrifying night.

A small gong echoed through the room. Once. Twice. Thrice. Then, after a pause, a fourth time. Four times for the four sides of a Blood triangle, the fourth side being what was held within the other three. Like the three males--Steward, Master of the Guard, and Consort--who formed a strong, intimate triangle around a Queen.

Lord Mallory shuffled around, making certain that everyone was lined up according to Protocol, light Jewels to dark, first all the males and then the females. A pair of double doors opened in the rear of the room and Karla glided forward to take her place on a small dias, then turned to watch her friends--her Court--file in behind her.

She took a deep breath and completely ignored all of her future Steward's hard work and Protocol and called out, "Prince Regan, will you serve in the First Circle?"

And so it began.

[NFB for distance, some text taken from Heir to the Shadows, Chapt. 16]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/Keep)
Karla tried not to look nervous as the great doors to the Dark Altar opened in front of her. Inside, Opal witchlights danced in sconces, forming a path for her to follow, rather than illuminating what was within. This was very different than her Birthright Ceremony, where she'd had the company of her parents and several other children, where a Priestess had waited to accompany her into the Sanctuary and discuss what Jewel she wanted. That had taken place in the middle of the afternoon, with sunlight streaming through and picnics set up on the grass and her mother announcing to all and sundry Karla's paternity.

This was darkness and Darkness and she was alone. Here, she was going to prove her worth, her inner strength, and she didn't know what to expect. Children were coached through their Birthright Ceremony; no one spoke of the details of their Offering. It was too intensely personal.

"You must enter soon," Geoffrey told her, gently. He understood all too well the uncertainty in Karla's eyes. "From sundown to sunup, and it is nearly that time now."

Putting on a brave face and a careless smile, she looked back at the people who had assembled to witness this, perhaps the defining moment of her life.

"Kiss kiss," she said with a wink and a salute. "See you at dawn!"

And then the giant doors closed behind her.

[NFB, Post 1 of 2]
glacial_queen: (Amdarh)
It was almost time for then to catch their portal home, but Morton had cautiously decided that there was enough time to visit one more landen village before they left. Even Julian didn't have much a problem with this, mollified by the five Blood males (and seven females) that Karla had handwavily, because cons are exhausting offered a place in her First Circle, once she'd made her Offering.

Once there, they'd scattered to their respective duties with an ease that came with having done the same thing many times within the past two weeks. Karla took over whatever building was the largest, more interested in being a Healer than a Queen, taking care of whatever ailments came her way, either with Craft, mundane medicines, or just some brisk advice. Warren sat nearby, making sure she had plenty to eat and drink, while talking to the people about their problems and their woes, making sure they felt heard, understood, and cared for. People who might otherwise have been afraid to come to Karla were set at ease by his openness and, more importantly, his lack of Jewel.

Jono and Julian were teamed up elsewhere, talking frankly about the war that Karla would be bringing to Glacia, about her plans to depose the current Queen and her Ruling Council, and making it clear that any landen who wished to fight--or even learn to better defend his village--was welcome to join with them. Jono made it very clear that the landens that joined with them would be more than simply fodder for the Blood. Their willingness to fight for a Queen that would see them as people too had even Julian offering a grudging respect.

Morton was out in the fields, delivering the Queen's Gift to nourish the crops. A cupful of Karla's blood in a bucket of water was enough to give the tiny plants new life and fullness, ensuring that the village could meet their new tithes while still having enough leftover for themselves. And Kaelas remained outside of the village, keeping watch with his superior kindred senses, which he never failed to point out to their group of tiny noses and ineffectual teeth.

[NFB, and all PCs modded with permission. Violence and dark themes in the comments, because what would a trip to Glacia be without those?]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/Keep)
A lot of things had happened in Faerie since the weekend, when Leda, Karla, Blossom, and James had taken down the tyrant. A surrender had been negotiated. An ally had been buried. The rebuilding had begun.

Karla hadn't seen any of it. Immediately after her plea for clemency had been delivered, Blossom had taken her aside and proceeded to bully and browbeat her within an inch of her life. She'd been terrible. Blossom fights dirty, y'all. )

Yeah. So, that had happened. Even now that she was back to her normal size, Karla was not best pleased with Momoko for shriveling her. It was so...so...so stupid! She would have been even more upset if she didn't agree that her own behaviour had been equally stupid. Not then, she hadn't, of course. But time and distance (and food and rest and reflection) had done an excellent job of reminding her that she was a compulsive (and impulsive!) idiot.

Oh, and Warren had helped. Oh yes, he had made his feelings on the matter VERY CLEAR, pretty much from the moment that Blossom had shown up in Sunnydale.

Special Delivery! )

As Karla had started to stutter out another excuse, Warren had come to a decision of his own. He had calmly dropped her in his candyless shirt pocket, calmly proceeded to book a portal to Kaeleer, and calmly called the Hall to let Lucivar know that they would be arriving shortly--he'd needed to be somewhere he could hit things and not have to worry about pretending to be normal. Karla was pretty sure he'd also needed to be somewhere he could throttle her and not get arrested for it. They'd both known that when he finally dropped this illusion of calm, things were going to get violent.

And now, almost a full Kaeleeran week later, Karla still hadn't seen Warren since he'd handed a tiny her to Saetan. He'd been sleeping in the Consort suite with the door firmly locked between then and had risen each morning with the sun to go out to the grounds to work through his temper. For a week. Now Karla had a portal booked back to Fandom and she wasn't entirely sure she'd be seeing him before she left.

[Preplayed & co-written with [livejournal.com profile] heromaniac and [livejournal.com profile] not_a_parakeet who are rock stars, yo, and continued in comments with mega SP. Another post will go up (tomorrow?) for other folks who wish to yell.]
glacial_queen: (Laughter)
Karla had been packing for her move to Haven, to spend a few months being an unofficial Queen to a village full of refugee Black Widows. Had been, however, because 'packing' apparently meant 'getting chased of her chambers by Helene and several other maids while they packed because no guest leaving SaDiablo Hall would ever be seen unpacking the mess that Karla considered properly packed, which, for the record, she should be ashamed of herself for.' There had been more, but Karla had taken the better part of valour and scurried away to hide regally decamped to one of the gardens on the far side of the Hall.

Lesson learned: don't bundle up clothes and shove them into a pack. Hearth witches got testy about things like that.

She'd been hiding enjoying the sunlight for about an hour when the coven piled out of the Hall to find her. Apparently a package had arrived from Emma and if there was one thing they'd learned by now, mail from Emma meant embarrassment for some and hilarity for everyone else.

"Were you expecting anything?" "Is it from that store?" "Did she include a note?" "Open! Open it! Hurry! I want to see what she sent!" "Ten silvermarks says it's going to make the boyos blush!" "Too easy! Fifteen gold says it make ths High Lord put up an aural shield when he finds out about it." "Do you think this one runs on batteries, too? I want one like Karla has."

That last earned several scandalized gasps. "KALUSH!!!"

"What?" Kalush just laughed at them, tossing her dark hair over her shoulder. "Not all of us get to enjoy a lover before the summer is out, Karla. Morghann."

At which point Karla managed to open the box before the conversation could involve any further mention of her own purchases from Dite's. There was a moment of hushed silence as they stared at the contents of the package. Karla was the first to break down into giggles, especially when she saw that Emma had made sure to include a special adornment to show that they were meant to be Kaeleeran, err, candies. Her laughter triggered the others and soon they were laughing so hard there were tears in their eyes.

"The second one is for you lot to split amongst yourselves," Karla said, wiping her face. "Who wants to borrow a knife from the boyos so you can divvy it up?"

"No, no!" Gabrielle said between gasps. "We should wait until they're around and then take bites off of it!"

"Dibs on the tip!" Morghann said.

"And look!" Kalush announced, snagging a smaller package within the box. "Emma sent batteries, too!" Which just set Karla to facepalming and the rest of them to laughing even harder. Yup. Embarrassing one, amusing to everyone else. Good show.

[NFB, open for folks in Kaeleer, phone calls, whatever! Second and third links NSFW!]
glacial_queen: (Pony!)
So, one of the the interesting things about way Kaeleeran time lined up with Fandom's? Weird bouts of Fandom whimsy that usually affected everyone while they were asleep on the island could sweep through and affect its farflung residents at any time.

Like, say, tea. You know, one minute someone--for example, Karla--could be sitting on a windowseat, devouring both her latest book and honeycakes, and the next minute she could be on the floor along with everything else, too big for the windowseat and to lacking in hands to keep holding the book and cakes. The less said about what happened to her clothing, the better. Everyone else in the room not similarly changed would have to settle for being dumbstruck, because while they'd all heard of the funny little tricks the island liked to play, this was the first time they got to see it in action.

The other really interesting thing about the way Kaeleeran time lined up with Fandom's? They "got" to stay ponies for four days instead of two.

Huzzah.

[For them who are in Kaeleer with her, and phone calls if they can be managed!]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/Keep)
The first week Karla, Warren, and Raven had been back, they had been granted a leave on lessons. After all, Warren and Raven had just graduated from high school and that was an accomplishment of some note. Even Lucivar had announced his morning exercises for the week were voluntary only, making the three of them (okay, Raven and Warren) immediately popular among the coven and boyos.

Granted, calling the lessons "voluntary" was kind of a joke, because Lucivar was a prick, but it was the thought that counted.

The following week, however, it was business as usual, or, rather lessons as usual. Though Karla was the youngest at eighteen, Saetan had a firm rule that while Jaenelle's friends stayed at the Hall, they took lessons. The coven and boyos privately agreed that it was a last-ditch attempt to keep them out of mischief while they stayed, but since they'd all run off the most obnoxious of tutors years ago, the lessons that remained were no hardship.

And some, like Protocol, were necessary. Especially when dealing with the kind of Protocol only found in Courts. Some Protocol lessons were taken together, polishing the give and take between the sexes in a Court. Others, like this one, were separate, with the boyos sitting down and learning about what it was like to act as Consorts to Queens. Granted, Saetan hadn't been a Consort in over fifty thousand years, but that didn't matter. Saetan was the foremost expert on Protocol, then and now.
glacial_queen: (Gentle)
Invitations had gone out, letting people know that Karla was planning to take a trip back to Kaeleer. Nothing special, just a short day-long trip, complete with picnic.

Of course, that was nothing special if you didn't know about the kind of picnic Mrs. Beale was capable of putting together with a bit of notice. Or if you weren't impressed with visiting unicorns all day. Whichever.

The portal opened up at the Hall, where the staff was packing up a single Coach with all of the supplies a group that size might need: sweetfeed, sugar cubes, apples, carrots--and provender for the picnickers, too. Guests would find themselves ushered into other Coaches; large wheeled conveyances that were powered by Craft and could be drawn by horses on roads or powered by Craft to travel over the Winds. Karla, Jaenelle, and Lucivar were not there to greet the Fandom folks; the latter two had gone ahead to ready everything on Sceval's end, and the former had vanished that morning, offering apologies and deliberately vague explanations of an errand that needed running.

Not that anyone at the Hall was going to let her absence slow down their timetable any. As soon as the last person was seated and comfortable and the last basket stowed, the Coaches took off, catching the nearby Opal Wind to speed them along.

The ride was on the longish side, lasting about an hour--apologies had been made, but Sceval was a closed Territory and portals were not permitted--but soon enough they were touching down again. This time, there was no extended hike through the woods, the Coaches landed in a large open meadow, next to a cheerful brook. Large blankets were already laid out, and the coachmen clambered down to open the doors and then begin unpacking the mountains of food they'd brought.

There were two people waiting for everyone when they climbed out. One was Karla, the other was a solemn dark-haired girl who looked about eight or nine. She gave the assembled group a tremulous smile and clutched Karla's hand tightly. Karla gave her a fond smile before looking up at her assembled friends.

"Welcome to Sceval," she said, waving with her free hand. "Lucivar and Jaenelle are already out visiting the herd, which you're welcome to do. There's food to eat if you're hungry and plenty of places to explore if you get restless. I didn't, uhh, plan any activities, so hopefully there's enough here to keep you entertained!"

[NFB for off-islandness]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/Keep)
After the debacle of Agio (and the even more debacle-y aftermath), Karla had promised to keep Saetan, Lucivar, and Morton apprised of major events at Fandom. She might often interpret that promise as conveniently as possible, but there was no way that even she could spin the end of all creation as something other that a 'major event.' Which was why two months after reality had been repaired, she was standing in Saetan's office, telling them what had happened in stark and painful detail. Of course, since what had happened had affected all of Kaeleer, even if they didn't know it, Karla was not delivering her report to Saetan alone, or even Saetan and Lucivar. No, Jaenelle and several members of the coven and the boyos had all crowded in, too, and were listening to her clustered in the chairs at the back of his office.

It could have been worse. There might not have been a Kaeleer to return back to. Or the split between her and Warren could have been permanent, leaving her to stand in front of the High Lord's great blackwood desk alone while spilling out the story. It was comforting, having him beside her, so she could reach out and hold his hand for comfort at a few parts.

Karla had done all of the speaking up until this point, laying out all of what had happened in sparse detail. They had heard the entirety of the account, all the way up to remembering the universe back into existence without interrupting, but she didn't think that silence was going to last for very long, not as her story wound down to an end. From the shifting behind her and the faces that Saetan and Lucivar had made at various points in her tale, once she stopped talking, she was going to face a torrent of words.

Most of them probably invectives. At least from Lucivar. )

[Preplayed with the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] not_a_parakeet. TBC in comments. Apologies, was supposed to be up yesterday (and completed), but I sort of failed at availability this week.]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/Keep)
After getting the news from Dinah yesterday, Karla was more determined than ever to head back home and see what she could dig up about the legend of Zuul. Only a legend, as far as she knew, passed down to young Queens as a warning, but there were too many pieces that fit together. The mass disappearances. The erasure of everything having to do with the vanished people. It would be stupid to just dismiss this all out of hand if there was even the slightest hope of finding something useful.

And Karla couldn't deny the rather morbid drive to discover just how much of Kaeleer had gone missing. It was hard to think of everything to ask after in a letter.

Fortunately, even with Portalocity as messed up as it was, Karla had a means of transport available. Raven had agreed to bring her here in exchange for Karla accompanying her to Jono's world. Of course, judging by the way Raven looked right now, maybe this trip wasn't the best idea ever, either.

"You okay?" Karla asked, ignoring the Keep for the moment--and the rising tide of nausea she'd had ever since they'd entered the Netherverse. "Being here bringing up bad memories, or--?"

Yeah. Karla remembered what had happened the last time bits of reality had gone missing.

[NFB for distance and for me, myself, I, and one other, please!]
glacial_queen: (Gym-work)
The construction of the first of the refugee villages was continuing apace when the portal from Fandom arrived. In the time since school had begun again, the hired workers had managed to clear the land granted to them by Lasfaeran and also dig and fortify the foundations of the buildings. Arcerian cats prowled the site; they were not interested in helping, for the most part, but were getting used to having such a large and noisy number of humans nearby. The humans were also getting used to having such a large and silent number of Arcerians nearby, though they were perhaps adjusting with a little less grace than the kindred.

It was hard not to notice when you were outweighed and outmatched--and, in a number of cases, outranked as well.

Even with the impressive amount of progress that had been made in her absence, Karla could see there was still a lot to do. There was land cleared for crops, but it hadn't been readied for actual planting yet. Some few of the buildings had been framed, but nothing more than that. There were holes dug for posts, but none of the livestock pens had been put up yet. Wells had been dug, as well as sewage lines and irrigation ditches, but they still needed reinforcement and care.

Pushing up her sleeves, Karla grabbed a hammer and got to work. This was going to be a home for her people and, dammit, she wasn't going to stand around supervising all day. For the most part, she had no idea what she was doing, but she could follow instructions.

Eventually, the foreman got over the fact that he was hollering at a Queen and began ordering her about with the same caustic language as everyone else.

[Open to anyone Karla would have called, texted, emailed, or whatever to invite for a few days worth of Habitat for Humanity type work in Kaeleer. If you think you got a call, you did! NFB for off-island.]
glacial_queen: (Serious queen)
The Queen of Arceria was huge. No, really, really huge. Her shoulders were level with Warren's chest, and her head was almost as wide. She easily weighed over a seven hundred pounds, her claws were roughly the size of Karla's fingers and her teeth--well, okay, Karla didn't exactly have a good measurement for her teeth because when the Queen had yawned as they entered, Karla's mind had gone blank, save for a very small voice that said, Please don't let her want to eat me!

It was quickly followed by a darted glance at the half-grown Kaelas and a Will he get that big, too?

That thought, though it had nothing to do with being devoured by a giant, fluffy, four-legged Green-Jeweled witch, was still terrifying in its own way.

After all of the formal observations were out of the way--and the kindred didn't go for formal much, thank the Darkness--Karla walked slowly forward to beg the help of the only Queen in Kaeleer who could probably help her. Begging: something she didn't do very well. Begging while intimidated: something she dealt with even worse. This was going to be awesome. )

"And so, Lady, the final decision rests upon you. Please, will you help me save my people?"

Once again, the Arcerian Queen yawned, showing off an impressive set of fangs. *Arceria hears Glacia's request for aid,* she sent on a public psychic thread. *But Arceria refuses. Thank you for your visit, Lady Karla. Good luck.*

[NFB & for them what are in Arceria with her!]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/Keep)
It had taken the awhile, but they were finally back in Kaeleer--just in the nick of time, too; Karla had her diplomatic meeting with the Queen of Arceria the following morning. Technically, Karla should have been preparing for that, going over supply lists, touching base with Morton and Julian about the situation in Glacia, and otherwise making herself useful.

She'd get to all that in a little while. Really. Almost as soon as she got to the house. But for right now, she was standing at the end of the Hall's great driveway waiting for Tara's portal to arrive. Good luck (or perhaps a hefty bribe fee) had gotten a portal from Fandom arriving no more than ten minutes before Tara's portal was scheduled. She'd gotten permission from Uncle Saetan to have Tara stay for a few days. She hadn't even had to go into the circumstances around Tara's request; Saetan was still very appreciative of the help Tara had given when they'd been searching for Karla last year. A psychic thread to Beale in the Hall affirmed that their rooms were all ready for them and that Holt was bringing one of the carriages down the half-mile from the house to the end of the driveway; one big enough to fit four students and whatever luggage they'd brought back with them.

Now all they had to do was wait.

"Is it time yet?"

Karla sucked at patience.

[For one Wiccan witch, and those that are there in Kaeleer with them, should they like!]
glacial_queen: (Huffy)
Hell's fire and Mother Night. When Karla had left Fandom, she'd expected to be tired and run ragged. However, she'd been thinking she'd get that way by dashing across Glacia saving Black Widows, fighting Hobart's idiots, and building a village for the refugees to settle into.

Hopefully they'd get around to doing that soon.

Instead, her time had been spent searching for a suitable location in Arceria, gathering the necessary supplies to start building said village, researching, arguing with Morton, and, of course, meeting after meeting after meeting. It was exhausting, and she didn't even have any concrete feeling of accomplishment after it all--well, sure, now she had a rough idea of how much farmland a village of a few hundred people needed and knew more about sanitation procedures than she'd ever really wanted, but neither of those carried the same weight as actually, you know, saving lives.

And now after yet another fight with Morton, Karla had a headache and wanted nothing more than to take a nap for an hour or so--preferably while curled up around Warren. Except to do that, they had to both stand in front of Saetan and declare themselves as lovers; something they hadn't yet had a chance to so, what with running hither and yon for the past few weeks. Honestly, it was one of the last things she wanted to do just for the privilege of taking a nap in her boyfriend's bed, but Karla also knew that she'd get off easier if she blew up the kitchen again than if she broke this rule of Saetan's.

So rather than napping or snuggling as she wanted, Karla was hanging around the Hall, waiting to ambush Warren and tell him they had to go announce to the Hall's patriarch that they intended to sleep together while still under his roof. This would hardly be awkward at all!

[NFB & for one, please.]
glacial_queen: (Please Just Listen to Me)
The meeting took place after dark. For all that the Hall was filled with dark power that had seeped into its very stones, it was still easier for the demon-dead to arrive after the sun had set. Several bottles of yarbarah were already warming--this might be a war council, but Mrs. Beale would never allow Mephis, Prothvar, and Andulvar to go without refreshment.

All war councils need tea and cookies )

[Establishy, unless them that are there wish to talk to people! NFB.]
glacial_queen: (Forlorn)
No, you must stay. Stay and wait for the message. You will be needed.

Tersa's parting words as Karla had left the cottage. And Karla had listened, staying at the Hall and waiting for...something. Anything. Some kind of message, though she hadn't known from who or about what.

And then, today, that message had come. )
[NFI, NFB, OOC is love!]
glacial_queen: (Hesitant)
This was...well, this was weird.

When Karla had received a letter from Uncle Saetan summoning her home, she'd assumed that she'd been summoned home to talk to him. Which, considering her currently mixed up feelings in regards to Jaenelle, had caused no little trepidation on its own. Arriving at the Hall to find out that it wasn't the Hall Lord that had required her presence but someone else entirely had been, well, weird.

She'd heard of Jaenelle's Black Widow friend who lived in a snug cottage in the village of course. Jaenelle had wandered into the Twisted Kingdom to help lead Tersa out, as far as the broken Black Widow was willing to come, at least. Wise, by what Jaenelle had said, and trustworthy, but that still didn't answer the question as why she'd want to talk to Karla.

But with both Saetan and Jaenelle adamant she go talk to Tersa--though Jaenelle's insistence had kind of raised Karla's hackles a bit and she might have gotten just the tiiiiiiniest bit snippy--she was pushing aside her confusion and knocking on the cottage door.

[NFB, please]

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