glacial_queen: (Bring It)
"I want to go to Fandom, dammit!" Karla and Warren were arguing again. This had been happening more and more often as the temperature climbed, the humidity set in, and the baby they were still referring to as Nommy stubbornly remained where he was. Kayla had been more than a week late; it looked like her brother was going to try to beat that record. Why had Karla been cursed with such stubborn children? "Dammit, Warren, I wasn't asking for permission, I was informing you of my plans!"

No, really, she had no idea where they got it from.

Warren flared his wings, glad the molt had come and gone so that gesture was back to being intimidating, rather than pathetic. Not that Karla had ever been particularly intimidated by it. "It's spring," he growled. "And you still don't have Craft. Fandom's dangerous in the spring and I'm not going to have you trapped on the island while Portalocity sits on its thumbs during another crisis! A crisis you won't have Craft for!"

He understood that she was going stir-crazy in the estate; the last few weeks of carrying Kayla had been hard for her as well and she often felt suffocated by the overenthusiastic protection of the Court. But just because she was impatient to get away and see their friends again did not make it a good idea.

"Call Raven!" Karla snapped, hands on her hips. "She'll want to come with me anyway! And if Portalocity bails on us, she can bring me home!"

"Right, because a trip through the Netherverse is always a great--"

"Call Raven!" Karla's hands moved from her hips to her stomach.

"Karla, I'm really not comfortable--"

"No," she said, face going pale and breath hitching up. "I mean, call Raven. Your son had decided he doesn't want to visit the island today either."

Warren gaped at Karla for a second before his brain finished parsing what she meant. "Right!" he said, sweeping her up into his arms to run to the birthing chamber. Karla would have protested, but if this time went like last, she'd get plenty of walking in before this was all over with.

[For the empath, please! NFB for distance]
glacial_queen: (Your Majesty)
Lucivar stormed into Saetan's study at the Hall and slammed the door behind him, snarling something incoherent. Karla, alone in the study, just raised an eyebrow at him and set aside the papers she'd been reading, leaning back in Uncle Saetan's comfortable chair. "Yes?" she drawled.

"What the Hell are you doing in here?" Lucivar snapped, temper punctured by seeing Karla sitting where he was expecting his father.Half the reason I'm adapting this plotline is for all the scenes that Lucivar and Karla get to have together, no lie. )
glacial_queen: (Forlorn)
The sun had set by the time Karla was washing the blood off her hands and leaving Marian resting in a deep and dreamless sleep that would help her Heal and provide her with at least one night's rest without being plagued by nightmares. Karla had tried to cushion the memories of what had happened to her, push them away to relieve them of the immediacy that they would otherwise have, but anything more than that she was unwilling to do. The woman--Marian, her name is Marian, she has a name, is a person, not just a convenience!--had already undergone enough trauma for one day without violating her mind, too.

This is why Terreille can't have nice things. )
glacial_queen: (The Hall/The Keep/The Estate)
Jaenelle was not back in the Keep by the time Karla's portal returned, but Saetan was. "You got a letter, too?" she asked, giving her adopted uncle an exasperated smile.

"Indeed," he crooned, his eyes a frozen yellow, rather than their usual rich gold. "And I went to the Keep in Terreille before coming here. She wasn't there. When my Lady arrives, she will be in no doubt about how I feel about her entering enemy territory without even a single escort with her."

Normally Karla might have challenged him... )

"Come find me when you're ready," Karla said, turning to head towards a Healing room and giving Jaenelle her space. "Take all the time you need." Just from the wounds Karla could see, she'd need all the time she could get for this Healing.

[NFI, NFB, OOC is AOK! Adapted from Chapter Three of "Prince of Ebon Rih" by Anne Bishop. Karla's barely even in this story, but why would I let something as little as THAT stop me!]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/The Keep/The Estate)
Karla had received a note. It had appeared on her desk with neither her Steward nor her maids certain how it had gotten there. The half-sheet of parchment had been folded into thirds and sealed with a few drops of black wax. She'd been a hesitant to open it, a hesitation that had only grown when she'd picked it up. There was a foreboding and a bone-deep rage trapped in the fibers. That it was Jaenelle's did not make Karla feel much better.

Karla,
Meet me at the Keep at dawn. Your expertise will be required.
Jaenelle


Taking a deep breath, Karla vanished the note and sent commands for a Coach to be readied for her immediate departure. Jaenelle was expecting her at dawn, but Karla wasn't one to wait. Not when she could feel the coldness of Jaenelle's fury as an ache in her fingers. She could think of the kind of expertise Jaenelle might require from a Queen who was also a triply-aspected witch--and also the kind that she might require from Karla and her years in Fandom. What she didn't know what why.

But she brooded over that, for the entirety of the Coach ride to Askavi. Oh yes. )

Not trusting herself to speak, Karla nodded, and exited the common room. She was unsurprised to see a portal already irising open. Stepping into it left her feeling like she'd stepped into a cage. In a way, she had. But she had made the choice to obey her Queen. That was the only thing that made stepping through to Fandom tolerable. That and the knowledge that dawn would arrive much more quickly on the island, long before her patience splintered into dust.

[Text adapted, spindled, and mutilated from "Prince of Ebon Rih", Chapter Two by Anne Bishop. Open for phone calls and texts]
glacial_queen: (That's Just Fucked Up)
An assassination attempt. There was no way around it, that's exactly what she'd faced today. Someone or someones had wanted her dead and had fabricated an elaborate scheme to get her isolated and vulnerable. With most of her First Circle and the most powerful Healers in Sidra en route to the mountains in the north, she would have been easy pickings for anyone who'd stumbled over her in the wake of the crash. Blood shields protected against invasive harm--none of the shards of glass or splintered wooden stakes would have penetrated--but that wouldn't have protected her from impact damage. The Coach had crashed and rolled with enough force to shatter bones, pulverize ribs, induce unconsciousness...With just Craft at their disposal, even if they had survived the crash, they likely wouldn't have been in any shape to pull themselves out of the River Sid. The depth and current alone claimed lives of several perfectly healthy people every year.

Wrapped once more in her warm, blue bathrobe, Karla sat in front of the fire and tried to make sense of everything. Her maid was hovering around her, trying to convince her to eat, but Karla wasn't interested in her food. Her stomach twisted at the very notion. Trying to figure out who wanted her dead? It might be easier trying to figure out who didn't.

Home sweet home )

[Post 3/3 and thanks to everyone who read and, of course, to [livejournal.com profile] trigons_child and [livejournal.com profile] not_a_parakeet for being invaluable. NFI, NFB, OOc is love!]
glacial_queen: (Dinnertime)
One of the most difficult skills one needed to cultivate as Queen was the ability to look interested and focused on anything, even while your brain was elsewhere--in Karla's case, hundreds of leagues away, fretting over several small villages that had been covered in an avalanche. While all she wanted to do was remain at the estate, continuing to go over emergency relief plans, she was here instead, smiling and nodding and being overall a gracious and sociable Queen. Raven's luncheon for the caretakers and staff of various Sidran orphanages and children's homes had been a rousing success, raising funds from aristos who wanted to be seen as 'charitable' and raising morale for the people who actually did the hard work in the institutions themselves. Several grinning orphans were there, too, lucky enough to have earned a lunch with their Queen and the Court Healer, the woman who was putting in all the real effort into making things better for children across Glacia.

This was a good event and an important one, one that Karla and Raven had both been looking forward to for weeks, but right now it was all Karla could do not to gnash her teeth in impatience. How much longer did they have to stand here and smile and glad-hand when there were actual lives in danger?

And if this was how Karla was feeling, how much worse was it for Raven, who could teleport up north with a thought and start healing people immediately, if only they didn't have to be here right now?

Meanwhile, up in the mountains... )

[Part 2 of 3. Thanks to both [livejournal.com profile] furnaceface and [livejournal.com profile] trigons_child for their wonderful help with this preplay. NFI, NFB, OOC is enjoyed. Warning for violence and NPC death].
glacial_queen: (Talking 3)
After another night of difficulty falling asleep and rest troubled by vague and disquieting dreams (all thanks to one errant Consort who was now several days past due and not answering his damn phone!), Karla had opted for a late breakfast in bed this morning. There was nothing wrong with enjoying some of the perks of being Queen of an entire Territory, dammit, especially when she was just a few hours away from having to get dressed to visit Sidra for Raven's orphanage fundraiser and luncheon. Why get dressed just to have breakfast when she was just going to have to change into something obnoxiously formal and fancy in a little while anyway?

She'd just finished letting her contraceptive brew steep when a psychic thread stabbed into her shields hard enough to make her jerk. Hot tea scalded her hand leaving a bright red mark behind, but that was nothing compared to the news she was receiving.

*Lady!* Mallory 'shouted' into her skull. *There's been an avalanche in the north! At least one village has been lost, their Queen is dead, and possibly more than one. I'm getting multiple reports on psychic threads, requests for assistance, everything. I'm heading back to the estate now,* Mallory continued. He'd been in Sidra, overseeing the last of the preparations for the afternoon. *But here's everything I know so far.* The information he relayed was grim, as was his reminder that this was all early news yet. It would likely only become more bleak as the day went on.

At the word 'avalanche,' Karla had flung herself out of bed, breakfast forgotten. By the time he'd gotten to the estimated casualties--in the hundreds, perhaps thousands--Karla had thrown on her bathrobe, opened the doors to her suite, and started shouting orders to whatever members of estate staff were nearby. She needed members of her First Circle, maps of the region, lists of emergency supplies, names of Healers with experience in these kinds of situations, whatever was necessary to assist her people.

So much for the perks of being a Queen. )

[NFI, NFB, OOC is love. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] furnaceface for preplaying! Part 1/3]
glacial_queen: (Princess)
Karla stood on the rocky bits of the beach, watching the expensive rug sink slowly into the ocean. She was glad she'd gone with the extra rocks; it had been tough to maneuver them into the carpet along with the other bit of trash occupying the middle, but it was always better to be safe than sorry.

Taking out a cigarette she'd bummed off of one of the clients at the Magic Box, she lit it and drew in a deep lungful of smoke. This was her first cigarette and probably her last, but she'd always been forbidden to smoke because of the damage she could do to her voice. As far as she was concerned, she could never sing another note and she'd still be perfectly happy, but, really, this thing tasted terrible. But it was worth it, taking slow draws off a forbidden cigarette while she said goodbye to everything tying them to this terrible place.

Angelface had been expecting her, of course. His ultimatum had been clear. Either she marry him or he would auction Elsa off to the highest bidder. Honestly, it wasn't even a choice. When it came down to her sister or her country, Elsa would win a hundred times over.

Funny, even knowing who she was and what she was; even knowing her predilection for arson when it came to keeping her sister safe, Angelface had still been surprised when she'd reached for the champagne bottle he'd gotten to mark the occasion. A happy surprise, when she'd reached for it. He'd obviously thought she was going to try to make the best of a bad bargain. A pained surprise when she'd slammed it into his temple. And then nothing at all as she'd kept hitting him until the bottle had broken.

She'd been tempted to leave him there for the morning crew to find, but the last thing she wanted to do was upset the staff at the Magic Box any more than they already would. Sure, Rita probably would have handled it as soon as she stopped dancing around the corpse, but Karla was determined to take care of it herself. The carpet had been heavier than she'd expected, even before she'd tucked his body and the broken champagne bottle into it, but Karla was stubborn.

A lot of heavy-lifting, a fair bit of grunting, and one stolen rickshaw later, she'd managed to bring Angelface's body up to the top of these rocks here and push it into the ocean. Her bloody costume had gone with it. And once Angelface's dead weight and the weight of the rocks pulled the carpet and its contents down under the ocean, Karla finally remembered what it felt like to be free.

She took one more drag off the cigarette and flicked it into the water after Angelface, then spat after it. Ridding the cigarette taste from her mouth or something more metaphorical, Karla wasn't sure. She didn't have time to waste up here to figure it out, either. Elsa was waiting for her in front of the train station, tickets to the Freya in one pocket and her princess tiara and the Arendelle crown jewel in the other. Those were the only two items that remained in their possession that could support their claim as to who they were.

As the sky to the east lightened and the rain slacked off a bit, Karla let herself smile. Home. They were finally going home.

[Establishy, NFI, NFB. Angelface and Elsa modded with permission]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/The Keep/The Estate)
It was fitting that they were here on tonight of all nights. Unlike the rest of the Realms who were drinking the blooded rum and dancing in honor of Witch (or, at least giving lip service to the idea), tonight those closest to Witch were gathered in the Keep to honor her a little more concretely.

Tonight, the first night of Winsol, they had gathered to the Dark Throne to see Jaenelle form her Court and become Queen of Ebon Askavi.

Telling herself she wasn't nervous--and why should she be nervous, this was her friend, this was Jaenelle, surely wearing the Ebony was no different than wearing thirteen uncut Black Jewels. Either way it was more power than Karla could really even contemplate, so what was the big deal really even if, sure, there had never been anything like this in the entire history of the Blood.

Right, so, anyway, telling herself she wasn't nervous despite the pounding heart, the sweaty palms, and internal monologue that raced along a million miles a minute, Karla entered the large stone chamber that Draca had indicated was the place where the invited guests were to wait until they were summoned to the Dark Throne. Except for the blackwood pillars that contained the candle-lights and a few long tables against the walls that held assorted beverages, the room was bare of furniture.

In which canon progresses! )
A gong sounded throughout the Keep. Once. Twice. Thrice. Then, after a pause, a fourth time.

Four times for the four sides of the Blood triangle, the fourth side being what was held within the other three. Like the three males--Steward, Master of the Guard, and Consort/Escort--who formed a strong, intimate triangle around a Queen.

At the back of the room, huge double doors opened outward, revealing a dark emptiness.

Paying no attention to the hesitant stirring around him, Saetan set his glass aside, smoothed his hair one final time, and straightened his new clothes. Since Protocol dictated that processions went from light Jewels to dark, first all the males and then the females, he probably figured he would be at the end of the male line.

Karla and Lucivar exchanged a look and then Lucivar poked his father in the side. )

Saetan had stayed below a little longer than the rest, lingering to talk to Lorn until Lucivar had stormed downstairs and demanded that Saetan come up and keep Karla from picking on him--though he couched it in threats, of course.

With a smile, Saetan followed his youngest son up the stairs to the upper chamber, where he accepted a glass of yarbarah and looked at the animated, laughing faces that now ruled Kaeleer. He wondered what Lorn thought about the many-strand web Jaenelle had woven over Kaeleer, the web that had called so many races out of the mist they'd hidden in for thousands of years.

And, like Karla, he wondered what the Dark Council was going to think. Also like Karla, the idea of their reaction made a wicked smile bloom.

[One more tiny bit of canon catchup and we'll be done with this book! Much of the post taken directly from Heir to the Shadows, by Anne Bishop, Chapter 16, Part 3. Many, many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] trigons_child and [livejournal.com profile] not_a_parakeet for letting me shove their characters in and give them fun lines from canon. NFI. NFB for off-island shenanigans, OOC is love!]
glacial_queen: (Orders 2)
"How can I settle the territory granted to me when my men are being slaughtered before they even set up camp?" the Queen petitioner demanded. She was the eighth Queen to stand in the petitioner's circle before the Council today and there were easily twenty more waiting for her to finish. So far, their demands had been identical, save for the amount of histrionics they were willing to indulge in before they allowed themselves to be escorted out of the circle. "The Council has to do something!"

In which the Dark Council is a bag of dicks. )

Jorval clucked. "Such language is not welcome here. And since neither you nor yours are affected by this, you have no justifiable complaint, and so neither are you. I must ask you all to leave the Council chambers."

Karla opened her mouth to protest again, but Jaenelle touched her arm. She shook her head, eyes disturbingly blank, and turned to walk away. Karla leveled a glare at Jorval, but did likewise, followed by Julian and Warren.

"Now Lady," Jorval said with a weary smile, "let's see what we can do about your rightful petition."

[NFI, NFB, OOC enjoyed! Taken and slightly adapted from Anne Bishop's Heir to the Shadows, Chapter 15, Part 5.]
glacial_queen: (Concerned 1)
The lightening sky wasn't doing anyone any favors. It just brought the slaughter out in stark relief. The pale white bodies seemed to glow, inevitably drawing one's eyes. It was impossible to pretend that they were just sleeping. The signs of violence were too numerous to ignore.

One by one, people began appearing on the hillside next to the small, huddled party that had already arrived. Some, Karla knew. Others possibly, she didn't. It didn't matter to her. All that mattered was that they were here. They were going to help her try to stop this madness. Friend or annoyance or complete stranger, they all had her gratitude

When they had all arrived, the purple portals closing into a tired-looking Raven, she raised her hands--

--And that was when the unicorns struck.

When Unicorns Attack! )

"If you're not sure if the person you bump into is a friend, say you're with the Lady again. If they have no response, they're probably here to murder more unicorns. Feel free to dispatch them as you see fit."

"She means kill them," Lucivar growled.

"No I don't," Karla corrected. "...Much. Look, so long as you protect the unicorns, I don't care how you do it."

[Much of this was taken from, you guessed it, Anne Bishop's Heir to the Darkness, origami'd for our own playground. Please hold for OCD and copious sobbing as I try to figure it all out OCD up if minimal.]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/The Keep/The Estate)
The day had been wonderful. Karla had declared herself in need of some 'girl time' and Raven in need of some relaxation, and Jaenelle likely in need of some fun, and so she'd swept off to Dhemlan, with a protesting Raven and a resigned Warren in her wake. Warren had been left to get get beaten on by Lucivar and Jaenelle picked up instead--along with Emma, who had been called in as reinforcements. It was going to be a day of preening, pampering, and fun, whether Raven and Jaenelle liked it or not!

Besides, with their shared birthday less than eight weeks away, she needed Emma's input on her gift idea for Warren. It was a tad risqué, which meant it was a) right in Emma's bailiwick, and b) something best done in a Territory she did not rule.

In all, it was the kind of perfect and relaxing day that came about all too rarely. That night, they returned to the Hall after taking in the theater and Karla fell asleep nestled in Warren's arms with a smile on her face.

Of course, it couldn't last.

The roaring started in the wee hours of the night, nowhere near long enough after Karla had fallen asleep. Startled, she fell out of bed, getting tangled in the sheets in her haste to try to stand up again. "Pants!" she yelled to Warren, who had leapt to his feet much more gracefully than she and was running towards the door. He'd grabbed his sticks and that was it, more than willing to find out what was wrong wearing nothing but his skin. From the look he leveled her way, he thought her insistence on trousers was an irritation at best. In a gesture of compromise, he snagged his pants with a claw, not bothering to put them on, leaving Karla to scramble to her feet and chase after him. After she'd shrugged into her bathrobe, anyway.

The hallway was crowded with bodies in various stages of dress. Uncle Saetan arrived last, rubbing at his arm and tried to push past Karla. He got a sharp elbow in his belly for his pains. "What in the name of Hell is going on here?" he yelled.

In which there is yelling, fainting, and psychicing, all with a lovely view. )

[Taken from Chapter 15, Part 3 of Anne Bishop's Heir to the Shadows, but cut, folded, and spindled for my amusement. Many thanks to the lovely [livejournal.com profile] icecoldfrost, [livejournal.com profile] trigons_child, and [livejournal.com profile] not_a_parakeet for their help preplaying. NFI, NFB, OOC is made of people cookies]
glacial_queen: (Sidra)
"The first part of our plan is coming along nicely," Hekatah said. "Little Terreille is, at last, justly represented in the Dark Council."

Lord Jorval smiled tightly. Since slightly more than half of the Council members now came from Little Terreille, he could agree that the Territory that had always felt wary of the rest of the Shadow Realm was, at last, 'justly' represented. "With all the injuries and illnesses that have caused members to resign in the past two years, the Blood in Little Terreille were the only ones willing to accept such a heavy burden for the good of the Realm." He sighed, but his eyes glittered with malicious approval.

In which bad guys plot. )

Jorval rubbed his lower lip. "So the Queens of Little Terreille would eventually rule all of Kaeleer. I like it. Where do we begin?"

Hekatah tapped the map again and the two men bent their heads to look at the Territory she indicated. Sceval.

[NFI, NFB, just setting up some things. *Innocent whistling* This all taken (with a few minor alterations and the addition of our pal, Unky Hobart) from Anne Bishop's Heir to the Shadows, Chapter 15, part 1. OOC is always love.]
glacial_queen: (I Can Kill You With My Brain)
After a brief pit stop at the other island off the coast of San Francisco (look, Alcatraz loomed large in Karla's recollections; there was a lot of trauma associated there), Karla and the others made their way to Utopia--which, truth be told, probably should have been their first stop, consider how utterly ridiculous it looked. Was there some kind of side effect of the X-gene that drove them towards horrific ostentation?

...Okay, someone was feeling a little bitchy right now. Short of sleep and long on worry did not make for a particularly charming Karla.

But hey! No one here would be surprised when Karla stormed in and threatened to rip everyone and everything apart until they brought her to Jono. They'd dealt with her before. That was okay, though. She wasn't here to make friends.

The doors to the base slammed open and Karla strolled inside, totally not spoiling for a fight at all, thank you. She collared the first mutant she could see, a pink-haired girl with wings, and pleasantly snarling, "Where is Jono? Now, please."

That was a friendly smile, Pixie. Really.

[NFB, for folks who wanted in on the yelling!]
glacial_queen: (Sleeping--Shadowed)
Beep. Beeeeeeeep

Normally, Karla could sleep right through her phone's text notification, especially if it came in the silvery light of pre-dawn on a night when Winsol celebrations had kept them awake until just a few hours before. Which wasn't to say that Karla could be generally counted upon to wake up for her phone, but it was even less likely under those specific circumstances.

This morning, however (if it could even be called morning if the sun wasn't yet up, an argument Karla would make another time), Karla was leaping up to snatch at her phone before it had finished its first ring. Worry could do that to a person.

She was hoping very much that she'd be getting a sheepish text explaining that there had been some kind of drunken tequila binge with Angelo and that he'd lost a few days on a dirty bathroom floor in Madripoor. If she got that, she wouldn't even yell! Or scold! Or even kick him for missing the holidays! Nope, she'd be understanding and amused and most of all, grateful he was safe.

The island off San Francisco. Help.

Karla sank down on the side of the huge bed she shared with Warren. It wasn't even the words that were making her feel like she'd been gutted. No. It was the picture that accompanied them. She stared at it a moment more, before briskly shaking her head and setting the phone aside. She could have a reaction later. More importantly, however, Jono needed her.

Time to call the cavalry.

[NFB. If you think Karla would have called you to go yell at X-Men for awhile, feel free to ping in!]
glacial_queen: (Orders)
"You're joking."

Karla looked at Morton, who was doing his damnedest not to grin as he shook his head. "Not at all. Julian is out there with them now, escorting them through the camp."

Rubbing the bridge of her nose, Karla repeated the information that he'd just told her. "So...a group of Blood from Sidra have traveled all this way to come beg an audience with me?"

"That's what they said," Morton agreed. "They made sure to refer to you as the true and rightful Queen, too. Julian thinks they want something from you."

"Of course they do," Karla growled. "Still, it's not like I can ignore a positive overture from Sidra. Especially since they had to tromp through snow and half the Bloody Territory to deliver it." She turned away from the medicines she was brewing, signaling for another journeymaid to come take over for her. "How long until they arrive?"

"You probably have about fifteen minutes," Morton assured her. "Julian's taking them the long way through camp. Deliberately."

"Good on him," Karla approved. "Okay, make sure we have warm food and mulled wine waiting in the front of my tent. Then round up the usual suspects and make sure they're medium fancy and in my tent in ten."

"Your will is my life, Lady," Morton said with an extravagant bow. Karla pelted him with a snowball from behind and ran off to her tent, laughing.

***

Ten minutes later, several members of her First Circle were assembled and waiting for their guests. Karla, ever the diplomat, had ordered several of the posters they'd taken from Sidra to be hung about the walls. She had a large and imposing chair to sit it, but had not yet called in for additional chairs. The attending Blood would stand before her until she had ascertained their motives for visiting, both stated and not.

She'd changed from her working clothes into a dress, warm and finely crafted, but with very little ornamentation. Her hair was pulled back to frame her face, but again, the style was attractive, but simple. There were more papers than gilding in her tent, and while everything was of high-quality, it all had the air of use to it. There was nothing here that was only useful for show. The food was heart, warm, and filling, but practical, and she ate no differently than anyone else in the camp. She was drawing a stark contrast between herself and the ostentatious Court of her uncle's.

Time to see whether they could really handle the Queen she was going to be, rather than the whatever kind of Queen they'd traveled here expecting.

"Game on," she murmured, just loud enough to be heard by Morton and Warren, who were flanking her chair, and Raven who was mirroring Mallory's position just off to the side. "Let's see what these folks are after, shall we?"

[For thems in Glacia with her!]
glacial_queen: (Serious queen)
The thirteen Province Queens assembled outside of Yllestad, shrinking against one another regardless of affiliation. Though Yllestad had been cleaned to the best of Karla's army's ability, there was no way to get rid of the psychic scents that were trapped in the wood and stones of the walls and roads and buildings. As far as Karla's Black Widows were able to tell, nothing of the witchblood cloud lingered. All that remained were the psychic scents of those who had died in it; their pain and horror and fear. She had forbade her people from using the special herbs that could cleanse the scents away. She wanted the Province Queens--and anyone else who came with them--to feel the full brunt of their horror.

It was still nothing compared to what the army had felt and to what Jono's people had gone through, but looking at their pale faces and withdrawn expressions, Karla figured it was enough.

Pulling no punches )

"Go home and think about this," Karla commanded them. "Think about a man who would pervert the Old Ways, who would sow fear and dissension among us, turning sister against sister--" she heard a quickly indrawn breath and recognized Fetya "--and caste against caste. Think about the man who would ignore the law, send assassins against me in Sidra, and would turn the people he was supposed to protect into a grotesque fear maneuver. Go home and think about who you will serve and what it says about you."

She locked eyes with the southern Queen she knew was most loyal to Ludmilla. "Tell Hobart we are coming. Tell him everything I've told you today. Shout it from the walls and rooftops. Because I am done waiting. I'm coming to Sidra and I will take back what is mine. I will do it before all of Glacia is turned over to abandoned villages and burning pyres for the dead."

[NFB, NFI, OOC is always delightful.]
glacial_queen: (Betrayed)
Karla hadn't expected to return to Yllestad after finding the field full of witchblood. But then the storm had blown up, and Yllestad was the only closest city where the entire army could bunk down for the night. There was no question of her people trying to set up tents tonight. The storm had beaten them here and moved northward, but they were still dealing with the gale-force winds and the odd spats of hail.They would take shelter wherever they could until the storm blew out and then settle up then. The prospect of good food and warm quarters had the army far more cheerful than one would expect, marching as they were through a literal dark and stormy night. The south gate had stood open for them, as if Yllestad had expected their return and they were only too glad to take the city up on its welcome. They entered from the south, glad to get out of the stinging wind, good-naturedly arguing which places has the most comfortable beds and most fortifying wines.

Warning for descriptions of dead NPCs )

Fuck. Someone needed to do something. Say something. Find out what happened. There was a moment when Karla looked around, searching for someone to take command, to be the voice of authority that her people needed.

Right. Her people. That voice of authority needed to be her.

"Spread out," she barked, voice brittle. "Try to find any survivors. There have to be some, somewhere." She wasn't sure who she was trying to convince more: herself or her army. "Be thorough. Don't touch anything until we can get a better idea of what happened here! Be careful! Go in groups, cover more ground!"

She pointed towards the center of town. "GO!"

And so they searched... )

***


Karla stopped dead--who even thought of that phrase? why do people use it? why is my brain even thinking about this stuff right now? shouldn't it be working on something more important?--when she saw what the soldier was standing over. Another body, yes, but this one was wearing a jacket.

Of course he's wearing a jacket. It's winter in Glacia, bint, everyone's wearing jackets, you could freeze to death out here!

Her brain jabbered on, trying to get her to think about ANYTHING other than the horrors in front of--behind, beside, near, far, everywhere, Mother Night everywhere--her. Karla did her best to focus, kneeling down to brush the snow and mud away. Yep, as she'd thought. The jacket was one of the big, comfortable down ones that Jono's team had been outfitted with, including the patch that half of the army had stayed up late sewing onto their shoulders.

This was one of Jono's scouts.

"Warren," she said tightly. "Warren, I need you up in the air. I need you up there now and I need you to tell me what you see."


The news just keeps getting worse. )

***


Momoko sat straight up and looked around a moment. She'd learned over the past few months in Glacia that when she heard this faint sound of Karla's voice and felt the small tug at the back of her head, it meant Karla was broadcasting something. And broadcasting instead of calling was Not Good.

But since she wasn't telepathic, she wasn't getting the message.

"Dinah?! Samantha?! De..." She had to swallow hard when she almost called to Denys. "I hear Karla..."

"What's going on?"


The call no one wants to get. )

[WARNING FOR THE AFTERMATH OF TRAUMA AND VIOLENCE, INCLUDING DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DEAD. Follows this, because,yeah, let's get this party started war ended! Preplayed with the wonderful crew of folks you see here. NFI, NFB, OOC is love.]
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.]

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