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 trigons_child and 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!]