glacial_queen: (Sidra)
"So this is Riada," Karla said, looking around at the village Lucivar had chosen to call his own. "It looks happy. Prosperous. Familiar, too, but I can't figure out why."

"Agio's not far from here," Jaenelle said, lacing her fingers through Karla's own. "It was a Rihlander village, just like this one. Only landen, rather than Blood."

Karla nodded, looking out the window again. Perhaps she'd pick up a few more things while she was here, bring them home to Cora. The memory might hurt a bit, but she thought her adopted daughter would be pleased, too, to have something of her home from so long ago. "I'm surprised Lucivar decided to settle here," she said softly. "We were all too happy to kick the dust of Agio off our feet."

Dust hadn't been the only thing caked to the soles of their shoes. Not after Jaenelle had finished with the Jhinka.

"He didn't have much choice," Jaenelle said, a sad smile on her face. Her own thoughts mirroring Karla's, no doubt. "The valley that belongs to the Keep, Ebon Rih, isn't that big. Just a few scattered Blood and landen villages, and Doun, the largest city in the valley. But you can imagine how Lucivar felt about living in any city, I'm sure."

Karla snorted; a most undignified noise. "Considering his mother doesn't live all that far from here and yet he chooses to stay, it says a lot." She gave Jaenelle a sharp look. "How long has Marian been staying with her?" She didn't ask, Has Luthvian been completely horrible yet? which just went to prove that Karla was putting Mallory's diplomacy practice to work.

Jaenelle made a face. "I haven't heard anything to suggest anything other than Marian's settling in and healing up nicely."

"Then we're visiting because...?"

"Because just because I haven't heard anything to the contrary doesn't mean it's true."

"Aww, and here I thought you wanted to see Luthvian have to act like a gracious hostess to me."

"Well, there's always that, too," Jaenelle said, giving Karla a smile though her heart wasn't in it. "Who knows? Maybe we're worrying over nothing."

[Continuing the canon catchup for "Prince of Ebon Rih" by Anne Bishop, Chapter 6]
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: (Looking directly at you)
Warren was probably confused. At least, Karla hoped he was.

They were standing in front of a small cottage at the outskirts of a small, slightly ramshackle village that was most certainly not Halaway. When they had climbed into the Coach this morning, Karla had told him that they were going to see his surprise now--a surprise that she had very heavily hinted was going to be a pair of leather pants or two from Lord Aldric, the Hall's preferred tailor. And, in part, that was true! She had ordered him a few pairs and intended to give them to him once they were finished!

But that wasn't the surprise she'd mentioned a few weeks ago on their birthday.

Taking a deep breath, Karla turned to him, wearing her best 'unsure-but-game' smile and said, "Are you ready for that surprise then?"

And before he had time to answer, Karla knocked three times on the door.

There was a pause and then the door slowly creaked open, revealing a little girl standing just inside the doorway. Her hair was a little longer and she was a little taller now--her seventh birthday had been a few weeks past. But she was still recognizable as the little girl who had asked for a story in the ruins of Agio while blood and death reigned in the skies outside the building.

"Happy birthday," Cora said, giving them both a happy smile.

[For he who was lovingly modded and NFB, please.]
glacial_queen: (Betrayed)
Lucivar felt his shield quiver. It was about to go down again. Cassidy and Morton might be able to put up another one after his came down, but what was the point? They both still wore their Birthright Jewels and those were light Jewels at that. Under the constant onslaught of the Jhinka, they'd have another two, maybe two and a half hours before their Jewels were drained, too.

Even if Aaron and the others showed up now, it was doubtful they'd be able to do much to turn the tide of the battle. Six thousand Jhinka, even lacking Craft as they did, were just too damn many.

No, better to save their strength. Maybe between the combined strength of all of Karla's friends, they'd be able to escape.

He spared a thought for the young male, Ender, who'd had a plan that might hopefully get them out of all this. Idly, he wondered if it would have worked, indeed, if it could work still. If he would have a chance of pulling it off before Lucivar's Craft failed, if he could somehow pull it off at all.

Maybe. Still, it was a slim thread to rest all their hopes on. Lucivar couldn't rely on 'maybes,' not when his Queen's life was at stake.

"Morton," he called. 'Ask Jaenelle and Karla to join me here.' )

[And we are done--though just for the night! NFI, NFB, OOC is golden. Warning in place for death of an NPC and ultraviolence. Text taken, spindled, mutilated, and folded into origami cranes from Anne Bishop's Heir to the Blood, Chapter Thirteen. Preplayed with rockstars, yo. Plot post masterlist found here.

Also, that long ping about Jaenelle being even prettier now? Straight from the text. Oh, Anne Bishop. Why you so crazy?]
glacial_queen: (Authority)
[Continued from here]

After Lucivar finished recounting the numbers arrayed against them, he pushed himself to his feet, calling in his war blade and his bladed Eyrien sticks. "I'll be outside," he growled. "Too much fear in here."

It grated against his nerves, scraped against his precarious self-control. The fact that he had wings like their attackers only made things worse--much of the landen fear in the building was directed at him.

"I've been letting a few in at a time," he continued, "opening holes in the shield to let them through. Killing ten or twenty in the face of thousands doesn't do much, but--" He shrugged. What else was there to do? )

[Same alphabet soup goes here. Warning for violence. Again, still mostly 'inspired by' events in Chapter 13 of Heir to the Shadows. Part two of two; for master post list, please go here.]
glacial_queen: (Listening)
The situation, as haltingly described by both Karla and Lucivar, was dire. Even with Karla and Jaenelle restricting their Craft to the most life-threatening of injuries, there were still a double-handful or more upstairs who were in immediate danger, in addition to the hundreds below who were still grievously wounded. Six thousand Jhinka were outside, willing to fling themselves at the shield and certain death, simply to wear away at it and bring it crashing down.

Lucivar was wearing his Birthright Red Jewels, the Ebon-gray drained almost to the point of shattering, and the reservoir in the Red was precipitously low, too. Karla's Sapphire no longer glowed with its usual inner light; she barely had enough Craft left to light a candle.

Food had run out the day before. The well had dried up that morning. Anything edible that the three of them had carried with them was long since devoured.

And still the psychic witch storm howled on outside, cutting them off from communicating with anyone.

More help would arrive in hours, but honestly? They didn't have that long. )
glacial_queen: (Injured/Ill)
[Continued directly from here]

Before Mari's hand even had a chance to fall back down to her side, Karla appeared in the back door of the room. Stairs could be seen heading up behind her.

"I felt the shield go," she said, her voice hoarse and raw-sounding. "I thought--"

It took her a moment to notice the others, swaying on her feet with exhaustion as she was. Which, of course, gave them plenty of time to notice her. Bones pressed against pallid, sweat-soaked, blood-streaked skin. More blood matted her hair which stood up in little spikes where she'd absently run her hands through it, and yet still more surrounded her mouth, where dry lips had cracked and bled. The skin under her eyes was dull and tight, covered in shadows so dark they looked like bruises. She was wearing a male's shirt, haphazardly buttoned, the sleeves rolled up to show arms thin to the point of emaciation.

To anyone who had been in the other-Fandom, it was a scarily familiar sight.

She stared at her friends for a long moment, while her mind tried to process the fact that they were there, truly there. Her head tilted, as if in question and her right arm came up to point. And then, with nothing like the grace or elegance one read about in novels, her eyes rolled up and she headed for the floor. Drama Queen )

[NFI, NFB, I bet you know where I'm going with this...This section warning free. Text adapted from Chapt. Thirteen of Heir to the Shadows. Uhh, very loosely adapted. List of previous entries can be found here. Yeah, I got nothing more to add.]
glacial_queen: (Amdarh)
*There.* Prince Smoke eased out of the underbrush to greet Morton as soon as he stepped out of the Coach *That is the set of huts that the Lady and the others went to.* He whined a little in his throat. *There is a a bad-meat feeling there. But it comes and goes, like scent on a changing wind.*

After hearing from Beale that Prince Smoke had accompanied Lucivar and Jaenelle to Askavi, Morton had contacted the kindred wolf as soon as he'd landed the Coach in Askavi and his attempt to contact either Lucivar or Jaenelle had been fruitless. His relief at finding out that his wayward cousin had been following Jaenelle turned to concern when Smoke told him that the three humans had gone into a village and hadn't returned. It was the same village that Lady Tara's spell had pointed to; that much was certain. But knowing where Karla was didn't explain why they were there. Or why they couldn't come out.

That concern turned to decided unease as he stepped forward to examine the cozy-looking little village, a mile or so in the distance. A landen village, he thought, since he wasn't getting a hint of any Blood psychic scents in there. Which was damned odd, considering Smoke had tracked Karla and the others to this village and was certain they hadn't left. And now that Smoke mentioned it, Morton did notice a faint hint of corruption, like something flickering out of the corner of his eye. No sooner had he noticed it, it was gone again.

"Smoke, head back to Dhemlan and alert the High Lord," Morton said, still studying the sleepy village of Agio. Had he just felt the Ebon-Gray...? No, nothing. "Tell him to contact Khary and Aaron, too, and pass on everything you just told me. I don't like whatever's down there, and Karla, Jaenelle, and Lucivar are right in the middle of it."

With a quick Rrruff! and a small lick at Morton's hand, Smoke trotted back towards the Coach and vanished onto the White Wind. Even hopping onto the Purple Dusk back to Dhemlan and then having Aaron and the others ride the Green Wind from Glacia to Askavi, they were still looking at more than a handful of hours before help would arrive.

No use waiting, then. "Let's go," he said, turning to face the others. "Let's see what kind of trouble my cousin's landed herself in now."

From his tone, Morton was assuming it was trouble of the most dangerous kind. )

[Warnings in place for explicit violence and potentially disturbing imagery. NFI, NFB, OOC=love. Text adapted from Chapter Thirteen of Heir to the Shadows. Ish. Part one of several; the full list of previous entries can be found here.]
glacial_queen: (Sapphire-Jeweled Queen)
Lucivar lay on his back in the young grass, his hands behind his head, his wings spread out to dry after the quick dip in the spring-fed pool. Jaenelle and Karla were still splashing about in the cold water, washing the sweat and dirt out of their long hair. He closed his eyes and groaned contentedly as the sun slowly warmed and loosened tight muscles.

Yesterday, they'd awakened just before dawn to find Jaenelle busily rummaging through the food pack. He'd put together a hasty meal while Karla had broken down the camp before the physical tension produced by the drugs forced Jaenelle to move.

It hadn't been the unrelenting drive of the previous days, and, as the day'd worn on, physical tension gave way to emotional storms. Anger would flood her suddenly, then turn to tears. He'd given her space as she raged and swore. Karla had held her while she cried. When the storm passed, she'd been fine for a little while, perhaps as long as twenty minutes. They'd walked at an easy pace, stopping to pick wild berries or rest near a stream. Karla'd kept them entertained with stories of her crazy school and the friends who were like no Blood males or females they'd ever met. Then the cycle would start over, each time with a little less intensity.

It had still been grueling, mind. The first outburst of emotion had hit around noon, the second, a little before three. In between them, there was still the constant movement, the difficult trek made even moreso by the unforgiving pace Jaenelle had set. The intervals had shortened as Jaenelle's body tired, but even their last stretch before making camp for the night had been an hour-long hike, most of it uphill.

Which made today's late start, with the chance to sleep in past sunrise and even bathe a bit, something akin to paradisaical. Smoke was off doing a bit of hunting; the wolf had scented a herd of elk and had gone off to explore. When he came back, Lucivar was thinking of sending him back to the Keep to tell Saetan that they were all right, that Karla was with them, and that they'd be coming home from Askavi in a few more days.

Not that he was going to say anything, but he was proud of Karla. The pace was wearing on her, but she refused to complain and did her best to keep up. She wouldn't know it, but Jaenelle was slowing down a bit for her, making sure Karla didn't get outdistanced. Lucivar was grateful for anything that made Jaenelle take it a little easier. Though the next time the little witch cheated him out of the last mug of coffee, he was going to dunk her into the nearest lake. )

[NFI, NFB, OOC is delicious. Warning for violence. Text adapted from Chapter Thirteen of Anne Bishop's Heir to the Shadows. All of her narrative is awesome and I never said anything to the contrary. Really. Part 5 of plot (Parts one, two, three, and four). Up early because I have a problem I AM REALLY BUSY TOMORROW, OKAY?]
glacial_queen: (Peeking Thru Foliage)
Lucivar sat on the bank of a creek, finding a little comfort in the rhythmic whack whack whack coming from the clearing. At least destroying the abandoned shack with a sledgehammer gave Jaenelle an outlet for sexual rage and burning energy. Even more important, it was an outlet that would keep her in place for a little while.

Hell's fire, he was tired. The Masters of the Eyrien hunting camps couldn't match Jaenelle's ability to set a grueling pace. Even Smoke, with that tireless, ground-eating trot, was struggling. Of course, unlike one drug-driven witch, wolves liked to do things like eat and sleep, two items now high up on Lucivar's list of sensual pleasures. )

[NFI, NFB, OOC is A-okay. Text stolen and adapted for my own nefarious purposed from Chapter Thirteen of Anne Bishop's Heir to the Shadows. Part four of plot (Read one, two and three.) For once, no warnings, enjoy that while you can.]
glacial_queen: (Ready for Srs Bizness)
Karla was heading to the courtyard of the Keep, where a portal had been ordered for her return to Fandom. It still felt wrong, oh so wrong, to be heading back to safety and comfort while Jaenelle and Lucivar were out in the wilds of Askavi, circling each other in a dark and dangerous dance. She was supposed to just go home and focus on class while she was wondering if Lucivar still walked the living Realms? If Jaenelle was still suffering from the effects of the safframate? Or--worse yet--wandering the Twisted Kingdom? Even if they needed her and had to summon her back home, it would be days and days until she could return--Kaeleer's time flowed at double the rate of Fandom. Should they discover they needed her skills tomorrow, the earliest Karla could expect to return was next week.

This was bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. Maybe if she talked to Saetan once more, this time he would see reason. Or at least get so tired of arguing about it, he'd just let her stay.

She veered off, down the hallway that led to Saetan's suite, marshaling all of her arguments. Presented logically and impartially, she would get through to him. That had been the problem before. She'd let herself get worked up, too emotional. Saetan had seen her as a child, not a witch fully in control of her Craft. Change that and maybe--

"I am so pleased to see the Dark Council has sent a representative to talk about the grievous injuries inflicted in Little Terrielle during Lady Angelline's visit." Saetan's voice floated out of his door, sharp and smooth, like a knife wrapped in silk. Karla stopped--Hell's fire, he wasn't alone. She wouldn't be able to plead her case with him if he was already speaking to someone; especially not a Dark Council representative. But she didn't have time to delay. Her portal was scheduled to arrive in minutes!

Still, she crept closer to the doorway, no compunctions against eavesdropping. Perhaps she would hear something useful to her cause. )

[NFI, NFB, OOC=love. Text adapted from Chapter Thirteen of Heir to the Shadows. Warning for discussion of sexual assault and violence. Sometimes c/p'ing sections of Anne Bishop's dialogue and text makes me want to cry. Part 3 of plot. Parts one and two found here.]

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