glacial_queen: (Dinnertime)
It was a beautiful day in early fall, the kind of day where warm sunshine poured over the land like honey, saved from being overly warm by a refreshing breeze. The leaves had started to turn colors on the edges and the air smelled green as the crops in the fields readied themselves for harvest. Glacian winters were long and bitterly cold, the summers short and generally humid, and the springs chilly and damp, but their autumns were damn near perfect.

Karla and Warren had recently had a birthday, at least according to the island's calendar, which was a good enough reason to celebrate. Nommy, who had been kind of colicky and sickly when he'd been born seemed to be growing out of both traits and now, at two months, was old enough to start meeting the family his parents had met and made at Fandom. And over in Ebon Rih, Lucivar's wife, Marian, had just given birth to a healthy son, Daemonar, leaving Lucivar both pole-axed and proud. Three reasons made for a party, right?

Sending out quick, handwavy invites over phone calls and social media, Karla and Ermengarde set up a casual tea in one of the gardens in the back of the Estate, giving the children plenty of room to run around and explore while the adults had space to relax and enjoy the good weather and better company.

[Open! Blow the dust off your alumni and have them come visit! If you think you got an invite, you certainly did. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] future_sandworm who made sure this happened! SP forever.]
glacial_queen: (Christmas Food)
Anytime there was an overnight trip to the island these days, it was traditional for people who'd been given a key stayed over in Dite's Suite. During reunion weekend, there were several such people--and all their friends--but while that meant that sleeping quarters were a bit cramped, it reminded Karla of the giant slumber parties she used to throw in the dorms, roughly a million years ago. And it was good to be able to look around and see so many people she loved in one place.

Other than her meeting with Ino later, Karla had no plans for the day. She'd probably go out and make one last round of the island, though she was loathe to disturb Kayla from where she was playing quietly in her playpen. Hmm, maybe she could just see how many people she could get to visit the room instead. The Arms had excellent room service, after all, and food plus friends equaled a party.

[For anyone who thinks they stayed in Dite's Suite and anyone else who is inclined to visit and/or thinks they'd get an invite from Karla. Soo...basically anybody, good job me. SP is loved and late pings welcomed! I DON'T WANT TO SAY GOODBYE TO ANYONE YET]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/The Keep/The Estate)
It was Winsol! The first night had come and gone, celebrated in Dhemlan where they danced for the glory of Witch and made all the better because Witch was there. After that first night, the coven and boyos had returned to their home Territories to spend the rest of Winsol with their families and Courts, balancing the celebration of the holiday between politics and the people they cared for. In this, Karla was little different, save that her condition made it easier to say no to the endless whirl of aristo parties. She couldn't avoid all of them (some, like the ball for the Province Queens and another for the first few Circles of Court, the estate even hosted) and some events she attended with more pleasure than duty, but by the eighth evening of the holidays, she was pretty exhausted. The very thought of attending another event with strangers, no matter how well-intentioned, made her want to scream and see if she couldn't wedge herself under the bed in her chambers and not come out until spring.

Fortunately, however, such drastic measures were not necessary. Tonight, at least according to Fandom's calendar, was December 24th. And on years when Winsol and Christmas coincided, she declared that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were for family. No politics, no stress, no visitors. Just two days alone with her nearest and dearest, both those who lived in Glacia with her and those who could be convinced to visit.

This year, at least, there were several, including Uncle Saetan. Jaenelle and Lucivar were spending the rest of Winsol traveling through the kindred Territories, so Karla had bullied invited Uncle Saetan to visit with them for the rest of the holidays so he wouldn't be lonely. Other invitations had gone out to the island, inviting old friends and new (including some of her students), to come and spend Christmas at the estate. The last thing Karla wanted was for anyone to have to spend Christmas alone.

Rather than anything grand and glorious, they'd decorated a large parlor (with a proper Christmas tree, instead of a Winsol tree, with nearby boxes filled the Christmas ornaments Karla had scavenged over the years, mismatched and gaudy and delightful, for people to hang if they wished), and had a cozy little celebration there. There was a roaring fire in the fireplace (along with chestnuts for roasting!), tureens of hot chocolate and mulled cider and eggnog, platters of food set up buffet style for people to nibble on when they were hungry and ignore when they were not, and a lot of relaxed, good-natured company.

Also, a pile of hideous holiday sweaters for people, if Karla could browbeat convince them to wear one.

[Open for anyone who thinks they might get an invite or wants one. Up now for the MOST EPIC of all SPs EVER; don't worry about tagging in late or vanishing for holiday stuff. S'all good.]
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: (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: (The Hall/The Keep/The Estate)
For months now because I fail at posting, Jaenelle had been wrangling with the Dark Council about respecting the Territories of non-human Blood. She'd searched through editions of Blood Protocol, unearthed dusty tomes of Blood history, even begged Draca and Lorn for guidance. But no matter what she found, what evidence she presented, the Dark Council remained firm in its stance that without a recognized human representative, the 'unclaimed lands' were free for the Blood to take.

And so the kindred died. Not many of them. There was never a slaughter like in Sceval. But enough. Many, many humans died. Mauled, half-eaten bodies would be transported to various cities in Little Terreille and left there as a message. But it didn't matter how many bodies were sent back, there were always more people willing to take their place. The coven did what they could, making their Offerings and refusing to give aid to anyone trespassing on the so-called unclaimed lands, but it wasn't enough. It would never be enough so long as Jorval and the Terreillian bitches who pulled his strings, saw the possibility for opportunity and gain.

Four days ago, Jaenelle had tried again. And this time, when they'd been turned down, Saetan had ventured that it was possible that there wasn't a legitimate way to stop the Dark Council. Both Karla and Lucivar had turned on him, overwrought and furious, demanding explanations, pointing out that he'd fought them before, snidely insinuating that maybe he thought the kindred weren't worth fighting over now. But it was Jaenelle who stopped them.

"Yes, there is," she said softly, leaning on Saetan as they walked. "There is a way."

"Witch-child?" Saetan asked, concerned.

Jaenelle shuddered. "I never wanted this. But it's the only want to help them."

"What's the only way, darling?" Karla asked, worried at how pale Jaenelle seemed. How fragile.

Trembling, Jaenelle stepped away from them. The haunted look in her eyes, etched there by long hours of research and tallying kindred deaths, would stay with them forever. "I'm going to make the Offering to the Darkness and set up my court."

Three days ago, Jaenelle had retreated to the Keep to do just that. )

Tersa shook her head. "She will be too tired to sense the difference. Choose High Lord, and live with what you choose." She looked at the closed door. "She is coming."

For the rest of her life, Karla was convinced the Darkness had something to do with the timing. Perhaps it understood that they were only human and they had feared for Jaenelle too much in the past to let it go so easily. Because at that moment, Jono opened his tiny mouth for a little snakey yawn--

--and promptly turned back into his human form, all naked limbs and psionic fire tangled up with Karla on the floor. There was a moment of silence as everyone took in the scene in front of them. And at that moment, the door opened and Jaenelle stood on the threshold. "What did I miss?" she asked, fighting back a yawn.

[Open to anyone in Glacia who wanted to tag along. NFB. Text adapted from Heir to the Shadows.]
glacial_queen: (Watching)
Another day, another stupid Court function that Karla had to deal with. She wasn't even sure what this one was for; Lord Mallory was under strict instructions not to tell her unless it was for something important. Otherwise, he had to deal with her scandalized, "We're having a function for this?!?!" and no one--least of all Lord Mallory--wanted to deal with that.

Tonight, however, Karla found she minded Court shenanigans far less than usual. She was wearing a rather severe black gown, very different from her usual attire, but perfect for showing off her latest accessory. Jono might not appreciate being worn around her neck like a boa, but she hadn't appreciated spending all day with a headache and an upset stomach the day he'd turned into a snake and bitten her.

As a precaution, she'd milked his fangs that afternoon before getting ready. She couldn't guarantee he wasn't going to bite anyone (and didn't actually want to), but she wasn't going to let him accidentally kill someone either. Because that would be a right pain in the ass to deal with.

Her Fandom friends all got a picture text that said Me and a snakey selfie. Lookit his grumpy little face! Can you guess who? before she headed down to mingle. Because destroying Jono's dignity one snapchat at a time was pretty much her life's work.

[For Glacia residents and anyone who got a snapchat]
glacial_queen: (Playful)
Warren had gone to graduation, but Karla hadn't been able to get away to go, too. That had been disappointing, but it had meant she'd been able to make sure that there was literally nothing about to go wrong or that would need her attention for the next week or so.

Why?

Because Ben and Ender were visiting, eeeeeee!

While she couldn't ignore her responsibilities entirely (more's the pity), she had informed her entire First Circle that she would be largely unavailable for the duration of the visit and was to be bothered only in the direst of emergencies. And if there was a dire emergency, they needed to inform her on psychic threads and never in front of her visitors.

If anything happened, Ben and Ender weren't going to know about it, dammit. And most certainly wouldn't be involved in fixing it. But nothing was going to happen. She was Quite Serious about everything going smoothly. Were you listening, Kaeleer? Nothing bad was allowed to happen.

[NFB, open to residents and the expected guests!]
glacial_queen: (Mornings Suck)
It had been a long and miserable two weeks. Just ask anyone who had had the misfortune of dealing with their Queen. Karla was a terrible patient; somehow managing to be a tyrant even when she was coughing so hard she could barely speak. It was a good thing her nasty chest cold had also kept her asleep a great deal, or it was possible she would have been overthrown by her own Court.

Now, however, she was on the mend. Which, on the positive side, meant she was feeling almost human again--and behaving that way. On the negative side, it also meant she was bored out of her mind. Morton and Julian had finally made good their escape after their third straight hour of playing cradle, her lunch lay untouched because she was tired of soup and toast, and the next person who came in to make her take another foul-tasting brew was going to get kicked in the face.

There was clearly only one thing to do. Call people and whine about how bored she was. Also, check up on anyone who had gotten tangled up in the latest bout of Fandom crazy, but mostly the whining and bored thing

Let's see. Who to call first?

[Open for phone calls, visitors, and them what live here. If you think Karla would have called you, she did!]
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: (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: (Taken Aback)
When Mallory had been asked by Queen Ilyse and Prince Audric to come tutor their young daughter, he had been honored and delighted. Several months later, the shiny had been rubbed off both the honor and delight, but he had become fond of enough Karla to continue to teach her for years, up until the tragic accident that had claimed her parents' lives and gotten her shipped off to live with the local Hourglass coven her aunt Kay had been a part of. When Hobart had announced Karla's 'death,' Mallory had spent a week mourning the spoiled, yes, but also sweet, imaginative, and precocious child he had taught.

In the years she'd been gone, time and nostalgia had blunted the worst of her childhood antics, helping him forget that classes were just as often characterized by biting, kicking, crying, and arguing as they were learning, studying, and behaving (Darkness bless behaving.) All that had come rushing back to him over the past four days, dealing with her much-younger self--and her much-younger friends. Even being the Steward to the headstrong and still impetuous Queen and her entire Court was easier than this.

Mallory couldn't help but reflect on these facts as he pulled Karla down the hall by her ear. He'd caught her in his office a few moments earlier "playing" some kind of game that had involved a jam sandwich and a great deal of ink all over his desk, his chair, and the floor. Coincidentally enough, those were the same places he could see much of his paperwork, also under the ink. Any last ideals he'd had about respecting the Queenly dignity she was due as an adult when flying out the window (possibly with more of his papers) as he'd grabbed her ear and began dragging Karla towards her room, a bath, and the tender mercies of anyone who was not him.

What neither of them had been expecting, however, was for the filthy, shrieking child was to suddenly return to being an equally-filthy-but-less-inclined-to-shriek adult halfway towards their destination. It was Mallory who ended up yelping when the ear he was pinching shot up two feet in the air.

"Karla!" he said, half-surprised and half-thrilled. "You're back!" Before she could respond, however, he was grasping her shoulders with a hissed, "Don't you move or I will throttle you," and running off to find Julian, Morton, and anyone else he could find. Their Queen was an adult again. They were going to get this bloody coronation over with before something else could happen, come Hell or high water.

[NFB, open for folks what are here, SP is gonna be a thing, pls to be waiting for OCD]
glacial_queen: (Come Hither Eyes)
The small dining room that Karla had set aside for her 'out of town' guests to dine in tonight was one of the ones they hadn't gotten around to denuding of Ludmilla's and/or Hobart's horrible taste in decor yet. Karla had chosen it deliberately, figuring her friends might get a kick out of how completely hideous it was. Everyone knew that extravagantly tacky surroundings aided digestion, right?

Well, Karla was a Healer. She's swear to it, anyway.

And, who knew? Maybe she'd give everyone a souvenir or something! 'I came to Karla's coronation and all I got was this ugly figurine.'

This was how they knew she cared!

Tomorrow was for long, boring speeches and painful formality. Tonight, she was looking forward to just hanging out with friends, having a good time, and threatening to make people sleep in some of the bedrooms that had thus far escaped redecoration.

Any question where Glacia's treasury had wandered off to?

[Open for pretty much anyone who wanted to be invited for the coronation that's absolutely not happening tomorrow! Up early for mega SP, because SP is wonderful. NFB for off-island shenanigans.]

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