glacial_queen: (Glam--Smile)
Winsol had been going on now for several days. The family had just decamped from SaDiablo Hall in Dhemlan back home to Glacia to continue the festivities in their own home. There would be several more days of formal events, but this evening was just for family and close friends (specifically friends close enough to be family). The children were tumbling around like puppies, a mix of Earth and Kaeleeran carols were playing from floating music spheres scattered throughout the suite, fires crackled in the large hearths, and food and punch and hot spiced rum were piled high on the sideboards throughout. "Happy Winsol!" Karla said, holding up her cup in a toast.

"Happy Winsol!" the room chorused back to her.

[Open to residents of Glacia, dear friends, and anyone who thinks they'd have gotten an invite]
glacial_queen: (This Doesn't Make Sense)
So, all the work Karla had wanted to get done last week had been co-opted by chaos-spewing...whatever it had been...and the ponification of her daughter. Which meant she was back on the island today, hoping that the island would be kind enough to give them some downtime and she could actually work a little bit. Kayla had been left to spend the afternoon with her daddy, and Nommy was tucked away in his cradle behind Karla's desk. That should have been the perfect time to work, except then she'd gotten a text from Warren about 'flying lessons' and now she was on her computer, busily searching for thick gymnasium mats that could be overnighted to Glacia.
glacial_queen: (Reading)
For the first time this semester, Karla had found her way to her office. Things were hectic back in Glacia as they prepared to head to Ebon Rih as part of her service to the Dark Court and Karla had exercised her royal prerogative to come to the island in order to prepare for her class next semester.

...By which she meant 'read a bunch of romance novels, pretend to take notes, and let her tea steep until it was undrinkable because she was caught up in the action.' She'd finally given in and started reading the Angelica Demesnes novels and was blowing through them at a ridiculous rate.
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: (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: (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: (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: (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: (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: (Sleeping--Shadowed)
Karla's trip to the preserve during class had left her even more weary than before. She'd done what any Queen in her position would do--she'd sat down and poured her power into the land, trying to coax the life back into it. But it didn't matter how much power she sank into it--there'd be a moment of change, a ripple of green, and then nothing.

The entire trip had been stressful and fruitless, which was a winning combination all the way around.

With Kayla finally napping in her playpen--Jono was a lifesaver--Karla decided that she could afford a nap herself and curled up on the couch she'd had handwavily brought in back when she was pregnant. Just a short nap, no more than twenty minutes. Then a late lunch and then she and Kayla would go home. Whatever else was going on with the island could be handled by other people. People who didn't have teething four month olds who could feel the damage done to the island, for example.

But first, a nap. Definitely a nap...

[For one please and then open! Drac's thread NFB, please!]
glacial_queen: (You're Asking For It)
"One more time," Karla said, massaging her temples and counting backwards from ten. "The rule is...?"

Morton and Julian glared at one another before sullenly reciting, "We don't get to fight over the baby."

"Especially...?" Karla couldn't believe that she had to go over this with them. Again.

"When we're holding the baby."

"What happens when we do?"

"We lose baby-holding privileges for the rest of the day," they intoned. With another dirty look at Julian, Morton stepped forward and handed Kayla to her mother. "He started it," he muttered, loud enough to be overheard.

"Did not."

"Did too."

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

"Did n--"

"I swear by the Darkness, I will make it a whole week if the two of you don't stop bickering immediately!" Karla snapped, which caused Kayla to immediately begin fussing. Karla gave them both Look what you did! glares. "Shh, shh, shh, it's all right, baby girl," she soothed, jerking her chin towards the door so the idiot males she was stuck with knew to let themselves out. "Don't cry, little one, it's okay. Mommy's gotten rid of the morons." Karla sat on the rocking chair that Dinah had given them and gently rocked until Kayla settled down and fell back asleep. "Here's hoping the rest of your aunts and uncles know better," she said, since emails, texts, and other various kinds of notifications had gone out, apprising all and sundry that the estate was now open for visitors who wanted to meet Kayla. "Or that they all visit one at a time so no fights break out. Because this is apparently my life now. Refereeing squabbles over who gets to hold the baby." She pressed a kiss to Kayla's forehead. "Wanna see if Mommy and Daddy's high school friends are better at sharing than their Court?"

[Open for folks what want to come and visit!]
glacial_queen: (Tearful Argue)
Karla wanted nothing more than to lay back down. Her feet hurt. Her back hurt. Every single part of her hurt. But no, the Healer said that she had to walk around for a little while, that it would help the labor. Considering she had been in labor for hours already and had spent roughly three-quarters of that walking around the birthing room, she wasn't really seeing how it was 'helping.' But since no one would let her shiv the Healer, it looked like she was just going to keep walking. Probably until her feet fell off, because that was seemed likelier to happen than this child actually being born.

Apparently stubbornness was inherited through the distaff line. A little bundle of cusswords )

***

Sweat-soaked and exhausted, Karla smiled down at the little girl in her arms. Clean and wrapped up in one of the receiving blankets she'd gotten from her Uncle Priestly, her daughter lay peacefully, no sign of her earlier tears. "Look at her," Karla breathed, her heart so full she thought it might crack in two. "She's perfect. Utterly perfect."

"So…" Warren gave Karla a little, tentative smile. "We're calling her…?"

"Kayla," Karla said, looking up at him. "Don't you think?"

Warren looked so full of pride and happiness that it was entirely possible he might burst.

"Well," he said softly, "she's certainly not a Vasilia."

"Definitely not," Karla said, leaning against him while she continued to adore their daughter. "I think Kayla's the only name that will suit."

Beat. "...Now someone go find Jono and break those goddamn speakers."

[Co-written with the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] not_a_parakeet and amazing [livejournal.com profile] trigons_child! Snipped for length and cussing, no actual biology included! Shout out to all the real moms in game for going through this for realsies.]
glacial_queen: (Looking at You Smile)
Karla stood, hands on her stomach, admiring the wall of the nursery. Dujae had finished the mural several days ago, but had decreed that Karla was not to see it until the paint had fully dried and fumes had dissipated. This morning was the first time she'd been allowed to visit and she was blown away by how lovely it was. She knew the sky would make Warren happy and the snake...

"Look," she whispered. "There's your uncle Jono. See? He's always watching over you."

With the mural done, everything was in readiness. The mural was done, the nursery was done, everything was done--except for the baby. She was now four days overdue and there was no sign that the baby was doing anything but getting ready to enjoy sleeping in on day number five. Karla was more than a little aggravated by this development (she was supposed to be drinking coffee by now!), but it was hard to remember her grumpiness at her daughter while standing in the middle of the nursery devoted to her existence.

"Listen, munchkin, you have another day before I getting really ticked," she said. "I'm cutting you a bit of slack because I'm in a really good mood today. But tomorrow, I mean it, okay?"

But yeah. Everything was ready and waiting for the guest on honor to make her first appearance. Everything was--

Wait.

"Warren?" Karla called. "We're supposed to be able to open the closet door, right?"
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: (Solemn Queen)
This was weird. This was very weird. Karla was used to having Saetan and Lucivar tromping through the halls to interrogate her teachers, not to be one of the teachers about to be interrogated. Sitting behind her desk, she made sure to have some papers out that she could shuffle through in order to look appropriately busy and important.

She'd decided that if any parents asked her questions she couldn't answer, she was just going to lie. Lie creatively and well. Sure, she'd gone to college. Graduated Magma Come Loudly, or whatever. Experience? Loads of it! Her age? None of your damn business, that was how old.

Maybe she'd send the adults she didn't like to Hannibal. Or Eric. With little signs that said, 'I'm delicious!'

Yup, this was how your teacher prepared to meet your parents, class. By making plans to have them eaten.

Look, everyone needed a hobby.

[Open to everyone, guests, students, and teachers alike! Will pick up pings in when awake!]
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: (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]

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