glacial_queen: (The Hall/Keep)
Karla tried not to look nervous as the great doors to the Dark Altar opened in front of her. Inside, Opal witchlights danced in sconces, forming a path for her to follow, rather than illuminating what was within. This was very different than her Birthright Ceremony, where she'd had the company of her parents and several other children, where a Priestess had waited to accompany her into the Sanctuary and discuss what Jewel she wanted. That had taken place in the middle of the afternoon, with sunlight streaming through and picnics set up on the grass and her mother announcing to all and sundry Karla's paternity.

This was darkness and Darkness and she was alone. Here, she was going to prove her worth, her inner strength, and she didn't know what to expect. Children were coached through their Birthright Ceremony; no one spoke of the details of their Offering. It was too intensely personal.

"You must enter soon," Geoffrey told her, gently. He understood all too well the uncertainty in Karla's eyes. "From sundown to sunup, and it is nearly that time now."

Putting on a brave face and a careless smile, she looked back at the people who had assembled to witness this, perhaps the defining moment of her life.

"Kiss kiss," she said with a wink and a salute. "See you at dawn!"

And then the giant doors closed behind her.

[NFB, Post 1 of 2]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/Keep)
After a long time talking and making up, it was a much happier Warren and Karla that had come down for a Christmas luncheon--which, at four courses, was still nothing compared to the Christmas feast that Mrs. Beale was preparing for supper. Karla had given her a bunch of Earth cookbooks for Winsol one year and Mrs. Beale had apparently decided that celebrating Christmas required her to make every meal that was even the least bit holiday-inspired.

Lunch was appropriately merry, the whole household glad that Karla and Warren had patched things up. Once the plates were cleared and the footmen were pouring coffee for everyone, Saetan pushed himself back from the table and shook his head. "I have no idea how we're going to be expected to eat more this evening," he said. "I'll still be digesting by the time the goose--and the roast--and the suckling pig are ready."

"Speak for yourself," Andulvar rumbled. "I saved room for the last piece of trifle, except for how it vanished." He glared at Prothvar, who grinned unrepentantly and burped.

"What we should do," Jaenelle suggested from her seat at Saetan's right, "is invite Karla and Warren's friends for dinner. More mouths might mean less food to intimidate the rest of us."

"It's Christmas!" Karla protested. "Everyone's probably with their family."

"Probably," Jaenelle reminded gently. "It wouldn't hurt to invite anyone, would it?"

Karla conceded the point and sent out an email from her phone:

Open invite for Christmas dinner in Kaeleer. Comp'd portal, feel free to show up whenever, if you want! Happy holidays!

[NFB for distance, but open. If you want an invite, you've got one. Super-SP for the holidays, feel free to ping in whenever over the next few days if you'd like.]
glacial_queen: (The Hall/Keep)
After the debacle of Agio (and the even more debacle-y aftermath), Karla had promised to keep Saetan, Lucivar, and Morton apprised of major events at Fandom. She might often interpret that promise as conveniently as possible, but there was no way that even she could spin the end of all creation as something other that a 'major event.' Which was why two months after reality had been repaired, she was standing in Saetan's office, telling them what had happened in stark and painful detail. Of course, since what had happened had affected all of Kaeleer, even if they didn't know it, Karla was not delivering her report to Saetan alone, or even Saetan and Lucivar. No, Jaenelle and several members of the coven and the boyos had all crowded in, too, and were listening to her clustered in the chairs at the back of his office.

It could have been worse. There might not have been a Kaeleer to return back to. Or the split between her and Warren could have been permanent, leaving her to stand in front of the High Lord's great blackwood desk alone while spilling out the story. It was comforting, having him beside her, so she could reach out and hold his hand for comfort at a few parts.

Karla had done all of the speaking up until this point, laying out all of what had happened in sparse detail. They had heard the entirety of the account, all the way up to remembering the universe back into existence without interrupting, but she didn't think that silence was going to last for very long, not as her story wound down to an end. From the shifting behind her and the faces that Saetan and Lucivar had made at various points in her tale, once she stopped talking, she was going to face a torrent of words.

Most of them probably invectives. At least from Lucivar. )

[Preplayed with the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] not_a_parakeet. TBC in comments. Apologies, was supposed to be up yesterday (and completed), but I sort of failed at availability this week.]
glacial_queen: (Please Just Listen to Me)
The meeting took place after dark. For all that the Hall was filled with dark power that had seeped into its very stones, it was still easier for the demon-dead to arrive after the sun had set. Several bottles of yarbarah were already warming--this might be a war council, but Mrs. Beale would never allow Mephis, Prothvar, and Andulvar to go without refreshment.

All war councils need tea and cookies )

[Establishy, unless them that are there wish to talk to people! NFB.]
glacial_queen: (Water Distance)
So after a week like the one they'd had, Karla's desire for a cheerful day at the beach had grown to something akin to need. In fact, she'd sent Jaenelle and Lucivar early to set up so that by the time her guests arrived, they could just pile into a Coach and go.

Which, in fact, was exactly what they did. Kyle barely had time to boggle at SaDiablo Hall (or the portal or even Warren's wings), before Karla and Holt were herding them into the Coach and leaping up to catch the Opal Wind to the Fyreborn Islands.

By the time they arrived, Jaenelle and Lucivar had set up the picnic--packed by Mrs. Beale and more akin to a movable feast--including a veritable mountain of small green berries to eat and share with the wildlife.

What wildlife?

Oh, you know. Just dragons. Just your usual, every day, average dragons. Pony-sized--not counting wings and the tails. Didn't anyone say, Kyle?

In Kaeleer, dragons were real.

[NFB, for those who know who they are]
glacial_queen: (Excuse me?)
Spending all of yesterday facing the fussing/interrogation had been...a day. Yes. Which meant that Karla was in no hurry to do that again. However, she knew better than to think she could avoid the boyos for however long until their portal arrived (more's the pity), so instead of trying for that, she'd simply sent out as many handwavy calls as possible to see if anyone wanted to spend some time with a trio of Kaeleeran boyos.

Surely they wouldn't mind a mini-Fandom invasion into their rooms, right?

Whatever. It was that or go insane and Karla had decided that if anyone was going to suffer today, it was going to be them.

"Kiss kiss!" she announced, poking her head through the door. "Are you ready for guests?"

[Open! If you think you got a call, you did!]
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: (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.]
glacial_queen: (Serious queen)
Saetan looked like a man who had barely survived a battlefield.

Judging from the emotional currents flavoring the air around them, Karla was guessing that wasn't all that far from the truth. She closed the door to Jaenelle's sitting room with a near-inaudible thump and waited to be acknowledged.

"My instructions were explicit, Karla." The voice had no strength. The face looked gray and strained. "Leave now."

Karla pointed casually to the Birthright Red Jewels that Saetan wore. "You're going to have the damndest time tossing me out wearing those."

Saetan didn't call in the Black.

It was as Karla'd assumed, then. Whatever Saetan had done to get Jaenelle to the Keep in her present physical and emotional condition had drained the Black. What had happened to put Jaenelle into that condition still had yet to be explained to Karla, however. All Beale had said was that Saetan had been summoned to Little Terreille when something had happened with the Lady and had sent a message that he was bringing her to the Keep and that absolutely no one was to follow him. Karla had listened politely to Beale, nodded her thanks, and had caught the closest Wind to Ebon Askavi before Beale could offer to take her coat. )

[NFI, NFB, OOC=love. Text adapted from Chapter Thirteen of Heir to the Shadows. Warning for discussion of sexual assault and violence. Part 2 of plot.]
glacial_queen: (Worried)
This wasn't a family meeting. It was a war council. Karla had never seen Saetan look quite so grave and even Lucivar had left behind a lot of his customary bluster. They were ensconced in the study, waiting for Morton to arrive. He was past due, though no one was mentioning that.

Though she could see they were all thinking it, especially when they looked at her. )

[For two, please! Up early for great SP justice. NFB for different world shenanigans.]
glacial_queen: (Proud)
The Coach arrived on the landing web with a slight thump. Lucivar frowned a moment and then sighed. "So, I'm not a professional Coachman."

Karla looked up innocently. "I didn't say anything."

"But you were thinking it, witchling. I could tell." He hopped out of the Coach and opened the door for them, helping Karla out first. "Ready for your first view of SaDiablo Hall?" he rumbled at Warren.

From the landing web, only a side of the Hall could be seen, towering over acres of thick, lush lawns, gardens in a riot of colors, and even the hint of some not-so-distant woods.

"Show-off," Karla muttered, though she couldn't deny a bit of pride, either. "Let's go inside. They're probably waiting on us, I'm sure."

[Up late, but for SP goodness! Still for one, and nfb. Karla and Warren will be back on the island tonight.]
glacial_queen: (Amdarh)
The village of Halaway was located just about ten miles away from the Hall. Karla had skipped it during the school trip home, choosing instead to bring her friends to Amdarh, the capitol city of the Territory. Truth be told, however, she much preferred Halaway. It was smaller and friendlier and Sylvia, Halaway's Queen, was almost a friend to the coven, as opposed to Zhara's cooler politeness.

It was a bustling village, many small shops and homes situated around a large village green. The streets were paved with cobblestones and flowers lined the streets. If one took the tenor of the town from it's people, then Halaway was open and casual and relaxed. Children played in open side yards, while adults bustled around on business, or stopped to chat, leaning against walls and doorways. If a director was looking for a location to stand in as his 'happy and content 19th century town,' Halaway was an excellent contender.

"So, we have plenty of time to spend in town," Karla told Warren. "Time passes faster in Kaeleer than back in Fandom, so we'll have many, many hours to spend. So what would you like to do first? Would you rather look around at some of the other stores first, or just head to Lord Aldric's now and get it over with?

[For one, please! NFB, as they are no longer in Fandom.]

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