The Hall/The Keep/The Estate
Queen Karla of Glacia glacial_queen
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The Keep, Wednesday Morning, Fandom Time
After several days of intense study and research, Jaenelle had called for Karla to tell her that the ritual to fully sever Raven's connection to her brothers was ready to go. It would be difficult, it would be dangerous, and it would be painful, but Karla already knew that wouldn't matter to Raven. For the peace of mind that knowing she was free of her brothers' influence would grant her, Karla was certain that Raven would walk through fire.

Too bad that damage would be more easily healed than this.

[For the empath, please!]


2015-03-11 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Raven had spent the past few days in her room in meditation, preparing herself. The thought of pain didn't frighten her; she dealt with that every day. It was the risk of somehow changing that scared her the most. Maybe nothing of her personality or gifts would be altered, but the possibility was there. She had no idea what she might become.

Still, it was better than the alternative.


2015-03-12 07:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Once more Karla knocked on Raven's door. This time, she was clad in Widows Weeds, her hair pulled severely back and her Ebon-gray Jewel hanging low on her throat, glowing with its own inner fire.

"It's time," she said, extending a hand with nails so red they were almost black. "Raven, attend."


2015-03-12 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Raven rose from where she'd been sitting cross-legged on the floor and reached for Karla's hand.

"I am ready," she said, her voice not betraying her anxiety. "My will is yours."


2015-03-12 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Karla's lips twitched. Excellent use of Protocol, Raven. "Jaenelle's readied the Sanctum for this," she said. "She thinks it will be easier with just the two of us, because I know you better and so she can keep watch from the outside. Unless you'd prefer to do this with her and have me keep watch?"


2015-03-12 11:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

That didn't take much thought to make a decision. "I am grateful for Jaenelle's assistance, and I have great respect for her power, but I think I would be more comfortable with you," she said.


2015-03-13 12:02 am (UTC) (Link)

"I thought that's what you'd want," Karla said, squeezing Raven's fingers. "But I wanted to give you a choice. And she told me exactly what to do--it's less about power and more about finesse. I should have plenty of power for what we do need."


2015-03-13 12:22 am (UTC) (Link)

"And you know me best," Raven said, nodding as she squeezed back. "You know...what does not belong."


2015-03-13 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Karla nodded, turning to lead her out the door and towards the Sanctum. The dark halls arched over their head, their footsteps echoing down the corridors.

"Have you had any sense of them?" she asked as they walked. "Anything at all that seems unlike you?"


2015-03-13 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)

"I do not think so," Raven said, following along. She'd spent hours searching within herself, trying to find emotions that were not her own. But she hadn't detected them in the first place. Had that been her brothers' stealth, or her own pride? Either way....

"I still worry that I might overlook something," she admitted. "I cannot be completely sure."


2015-03-13 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)

"I'm going to check you over, thoroughly, when we start," Karla assured her. "It's just...not seeing anything isn't a guarantee either way, but had you discovered something then we would have had that to focus on."

She offered her a wan smile. "It was like when we were waiting to see if Kayla was going to be Kayla. If she'd been a boy, we would have known for sure that she wasn't that Kayla, but knowing she was a girl meant that we couldn't rule it out, but it wasn't a certainty, either."


2015-03-13 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)

"I think I understand," Raven said. "When you were within me before...the immediate danger was vanquished and the connection severed. Now what remains is the potential."

She already knew what she was capable of if her demon blood was given free reign. She'd trapped New York in a living nightmare. And that didn't even count what versions of her in other worlds had done.


2015-03-13 02:00 am (UTC) (Link)

The specter of the other-Raven, she of dyed black feathers to make a cloak, had been haunting Karla for the past few weeks, yes. She was more glad than ever that she hadn't told Warren of that other world or the extend of what had happened to Raven here. His response would have been...imprudent.

"And we're going to excise that as well," Karla replied firmly. Jaenelle had tried to talk to her about potential courses of action if they couldn't guarantee the closing, but Karla had refused to engage. That was a conversation she wanted to have with Raven first, if she had to have it at all.


2015-03-13 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Raven's thoughts were somewhere along the same lines, and she halted for a moment, clutching at Karla's arm.

"If you cannot...if you have to...." She couldn't quite bring herself to say it. "I trust you. Do what you need to do. Promise me you will."


2015-03-13 02:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Karla stopped, turning towards Raven to look her in the eyes. "I promise that I will take every step I have to to keep you safe and everyone else safe as well," she said. "And if it comes down to it, I promise I'll do whatever needs to be done. I won't let you do anything that will--I won't let them turn you into a weapon to hurt those you love most. On my Jewels, I swear it, Raven."


2015-03-13 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)

"Thank you," Raven said, shoulders slumping with relief. She didn't want it to come to that. She didn't want to force Karla to make that decision. But knowing Karla was prepared for it was good. In a strange interpretation of "good."

She drew in a deep breath. "But it will not come to that," she said, trying to sound confident. This ritual will be successful."


2015-03-13 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)

"You've got Witch, Dreams Made Flesh on your side," Karla reminded, prodding Raven with her elbow. "And you know, the strongest female in the Realms who is not an incarnation of the fondest wishes of the Blood, but meh, details.


2015-03-13 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Raven reached out to hug Karla. "I love you," she said, letting all her affection -- untainted by Lust -- pour out of her. "No matter what."


2015-03-13 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)

"I love you, too," Karla said, holding her close.

Which was why she could promise that. Because she knew Raven would rather be killed than harm someone else the way she had Jono or the assassins or the people who ran the corrupt orphanages.

"We're gonna make you better."


2015-03-13 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Raven drew back, doing her best to compose herself.

"Then we had best get started," she said. "For I cannot wait to return to Sidra and see how much Kayla has grown since I saw her last."

Yes, it had only been a month, but babies grew up so fast.


2015-03-13 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

"She's getting fussy," Karla said with a wistful smile. Her little girl was growing up so fast. "I think a tooth's about to erupt. And since Warren's also molting, tempers are short at home."


2015-03-14 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)

"Oh, then I definitely need to be there to ease that pain," Raven said.

Warren could deal with his feathers on his own, however. Priorities.


2015-03-14 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Pfft, Warren had been dealing with the itching for years. He was used to it. Kayla, however, was whimpering and discomfort and that was completely unacceptable.

"Good, because I'm pretty sure Julian is going to be pushed right over the edge the next time she cries for an hour and can't be soothed," Karla said, not entirely joking. "He hates being unable to do anything for her. And the numbing gel the Healers make only does so much. She drools most of it off within minutes."

It was a stressful time for everyone at the estate.


2015-03-14 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Because Kayla had everyone at the estate wrapped around her wee perfect fingers.

"Then let us do this," Raven said, doing her best at a brave smile. "For I cannot bear to allow her to be in discomfort for a moment longer."


2015-03-14 11:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

"You keep her in mind and we'll get this done in a blink."

The Sanctum had been hewn from the black rock of Askavi, polished to a mirror shine from millennia of use. Tall pillar candles provided light, reflected time and time again off the walls and floor, the ceiling far too high to be seen. The scent of herbs filled the air, calming herbs to help Raven relax and blends of magical herbs to help focus Karla and make her Craft stronger.

A kettle of tea sat on a low, black basalt table, a tongue of witchfire lazily dancing above it to keep it warm. There was only one cup; Karla crossed to the table and poured the tea into it, then offered it to Raven. "Drink this," she said. "It will put you into a meditative state not unlike the ones you're used to inducing yourself. But it will also lower your inner defenses and make you a little more suggestible."


2015-03-14 11:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

There were few people for whom Raven would drink such a thing without question, and Karla was at the top of the list. She took the tea and brought the cup up to her lips. The taste was not quite something she could place, but it was not entirely unpleasant.

She set the cup down on the table. Already she was starting to feel relaxed, which was welcomed after days of tension. "Shall I sit?" she asked Karla. "Or lie down?

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