The Hall/The Keep/The Estate
Queen Karla of Glacia glacial_queen
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The Estate, Sidra, Glacia to The Keep, Ebon Askavi, Thursday
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.

Once she'd gained entry to the residential section of the Keep, she immediately made for Jaenelle's suite there. As a member of the Dark Court, Karla technically had a set there as well, though she rarely made use of it. She could already tell that Jaenelle was not present; her dark psychic scent permeated the air, but was not as rich or intoxicating as it would be if she were within. Still, Karla knocked anyway before letting herself in--a habit, and a precaution, since some of the kindred Warlord Princes who served her were fiercely protective, even to one of Jaenelle's oldest friends.

As she opened the door, the cold rage filling the room stopped her before she'd taken the first step. It made the hint she'd gotten from the letter seem like one of Kayla's bouts of fussing. She gritted her teeth and moved forward, each step a test of will, until she stood in front of the worktable and stared at the reason Jaenelle had summoned her.

The curtains were still open, and the moonlight was enough to make the spidersilk look silvery in the dark room. A tangled web. The kind of web Black Widows used to see dreams and visions. She hadn't cut any of the threads. Hadn't destroyed the web. She'd left it intact knowing she'd summoned the most curious of her Sisters, another Black Widow who could look into that web and see the same vision. Her.

Not quite an invitation to look, but the tacit offer to let Karla see what she had seen was the reason she turned and walked out of the room. It was enough to know whatever she'd seen had produced the cold rage that lingered there.

Karla was vastly unsurprised to see Draca waiting for him by the time she reached the first of the Court's common rooms. She was the Keep's Sceneshal. Had always been the Keep's Seneschal. And a very, very long time ago, she had been the dragon Queen who, when her own race's time in the world had finally come to an end, had shed her power along with her scales. The females those scales had touched had become the first Blood, inheriting an old power to become the new guardians of the Realms.

In a very real sense, Karla could trace her own lineage back to the dragons that once spiraled into Ebony, catching stars in their tails.

Draca looked human now, and ancient, but the reptilian cast to her features intimidated most people. She used that to her advantage when dealing with the scholars who requested access to the Keep's library and the sycophants who requested access to the Keep's Queen. All told, she generally went easier on the scholars; at least they asked for things meant for their use.

"Draca," Karla said, bowing slightly in her severely-tailored suit.

"Karla," she replied, giving the young Queen a small smile.

"Jaenelle told me to meet her here. Where is she?"

"Sshe iss expecting you at dawn, Lady."

"I'm here now. My friend is not."

"The Queen hass gone to the Keep in Terreille."

There were three Keeps, just as there were three Ebon Askavis, one in each of the Realms. If Karla understood correctly (and there was no guarantee she did,) they were the central focus point around the Realms turned. A version of SaDiablo Hall existed in Terreille, Kaeleer, and Hell as well, but Uncle Saetan had built those individually. The Keep and the Black Mountain simply were. Karla heard the distinction between her friend and the Queen that Draca had made, realized the warning within it, but still she turned away, intending to go to the Dark Altar within the mountain--one of the thirteen Gates that linked the three Realms. Light the candles in the correct pattern and a way would open to you to either Terreille, Kaeleer, or Hell. Karla didn't know the patterns, but the Priestesses who guarded and served the shrines and altars did.

"Lady."

She stopped and looked over her shoulder. "Terreille is enemy territory. She shouldn't be there and she certainly shouldn't be there alone." Never mind that Jaenelle wore the Ebony, that her power had a depth that made Karla dizzy just to think about, this was her friend and her Queen. And Jaenelle had scars from Terreille that had only barely healed.

"The Keep iss protected."

She knew that, but the need to protect, to shelter--Hell's fire, just to accompany her friend and keep her safe from the ever-present dangers and the shadows in her own mind--were swelling in her until she couldn't think past it, couldn't feel anything but the drive to protect Jaenelle.

"Karla."

The tug of power, of the kinship in her blood made her hesitate.

"Sshe doess not expect you until dawn."

She fought a vicious internal battle, instincts warring with training warring with concern warring with wariness.

"Come," Draca said, her voice gentled with understanding. The door to the common room silently opened, untouched by any hand. "I will summon a portal for you. Take a few hours. Visit your island. Enjoy peace and friendship. When you are needed, I will summon you."

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]

heromaniac

2015-06-19 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Blossom reached for her phone, snapping a picture of the mountain below her.

Monitoring a restless volcano and thought of you. What are you up to?

glacial_queen

2015-06-19 02:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Karla's phone buzzed; she checked her text and gave a smile smile. On my way to the Keep, she sent back. I got a note from J. Not entirely sure if my friend wants to see me or if it's a summons from my Queen.

heromaniac

2015-06-19 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Oooh.

If it was important wouldn't she have contacted you on a thread? If its a note it's probably okay.

glacial_queen

2015-06-19 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)

If it's an emergency, yeah. But there could be any amounts of crap that requires me. Ugh. People. I should run off and become Queen of the unicorns or something.

Except, you know, Moonshadow would shiv her with her alicorn.

What's up with you, sweetie?

heromaniac

2015-06-19 03:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Because the unicorns totally don't have politics and stupid stuff happen.

"Also, Moonshadow would totally take you down," she snickered aloud.

Not much. Work and school and waiting for the weekend so I can go back to San Antonio and Jaime.

glacial_queen

2015-06-19 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Yeah, but not stupid HUMAN politics. We deliberately ruin things because we're terrible. I wanna be a kindred. They're less dumb about roughly everything.

There was a reason the kindred's term for 'human' meant 'stupid meat.' It had been the Arcerian's word first and then just spread.

Where are you? And how is living with Jaaaa~iiiiiiiiiime?

heromaniac

2015-06-19 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Right now I'm in a country called Equador. I was asked to do some checking on a volcano that's grumbling. Animals don't seem to concerned yet but the scientists are worried.

She snapped another picture and sent it to Karla.

I am living in El Paso until my last class is over in August. and I LOVE LIVING WITH HIM!!! Its awesome!

glacial_queen

2015-06-19 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Soooooooooooooooooo...........? Any...exciting...developments to share with your friends?

There were a string of winky emojis following that text.

heromaniac

2015-06-19 03:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Nope! We still have Rules and I have my own room.

Was there an eyeroll emoji?

But it's nice being there with him all the time. Just turning and he's there. Random touches. Doing chores... You know?

glacial_queen

2015-06-19 03:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Karla was making faces at the phone. Mother Night, Momoko! You were a grown woman! Hit that! Repeatedly!

I remember the Pants Rule. I do not miss it. Because sex was amazing Momoko! Amaaaazing. But I know what you mean. The intimacy that comes from sharing space with the one you love.

And then, because she was the trollsiest troll, You know if you ever have any questions, I'm always here for you, right darling?

heromaniac

2015-06-19 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Oh, she remembered that it was amazing, Karla. Don't worry.

I will totally let you know if I have questions. The Rules are important but that doesn't mean we like them. Momoko sighed.

And yes yes! Shared space!! Even if I have to wait to use the bathroom! It makes me so happy! Not just happy, all the way happy.

Which reminded her!

Speaking of, Dinah is not happy :( You talked to her recently?

glacial_queen

2015-06-19 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Can I ask why you have them if you're not thrilled with them? Karla asked. J/king aside, I respect your choices, I'm just wondering why you have them since you don't have Virgin Night fears the way Kaeleerans do.

And this clearly wasn't the case for the entire world, considering what Karla knew of Dinah's sex life, and Emma's, and Sookie's...

Not much since I showed up to check on P after he got hurt. What's going on with her? Everything OK?

heromaniac

2015-06-21 01:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Momoko lifted above the clouds so she could sit and not be noticed.

rules: Because its about more than sex for me. It's ME I am sharing. I don't want to give myself to someone just for fun. I want it to mean something. And I don't want to share me.

Hmm... how to explain this.

I don't want a bunch of people knowing me like that. I want it to be special and so the other person knows it's them I feel that way about.

She sighed, totally sure this wasn't making any sense.

Also not ready for things that can happen with sex. I love Kayla, but not ready for my own. And accidents happen even when prepared

I want to but I'm just not ready all the way.

It was a second or two before she tapped out:

Dinah: She's fretting about her future. she got her license and doesn't know what to do now.

glacial_queen

2015-06-21 10:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Those are excellent reasons to wait, Karla said. She could understand and respect Momoko's reasoning, even if she didn't ascribe to it. The most important was the fact that Momoko wasn't all the way ready; the rest were explanations of why she wasn't, which were helpful, but not necessarily required. If you're not 100% ready, then you're doing exactly right. I'm glad you know yourself to know that you aren't, rather than just going along with it because it's 'expected.'

Karla had just wanted to know that Momoko was following her own rules and not anybody else's. So long as she was secure in that, she was willing to back Momoko's play for as long as necessary.

Poor Dinah. I know I've complained about knowing exactly what I HAVE to do w/my life. I never thought about how the opposite could also suck. :-/

heromaniac

2015-06-26 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)

EEEEEEEEEEEE!

Srs? You don't think I'm being childish or silly??????

Momoko had been sure that was what was coming!

Thank you!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

I think she's scared to fail? She keeps giving excuses to not start stuff.

Edited at 2015-06-26 12:51 am (UTC)

glacial_queen

2015-06-26 03:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Darling, it's your body. You have the ultimate say in what happens to it and what you want to do with it. If you're not ready for sex yet then having sex would be the worst thing for you to do! I want to make sure you're doing (or not doing) what you WANT to do, not what you think other people want you to do. So long as this is your choice, then you hold onto it for as long as you want. What's childish and silly about knowing what you are ready for & what you're not?

Granted, she might send Momoko a vibrator, because there was nothing wrong with Momoko 'sharing' with herself, but she'd support Momoko's decision to wait for as long as Momoko was willing to hold to it. And then she'd back Momoko's decision to get as kinky as she wanted.

Hmm. You think I should invite her to Glacia for a bit? See if that terrifies her into starting something just so she has an excuse not to accept my invite?

heromaniac

2015-07-04 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Momoko hugged the phone a moment before typing back:

Thank you! I thought maybe you wouldn't understand! I always feel left out and different from you guys about this! All the pressure is to have sex so I am happy to have you in my corner.

Though she had Jaime on her side, and Dinah was putting up with Momoko's decisions, it was a great feeling to have someone as open about sex as Karla say Momoko was doing the right thing. Plus, well, she wanted KARLA in her corner!

I think she'd take you up on it as an excuse to run away. Unless you make her do court work?

glacial_queen

2015-07-07 11:17 am (UTC) (Link)

So long as you're happy with what you're doing, you've always got my support. Karla meant that for more than just Momoko's body and she hoped Momoko knew that. And if anyone gives you trouble for that, tell them the Queen of Glacia's got your back and they can suck it.

So nyah and so there, hypothetical haters!

I'm thinking I should invite her out for a visit and then threaten her with court stuff until she comes up with a workable plan for her future. Think that'll work?