Events that take place after THIS ENTRY.

The new soon-to-be-Queen of Fortuna stood stock still as her handmaiden, Eram tightened the stays on the waistline of her gown. Yard upon yard of heavy, watered black silk fell around her in waves. Her hair was swept up off her face and drawn up under the crown of the Heiress Apparent. She would not wear the full crown of the Fortunate Island until the formal coronation. For now, a copy of that crown that was locked away in the Temple storehouse, rest upon the brow of the doppelganger of her mother. Melek as her Chief Advisor had poked his head into her chambers to inquire about her state of readiness. She only responded with a nod and just as quickly, he slipped away once more.

Other serving women, too numerous to remember their names, put on the rest of her jewelry. Earrings, bracelets, of diamonds and the deepest Emeralds of the House of Rochefort were set off against the black of the dress. and the long graceful neck that displayed them. Jocelyn barely seemed to notice them and their ministrations. None of them dared to speak outside the soft murmurs of direction amongst themselves as they prepared her for the state funeral of her parents.

On the night before the moon shone through the skylight above the throne room. The beveled glass sent streams of light in all directions, some of it reflected in rainbow prisms that rested upon the bodies of the Queen and her Consort. Melek had done his work well. Even she could not tell the difference between these look-alikes and her own parents. Knowing that she was probably observed, she spent a great deal of time staring down at them. When her feet began to ache, it was UserBesNeha who brought her a chair which was drawn up beside the body that could have been that of her father. In those stilled hands was a copy of the Sword of Unmaking - the one instrument that could have ended her mother's or any other Fae's Immortal life in an instant. This, too, had been copied meticulously by the Fallen One and those who worked for him. That one instrument, she was certain, still rested safely in her real father's possession never to leave it until his own true death.

After a long silence the dwarf who had been her mother's friend for centuries laid a hand upon her own. "What lies in front of you is greater than anything you have ever done before, my Lady," he said. "Whatever need you have of me, know that you only have to give the word and it is granted."

Jocelyn pulled her eyes away for a moment to look at him. "My mother trusted you as few others," she said giving his small slightly withered fingers a squeeze, "I know I'll have to rely on you soon. But not yet."

"You only have to ask," UserBes dared to give her fingers a squeeze in response. It was no wonder to Jocelyn why her mother had trusted him. He had been a constant figure in all of their lives, never wavering in his support of their family.

Of course, Jocelyn mused , there was no possible way that UserBes could have known or suspected what she had meant. She was all but certain she would need to ask for his aid very soon indeed. And his knowledge was by now almost as ancient as Melek's was.

"Have their tombs been prepared?" she asked softly, turning her gaze back to the two bodies lying in state.

"Yes, my lady," UserBes said. "They will be interred immediately after the ceremony tomorrow. But now I regret that I must take my leave."

He rubbed his beard then took to one knee, placing the ring upon her hand up to his brow in deference to who she was and his acknowledgement to her as his Queen. "Please get some rest yourself. Tomorrow promises to be a long day."

Wordlessly, the dwarf turned and left his queen to her thoughts. As he left, the soft light through the glass seemed to grow momentarily dimmer as a thin cloud passed over the moon.

She did not notice. Only the swim in the cave beneath the Palais was enough to calm her turbulent mind. That night Jocelyn did not expect to see her friend, Kai or any sign of the Leopard Seal. She couldn't help but feel a little disappointment. He had promised her that he would be there the following night. Still, it made her smile to remember the fun they had had together swimming and scooping up treasures. She had been careful to keep one of the stones that Kai had handed to her in her pocket at all times. She found herself fingering it's smoothed edges from time to time and felt herself immediately relax even when there was pandemonium throughout the entire Court.


'Act like Maman....act like Maman' she thought to herself over and over again. If Joceluyn was careful she would be able to remain as detached as her mother had been as queen. Her stomach was now coiling and uncoiling like a serpent since she had begun getting ready for the state funeral. The sound of murmuring and the Ville around the Palais became louder and louder. But it was the trumpets that blared outside the walls of the Palais that caused her heart to clench.

It was time.
userbes: (formal)

From: [personal profile] userbes

All had been made ready for the state funeral. The Temple had been festooned with dark silk draping the length of the columns, festooned with neatly tied ropes and garlands of flowers to send Queen Faelyn and their beloved Consort, the Comte de Rochefort on their way.

There had almost never been a point in Queen Faelyn's life in which he was a part. He had found her in France when her Uncle had secreted her away from Scotland. He had seen her rise and fall, and rise again. Userbes had been there when she gave birth to both of her daughters and now he would be there to bury her. It didn't seem possible How could an Unseelie Queen, who should have been by all rights, Immortal be somehow 'unmade' . Only the Sword of Unmaking should have been able to end that life he had so preciously stood beside = and yet here they were. His heart was heavy, but his thoughts were far from quelled.

The drum beats intensified as the pall bearers brought the two ornate coffins into the centre of the Dais that had been set in the temple. Just behind hit sat the Heiress Apparent, Queen Jocelyn - but not yet formally queen. Her face was somber, her eyes were dark and stormy. She reminded UserBes so much of how her mother had looked when she was so young. The shuffle of the feet of the bearers did not even sound or scuff along the floor.

Beside her stood the Regent, the Fallen Angel, Melek Taus. Even though supposedly cursed, he was still stunningly beautiful - at least in his present guise. Other times, which UserBes had seen on the rare occasion - he had been the very devouring Dragon of legend. To the Unseelie Court, none of that mattered. What mattered now was getting through this day and bringing to Sidhe justice the ones responsible for the deaths of the Queen and her Consort.

The room was heavy with the scent of flowers and incense, all of the Courtiers from the Unseelie Court and dignitaries visiting from the Seelie were in attendance. Others of the lesser known kingdoms also had arrived. Priestesses playing sistra came after the coffins. The sound could have been likened to rushes in the wind or faerie bells in the distance. As the procession passed, UserBes sank to his knees, touching his forehead to the floor. It was in deference to the passing of a family member or the head of the royal house he had served for so long.

sunandshadows: (bowing prayer contemplation)

From: [personal profile] sunandshadows

She didn't walk in the front with the royal families as they came in to pay their respects. She didn't even enter with the various delegates that had come and made their regards to the Fortunate Isle royalty - both the living and the dead. She even chose not to put her uniform robes of the priestess-hood, which by right she would have been allowed to do. No, Amarante chose to enter the grand hall with the merchants, the guilds. Specifically, the healers guild that included - among others - the herbalists and midwives. That is when Mara entered the hall, her robe a simple unadorned black linen, and her apron too was black with a thin belt of freshly picked and twisted vines at the waist.

Mara's hair was unbound, hanging in a waterfall of curls down to her hips. No makeup, no jewelry to speak of, at least not the metal kind. About her brows the girl had woven sprigs of blue-blooming rosemary. In her clasped hands was a small bouquet of lemon'scented geranium leaves and heliotrope. Demurely she walked, bare footed into the grand hall with her fellow healers. Meeting no eyes and looking neither left nor right she came closer to finally look upon the remains of her own parents. The floor around the caskets themselves had been covered in bouquets of flowers, burying the marble tiles with flowers that were inches deep. Mouth moving in silent prayer, the faeling finally looked up when - and only when - she had a clear and obscured view of the new queen on her dias. The queen and her regent, that is. And that's when Amarante broke tradition.

Normally one would curtsy to royalty and move on, allowing the ones behind in the procession to take their turn viewing both the dead and the living; but here Amarante halted, curtsied, and then knelt on the floor with head down. The healers around her seemed to know she would do this, and stopped in turn so that they formed a guard around her to keep Mara from being stepped on as she waited to be acknowledged by the crown.
sunandshadows: (memories & regret)

From: [personal profile] sunandshadows

And that, as they say, was that. Like serpent shedding skin, the young half-mortal threw off her ambassadorial facade, becoming once more a member of the house royal. Escorted up the stairs by her ruling kin, Amarante met the eyes of each person on the dais. Caroline, with her golden curls and leonine, watchful expression; and her husband the immortal spartan. And on her side was Userbes, and then Melek. Four sets of eyes, all guarded and vigilant - and yet in each of them Mara thought she could see a hint of welcoming warmth. Just a hint, but there nonetheless. The true homecoming would come later, in the privacy of the royal chambers. The faeling had no doubts at all that even now, servants were swiftly carrying her belongings from the small ambassador's room where she'd been residing, to her own set of rooms in the royal wing.

And once Mara stood at the side of the regent, behind the throne of her sister and queen, she began searching the halls, boldly eyeing the former dignitaries and visiting royals who had believed her inferior to their station simply due to the responsibility that the Unseelie throne had placed upon her. It was almost amusing to watch as the Seelie delegation recognized their earlier arrogant mistakes regarding their mistreatment of the one who had come to them as courier, ambassador. Half-human she may have been; Amarante LeGarde was still a loved and loyal member of house de Rochefort, no matter what name she carried.

Melek was so close, she could feel his nearness through the cloth of her sleeve. There was a warmth on that side, or did she merely imagine it? It was just then that Jocelyn lifted a hand, and in return Mara immediately shifted her small, herbal bouquet from one hand to the other. But before she reached out to hold her sister's hand as they'd done of old, Mara slid her fingers the pocket of her healer's robe. When her hand met the queen's, there was something hidden in her palm, something that grew warm in the combined heat of their bodies. And when Jocelyn finally drew her hand away, it was with practiced casualness; to the point where none but the most observant ones on the dais noticed anything had been passed at all.

And when Jocelyn would look at it, some several minutes later, she'd find the meaning behind the language of flowers that Amarante had chosen to wear. Lemon geraniums, who's petals brought the faint, fresh scent of that fruit, spoke of an 'unexpected meeting'. And the heliotrope was for devotion. And if those symbols did not speak loudly enough to the new queen; then the exquisite and rare, pearlized seashell hopefully would.

And not more than half a candle-mark after that, Mara's eyes picked out a man's form, head and shoulders above his companions. His hair hidden by a cloak and cowl of dark grey, and his clothes a faded, but presentable mixture of blues and black, and hiding all hint of tattoo-work that covered most of his body. Strangly enough, though the man's garb was made of leather and faded linen and the cloak was of wool, they were custom and expertly fit to the man himself.

Finally he had arrived and was making his way, walking with the crowd of mourners into the hall and toward the funeral caskets. Mara could see him from where she stood, above and behind the throne, but it would be a few more minutes before Jocelyn herself would be able to catch sight of the Selkie.

The slightest sound of a cough from her sister would alert Jocelyn that something was up.
Edited Date: 2017-05-08 06:30 am (UTC)
sonofasealeopard: (I see you don't bother hiding)

From: [personal profile] sonofasealeopard

Kai adjusted the hood of his cloak one more time before joining the crowd of island Unseelie fae who were getting into the procession that took them into the palais, and into the great hall where the (call it what it is, Kai) murdered queen and her consort's body lay, in their grand caskets. Joining the parade of folk that were there to say goodbye, he instinctively ducked his head as he went through the doorway - even though the great doors rose up a few feet above even his head. The light from outside streamed in the stained glass windows, the beautiful day at odds with the sadness and depression of the crowd that surrounded him. There was genuine mourning for their beloved queen, tears shed for her loss. As for her consort, there was respect, oh lots of it - but not a lot of love lost. Stories of his deeds, for good and for ill, had been passed around in the taverns and inns over the past several days and Kai had heard many stories of the inquisitioner and spymaster turned royal consort. And nearly every story ended with the words 'he gave his all out of love' or 'hers to the end'; or statements along those lines.

There were tales told of how the queen, by her grace and beauty, the strength of her love tamed the mortal warrior, and about how together they were unstoppable. And stories too of her regal bearing and the enduring impact of her skills at negotiation; as well as his deep and private worship of his wife and children. What Kaimana gleaned from all these stories, these rumors and tales told and retold at night was that the former rulers of the Fortunate Isles were complex characters indeed.

And like parents, so apparently were their children. He could see them there, far away but not so far as they were a few minutes before. The oldest sister, golden fair and glorious, who willingly gave up the throne to find her destiny in the mortal lands with a voice as golden rich and pure as her hair - and who brought back an immortal warrior lover. The middle one - adopted, yes, but not unknown. Wild as a butterfly, and dancing as brightly, the protoge and onetime shadow of her mother the queen, who's devotion was as true as any pureblood; though she was only half fae.

And the youngest, the heir apparent; dark of hair and eyes, nearly the very mirror of her mother at that age - oh, but with her father's bearing and sense of independence. She who had been trained by both parents to rule, and more than that; Jocelyn had been taught both dark arts and light to be able to rule alone, so long as she chose. With her skin so pale and her eyes so dark, her mind so quicksilver and bright. She could fight, dance and ride, and discuss mathematics and religion, battle tactics, magical theory and practice, and politics, and so much more. They said that she had her mother's smile - and her father's eyes. A true and fitting queen to be, once she ascended to the throne. And that wouldn't happen until she had her rite of becoming.

All the stories told of the two - and at times three - sisters that survived. Kai thought about it all as he tugged the cuff of his shirtsleeve a little lower and took those steps closer and closer to the throne. He could feel eyes upon him, and casually glanced up to see the one he'd given the nickname 'little sister' had already observed his entrance. But it wasn't her that he'd been looking forward to seeing this day. None behind the throne held any interest for him, not the golden sister, or her warrior, not the Grigori, or the 'small man', the other. Only one, and she sat upon the throne.

Only one, and there she was. Kai schooled his looks to be more solemn, it wouldn't do to look joyful at a funeral. Still, he couldn't help but show that inviting gleam in his dark eyes as he was able to watch that single moment that she realized he was there, and nearly right in front of her.
melek_taus: (Overseeing)

From: [personal profile] melek_taus

The Peacock Angel watched the state funeral carefully. Standing immediately at the left of the young queen, he could feel the heat of her body. Sense her breathing and watched her comport her self with the same controlled and exquisite dignity as her mother, Faelyn, had done when she ascended the Throne of the Fortunate Islands.

'It's not easy, Little One,' he thought sympathetically. Faelyn and her consort were surely watching nearby, 'How amusing to be able to observe your own funeral'. Melek moved aside slightly when the dwarf also took his place at Jocelyn's side. On the right hand of the Queen was her sister and her husband, the Greek known as Stelios.

Even he, as a demon, however, felt his heart catch when Jocelyn had raised Amarante from her self-imposed position of inferiority by having placed herself in among the commoners. It was a wise move on the Woodland Fae's part to do so, allaying, at least for the moment, any notions by the Seelie, that their plot had been exposed to him the night before. Jocelyn had shown her true colors as a diplomat in the making by bringing Amarante to stand near her as much a sister to the Crown as her own blood-sister, Caroline was. 'I wonder what the Seelie think of that?'

For one moment, Amarante's eyes and his own met. The ruse that they had begun such a short time ago was not so much a ruse now. Perhaps, he mused, they both had come to the realize that
ion that such intimacy, especially for someone such as himself, was not an ordinary occurrence.

She had crowned him, sought to reward him. Back in his own chambers, he had carried her, pulled her impossibly tighter to him and kissed her over and over again. Human, Fae, Angel or Demon, his body was a traitor in revealing so obviously as he stiffened against her that he wanted her...desperately. Amarante responded, every kiss promising even more still....

Melek Taus reluctantly pushed allowing further thoughts of the night before aside to see a large hooded figure who was now in front of the throne. No matter how the man had attempted to conceal himself, his figure loomed as an intimidating presence in height and build. Melek could feel himself bristle slightly, glad that he was armed if necessary. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glance between the warrior and Jocelyn. Did they know each other? Seeing the Seelie whispering amongst themselves didn't do anything to allay the Peacock Angel's suspicions of a trap. He would carefully watch, but was ready to step in if need be.
Edited Date: 2017-05-22 01:32 am (UTC)


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