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Author Topic: Embracing potential  (Read 95 times)

Description: Tag Jorie and Emma(if you like)

Offline Angharad Maddox

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      Kellee

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Embracing potential
« on: May 17, 17, 01:26:52 PM »
Since her meeting with Emma, Angharad’s life seemed as if it’d been turned upside down. If she wasn’t studying up on Tormaa, planning her move, or fretting over if she’d find any males of her own for her Court, Ange could be found preparing for her Offering.  With the help of Emma, she’d found someone suitable to perform her Virgin Night on short notice and with minimal embarrassment.  The act itself hadn’t been the embarrassing part. No, that honor went to the fact that she’d had to ask her mentor to help her schedule it. Logically she knew that it wasn’t a big deal and that the outcome outweighed any discomfort in asking for help.  An irritated sigh escaped her lips as she stood. She was supposed to be preparing for her Offering, not worrying herself into a tizzy. 

A quick glance at the clock showed that she had just enough time to make her way down to the Temple and have a few moments to herself when she arrived.  Much to her relief, Jorie would be officiating.  She’d liked the Priestess when she first arrived at Court and was pleased when she’d gotten her position as High Priestess back.  It had been one of the things that bothered her about the previous Queen, that she’d been so harsh over an event that could’ve been handled more humanely.  She had the good grace to wait until the Priestess had recovered from the birth of her children, and had fully returned to work.  Jorie’s agreement to officiate her Offering on such short notice had taken a weight off of her shoulders.  While preparing, she’d come to respect and like the older Priestess. 

The relatively short walk to the Temple felt like it had doubled in length by the time she arrived. Ange knew her parents and siblings had arrived at Court but would see her in the morning after she had time to settle, clean up, and hopefully catch a bit of a nap.  Idris had insisted on at least escorting his sister to the Temple, but would wait outside once she began the ritual.  Climbing the stairs and entering the Temple, a sense of rightness came upon her.  The Queen didn’t know what Jewel she’d walk away with come morning, but for now, she’d leave it in Mother Night’s hands.

Offline Jorie Hardy

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • priestess
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      High Priestess

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      Westwood District

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      Dharo

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      Lene

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Re: Embracing potential
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 17, 03:18:59 PM »
Jorie carefully placed the new set of dark candles into the silver holders, melting the ends with a touch of heat craft so that they would mold and stay secure.  The air was cool here in the inner sanctum of the temple, a benefit of being built into the side of the terrain.   Not a common form of architecture even as far as temples went in Dharo but it was Jorie’s favorite and the place she chose as her official sanctum for herself and for the court.  It helped of course that it was located very close to where most of the Court resided and worked.

Dating back to a time long before Dharo ruled over Cymrea, she liked to imagine that stepping inside was a little like stepping back in time.  The main part of the building was newer, adding to the original function in a much more contemporary and common place building and the main altar and altered rooms within were very lovely and elegant, with dark stone floors and ornate windows.   But the original temple was where Jorie felt most at home.   Winter or Summer, the temperature was always consistent and because it was shut away from the outside world, it didn’t require the constant opening and closing of heavy drapes or wooden shutters to darken the room to the needed purpose. 

Jorie’s hand gently stroked the soft gray of the stone altar, imagining the echo of so many birthrights and offerings that it had witness, the drops of power that had touched its hard surface.  She half closed her eyes in a dreamy smile, feeling peace and contentment rise through her skin culminating in a long and loud sigh.

“A Queenling is coming,” she cooed softly to the room as she called in a silver etched cup and matching dagger.  Next to it, sat a small vial of clear liquid that danced in the candle light.   Jorie knew that every territory had its own special and unique twists to the Offering ceremony, touches that were unique and important to its own people.  In Cymrea, it was the water drawn from a spring deep within the mountains, according to legend, it sprang from the depths of the Darkness itself and having profound spiritual qualities.  Only Priestesses were told its location, a secret passed only through those of Cymrean bloodlines. “She’ll be a good Queen for our people,” she said to only herself.  She thought of Rowan, her own little Queenling, and how someday she too would step before this temple and see what gifts the Darkness would bestow upon her.

She heard the soft pad of steps in the corridor and looked over her shoulder towards the doorway.  Early, but it was good that she was anxious.  This was an important and special night.   Jorie gave one more look to the room before turning to meet Angharad Maddox at the doorway to the altar room.   She gave the younger woman a warm and welcoming smile, placing one hand on her shoulder in a gentle gesture.

“Welcome Lady Maddox,” she said, “I imagine you would like a few minutes to yourself before we are to begin.  Do you have any questions for me before we do?”

As she waited for a response, Jorie reached out on a distaff thread, a very light and gentle knock against her Queen’s outermost barrier before saying, *Lady Maddox will be performing her Offering this evening Lady Morgan.  As is customary, I am letting you know as ruling Queen.  Before we begin, is there any reason that this supplicant should not proceed?*

It was an old custom, one that was rarely ever invoked or performed but custom none the less.  An Offering was a private affair, but the Offering of a Queen was as political as it was personal.  If the participant might present a danger to the ruling Queen or court by in receiving this jewel, or if it was deemed dangerous even to the supplicant, then it was the obligation of the High Priestess to obtain permission from the ruling Queen.   Jorie had no doubt that Emma would allow Angharad to proceed but there was comfort in custom and Jorie didn’t mind.   She hoped that Lady Morgan wouldn’t either.

Offline Emma Morgan

  • Character Account
    • yellow2te
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      Ruler of Westwood

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      Westwood District (Cymrean)

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      Gavin

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Re: Embracing potential
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 17, 05:13:41 PM »
Emma finished the last of her letters in the late afternoon and rose from her chair to stretch. Angharad’s Offering was scheduled for tonight. Emma had taken care of a number of appointments, assignments, and meetings in order to clear her calendar for the next three days. Her father, Idris, would handle any major issues that didn’t require her attention. Idris Morgan had spent years in the Courts and learned from some of the best men in Cymrea and Dharo. Emma had no doubts that her father would serve well in her stead until she was ready to return.

Tonight, she needed to serve.

Angharad’s Virgin Night had gone well, if the glow from the younger woman was to be trusted, and Emma believed it was. Emma recalled her own Virgin Night and smiled. She’d needed Alora’s aid to set up her own, so she understood when Angharad’s embarrassment at asking for help, but she’d gone out of her way to assure the younger woman that there was no shame in it. So long as she enjoyed the ceremony, it was all worth it in the end.

Emma bathed and then put on a flowing wine-colored dress that bared her shoulders and hung to the floor. When she was ready to leave, Bevan was there like a silent shadow, a source of comfort that Emma knew she took for granted far too often. Perhaps it was time to make him First Escort in all but name. He wanted the Consort’s ring, but there expectations that came with that role, a role that Emma wasn’t certain she wanted filled, now or ever.

She and Bevan were almost to the temple when Jorie’s mind brushed against her own. Her High Priestess was another person she was growing to count upon nearly as much as she counted on Gwen or Bevan. It helped that Emma loved Jorie’s children as though they were her own. Holding Morgan brought her joy. Watching him with Rowen touched on instincts that Emma believed had been purged years ago.

She had always loved her people, but the members of her Court granted her strength. That strength kept her moving forward each day.

*The supplicant may proceed with my esteem. I will join you in the temple to hold vigil until the end of her Offering Ceremony, High Priestess. Is Lady Maddox’s family in attendance?* Emma asked.

She wanted to meet the family of the newest Queen under her purview and learn more about the young woman who’d be helping her to keep Cymrea intact.

She also didn’t want to be alone tonight. She wanted to be near her people and her friends.

I must be getting soft. But I can afford it just this once.

Emma arrived at the temple shortly before it was time for Angharad to begin.

Lady Maddox.” Emma said, and the discussion halted while everyone bowed or curtseyed to the District Queen. Emma immediately waved a hand to dismiss it and let everyone stand.

Best of luck to you on this momentous occasion. Mother Night’s blessings upon you and may the Darkness be merciful.” Emma said.

Offline Angharad Maddox

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Re: Embracing potential
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 17, 02:33:12 PM »
Angharad paused in the doorway, hesitant to enter while the Priestess was finishing her preparations.  In that moment, seeing the Chalice and altar, fully cemented the fact that the moment was here. All of her training had led her to this time and place.  Instead of making her more nervous, it relieved her. Regardless of what she’d find on the Altar in the morning, it would be hers and she would strive to be worthy of it. 

Jorie’s welcome was met with an open smile, and if it showed a bit of her newfound relief, well that was better than tears, right?  “Lady Hardy, thank you for Officiating” she replied, “I’d appreciate a few moments, I won’t take long though.” there was a brief pause as she considered.  “I’ve no questions Lady, thank you,” she answered.

As she moved to step away, she stopped. “While I don’t have any questions, I was wondering if you had any advice?” Angie almost hadn’t asked the question, knowing that it probably made her look young and weak.  Still, she wanted to do right by Cymrea, and for that, she needed to do her best.  There wasn’t shame in asking, as uncomfortable as it made her feel.  No, the shame would be not taking advantage of knowledge when offered.  After all, all knowledge was worth knowing even if

A brief tap on her barriers from Ellis told her that her parents had decided to stand vigil with their son. The warmth in his message helped quell her annoyance.  How could she have reasonably expected them not to come anyway?  As if summoned, her parents entered followed by Ellis.  Excusing herself with a murmured apology to Jorie, she walked towards them and was pulled into a hug from her mother and a clap on the shoulder from her father.  Ellis, for his part, sent her a teasing message on staff thread before wishing her good luck.

She’d just stepped back from greeting them when Lady Morgan entered.  After the formalities were done, she paused before speaking.  “Thank you, Lady Morgan.  Might I introduce my family?”  If permission was granted, she’d introduce them one by one, ending with Ellis, whom she already knew.

Offline Jorie Hardy

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • priestess
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      High Priestess

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      Westwood District

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      Dharo

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      Lene

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Re: Embracing potential
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 17, 03:29:31 PM »
Jorie watched the young woman's expression change from one of intense concern to almost a relaxing relief.  It was something she had seen before, the concern of the unknown resolving into a moment of clarity where all the lead up to the "what ifs" became the "I'm here."  The young Queen returned her greeting and stepped away to enjoy a few moments of reflection and Jorie had started to step back to give her the solitude she would want when Angharad stopped and looked back at her, asking a question after all.

Jorie smiled softly, "Yes." She reached out and lightly took Angharad's hand in her own comfortingly.  "Remember, this is not a test or a trial.  The Darkness is not seeking to judge you or condemn you.  This is..." Jorie searched for the right word.  "This is a presentation.  A showcase of who you are, bared beyond your tightest barriers to the heart of what makes us Blood.  So enter into this ceremony with an easy heart.  You have already done all the hard work, now it is time for your reward."  She squeezed her hand lightly and nodded her head briefly.

She saw the young woman process her words before glancing back towards the corridor, a flash on her face that told her there was other things that were pulling at her attentions.  She stepped to the side in an open gesture for her to go and watched the young Queen step back towards the entrance, with Jorie following suit.

She saw Lady Morgan with three others, two older and obviously Angharad's parents and a young man with lovely eyes and a smirk of a smile.  Jorie excused herself to the shadows and allowed the warm encounter to go unobstructed by her presence.  She only one caught the Queen's eye, giving her a proper bow of her head in greeting and took a seat on a nearby bench to wait for her summoning.


Offline Emma Morgan

  • Character Account
    • yellow2te
    • queen
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      Ruler of Westwood

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      Westwood District (Cymrean)

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      Dharo

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      Gavin

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Re: Embracing potential
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 17, 03:48:50 PM »
Yes, please do, Lady Maddox.” Emma said as Angharad requested to introduce her family. Emma committed each of their names to memory and thanked them genuinely for supporting Angharad now and in the future. The demands of rulership on a young Queen were many and constant. Angharad would be tested to her limits with the villages under her purview. There would be long days and longer nights, many of them with little or no sleep. She’d be under a microscope at all times while she formed her Court and then guided them toward fulfilling her visions for the future. Emma’s own trials in bringing Cymrea to a better place were ongoing, so she knew what Angharad was facing.

She also knew that the young woman would succeed.

Her family would see to it.

Emma envied the younger Queen a little bit. Her parents were alive and in love. Her brother stood at her side. Emma’s own family had been shattered in her youth with the deaths of her mother and baby brother. Her relationship with her father was damaged until recently. Without Alora, Gwen and her family, and Bevan beside her, Emma would be a different Queen today.

But she’d be a different woman if her original family was still intact.

I don’t mean to keep you, Lady Maddox. I will be staying the evening to pray and await your emergence in the morning.” she told Angharad.

If your family, and Lady Hardy, do not consider it an imposition, I will wait with them for your return.” Emma said.

She noted Jorie over in the corner and smiled at her. She wanted to talk to her, but did not want to interfere with her role tonight as officiator over this Offering ceremony. She would wait until there was time.

Please, feel free to come and speak with me when you like.” Emma said, looking to each member of Angharad’s family, as well as Jorie.

Offline Angharad Maddox

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Re: Embracing potential
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 17, 09:01:51 PM »
A reward.  That seemingly simple concept caused her to pause in her tracks.  Angie had been concerned (as she should be) on duty and service.  The idea that her Offering could be a reward for the work done hadn’t crossed her mind.  The Queenling had never been a spiritual woman, she’d been more concerned with the more practical aspect of being a member of the Blood.  In this moment however, she felt something more.

As the ceremony approached, she enjoyed the moments with her family, glad that they had decided to come rather than wait til morning.  Angharad knew that this was likely the last time for awhile that she’d be able to be free from the constraints of a tight schedule and a heavy workload. She couldn’t help but feel pride as she introduced her family to Emma. As much as she felt ready to strike out on her own, they would always be the very center of her world. 

As her parents made polite conversation with Emma, she noticed her mother’s approval of Emma’s Cymrean tattoos. Perhaps, she thought, she wouldn’t have to lobby quite so hard to get a set of her own after all. Still, time was passing, and it would soon be time to begin.  Making her excuses, she stepped away from the group and approached the High Priestess.
Folding her hands in front of her, she met Jorie’s eyes. “I’m ready to begin please.”   

Offline Jorie Hardy

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • priestess
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      High Priestess

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Re: Embracing potential
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 17, 11:11:23 PM »
Jorie rose from her seat and nodded, "Yes, you are."  She turned to the gathered adults, bowing politely.  "Lady Morgan. Lady Maddox. Princes Maddox, we will take our leave of you to begin.  I will return shortly.  There are refreshments and reclining couches in the main building of the temple, Priestess Llewelyn " she motioned to the young Priestess who approached, "will show you the way.  Please enjoy yourself as we wait out the evening."  She turned to Angharad and gently placed a hand on her back.

"Come, you have an important appointment to keep," she said warmly and walked with the young woman back to the room that held the Altar.  The dark candles had begun to drip slowly down the sides and the air was softly scented of burning wick.  Jorie used craft to shut the door behind them as they stepped up to the altar.  She picked up the vial of water and poured it carefully into the chalice, turning her body slightly to address Angharad as she worked.

"The water is the anchor to our past, the blood will be path that will lead you into the Darkness and your blood and jewels will be the beacon for you to follow," she explained as she carefully drew a thin red line with her dagger letting the droplets of blood fall into the crystal clear water before she reached for Angharad's palm.  If she let her, Jorie would repeat the small cut on the Queen's palm and let a few of her own drops fall into the chalice.   Using craft, she healed both cuts and placed the chalice on the altar.

"When you are ready, place your Birthright on the altar and consume everything in the chalice. As soon as you do, the candles will extinguish and you will be left in the dark.  I will return when the sun's first rays kiss the door of this chamber.   May the Darkness bless you," she said, leaning forward to place a motherly kiss on Angharad's forehead gently before turning and walking out of the altar room, closing and locking the door behind her. 

Jorie strode slowly through the corridor, almost regal in her posture as she moved.  Emma might rule the land but in this place, Jorie ruled and she was content in her small kingdom.  She entered the waiting room quietly and waited for the assembled to notice her.  With a pleased smile, she said, "It has begun." Then she moved over to a table holding glasses of shimmering wine and indulged herself a long drink, her tongue delighting in the play of the bubbles. 

Offline Emma Morgan

  • Character Account
    • yellow2te
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      Ruler of Westwood

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      Westwood District (Cymrean)

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      Dharo

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      Gavin

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Re: Embracing potential
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 17, 10:02:28 AM »
Emma nodded as Jorie and Angharad left to begin the ceremony. She mouthed a ‘Good luck’ to Angharad and then suggested that the younger Queen’s family joined her for some refreshment in the main building. Lady Llewellyn stood ready to escort them, but Emma lead the group while Bevan fell in-step at her side. Along the way, she reminded herself to ask Jorie what she needed to refurbish the temple and improve its condition. It wasn’t bad, but the temples were a reflection of the District.

Emma wanted Cymrea’s best face forward at all times.

She spent time speaking to the Maddoxes before excusing herself to step outside. She knelt down and placed her right hand, the one holding her tattoo, to the ground reached into her Tiger Eye to meld her senses with those of the land. She sensed each of the sixty people within a few miles of the temple, followed by the children playing in the forests a little further out. She stretched a bit further and sensed Graystone Estate, all of her people within. Emma stretched her senses as far as they would go, demanding that land answer her with the knowledge of who else stood within her District. Eventually, the strain grew too much. Emma released the Craft and drew her senses back to herself slowly.

Someday, she’d be able to sense everyone in her District, if not this Province.

She stood and returned inside, finding Jorie indulging in a glass of wine. Emma walked over to the High Priestess and offered her a smile.

You were wonderful back there, you know. The role of High Priestess suits you. I’m glad you agreed to come back when I asked.” Emma said, her tone warm.

How are you feeling? How are things with you-know-who?” Emma asked, winking as she referenced Simon, the man who appeared to have eyes only for Jorie every time they were in a room together.

Offline Jorie Hardy

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • priestess
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      High Priestess

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      Dharo

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      Lene

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Re: Embracing potential
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 17, 01:30:05 PM »
Jorie turned and smiled brightly, pleased with the compliment from her Queen.  It was so strange, under Tegwen she was High Priestess but never felt fulfilled with the role, almost just a side note going through the motions but without real passion.  It was almost a relief in some ways to be dismissed and perhaps find something more suited to her contentment.  She was starting to believe now that like the land beneath her feet, something about Emma also nurtured and awakened her.  Maybe it was the twins, becoming a mother gave her a deeper connection to Mother Night.

"Thank you Lady," she said modestly, "It is moments like that that make me very happy and blessed to have been chosen for this caste.  Second only to birthrights.  The look of those children, so happy and excited after receiving their first jewels makes my heart swell with happiness."  She took another sip of her wine, her eyes growing a little wistful, "I know they have barely yet begun to crawl, but I feel like time is already flying with the little ones and soon they too will stand before the altar."  She realized as almost an afterthought that another important step would be achieved and lacking for her children.  What would she say, when it came time to grant paternity?   Would she bestow the acknowledgment upon an absent father and give his family rights to the twins?  Would there be another man to step into that role and stand beside her?

Almost as if she could read her thoughts, Emma's next words made her flush and look down intently at her glass.  "I am fine Emma.  Happier than I can ever remember being," she bit her lip and glanced up at Emma through her lashes. "Um...if you mean Lord Owen, he has been most kind and very attentive.  I think that perhaps Rowen is a bit enamored with him.  When he is in the room, there is no one else in her sights.  Morgan gets a bit jealous and Simon finds himself having both vying for his attention." Jorie laughed softly but under Emma's gaze her voice grew soft. "He...." Jorie glanced over at the family members and whispered so only the Queen could hear her.  "I'm a bit flummoxed Lady.  He adores the twins and dotes on them like they were of his blood, for which I am grateful.  There are moments when I feel like....like maybe the twins are his excuse to be with me, which seems silly because he is my assigned Escort.  And then sometimes, he says my name a certain way, or brushes his hand on mine when reaching for one of the twins or leans close when we are talking and I think that perhaps...and maybe..."  She grew quiet and flushed darkly.  Then there was that conversation at Winsol, but she didn't want to discuss such things in such a public setting.

Movement caught her eye and she finished her flute quickly, the flush fading from her face as she realized that Angharad's parents were approaching.  "Thank you Lady for your high praise.  I am certain that our young Queen will shine as a ruler with your leading her instruction." 

Offline Emma Morgan

  • Character Account
    • yellow2te
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      Ruler of Westwood

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      Westwood District (Cymrean)

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Re: Embracing potential
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 17, 09:50:39 PM »
Emma had noticed the change in Jorie when she returned to work, saw the passion that the Priestess held for helping her people. Her hunger to serve Mother Night and the Darkness matched Emma’s hunger to serve and rule her people. This temple was Jorie’s domain, even as it stood on the land of Cymrea, which was Emma’s domain to rule. Darkness willing, Rowen and Morgan would grow up in Cymrea not Westwood, steeped in the traditions of their people and learning the history of all that came before them. Emma prayed that she’d be one of their teachers, especially for little Rowen. A young Queen needed a strong model of proper behavior to develop from.

Between Emma and Angharad, Lady Morgan intended to see that little girl had them.

My father still says that it feels like I grew up overnight.” Emma said, chuckling gently. “I know it wasn’t overnight. It definitely didn’t feel like it was overnight, but he still says it all the same.

He told me to enjoy the youth of my children while I had it, if I ever had them. I suppose I’ll have to live vicariously through you instead. But rest assured that I’ll be at their Birthright and Offering ceremonies as well, standing here and telling you that it will all be fine, Jorie.
” Emma told her.

On that day, we’ll be standing here with Angharad and everyone else remembering this day and how it feels like it all happened just the other night.

Emma’s grin widened as Jorie spoke of Simon. It didn’t take Emotion Craft to know that Jorie was quite taken with her escort. Lord Owens was a good man with an excellent reputation. It was why Emma had assigned him to Jorie in the first place.

It sounds like you two enjoy each other, Jorie. There is nothing wrong with that. Embrace it. Speak to him and ask him directly about his feelings. But I don’t know any man who has taken the interest in a woman and her children that he’s taken in you.” Emma said.
Mikael Hathaway had gotten Jorie with child and then vanished, leaving her to suffer the slings of an ill reputation. In Emma’s eyes, though, the situation had worked out to everyone’s benefit. Jorie was enjoying the attentions of a man who adored her. The children had a strong male figure in their lives. The High Priestess was happy, meaning that she worked hard on behalf of Cymrea’s people.

Separating a man from his children was horrible in eyes of most people, but Emma Morgan had the vision to see the larger picture. Mikael’s sacrifice raised up their people, as Tegwen’s had done.

Emma slept secure in that knowledge each night.

Angharad’s parents made their way toward Jorie and Emma stepped away to let them speak, moving across the room to sit down and think a bit. There was still so much to do.

She’d manage it well enough, in time.