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For years, the Dark Religion has persecuted the Light Jeweled with its doctrine of stigmatization. Under the messianic Queen Elisif Brenden, it has flourished, ensuring Glacia’s success in other fronts. But upon her death, a line has been drawn and forces beyond Glacia’s borders are gathering to stop its theocracy once and for all.
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Author Topic: Teach Me Wrong  (Read 251 times)

Description: Attn: Lydia

Offline Mikaela Valdis

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    • yellow2rose
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      Third Circle

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      Salo Province

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      Glacia

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      Kenna

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Teach Me Wrong
« on: Feb 20, 19, 12:25:46 PM »
Penance.

That is what Mikaela had been working on these last few months. Not only for herself, but for her Anderson as well. She rose with the sun, padding down the steps in Salo to the small altar in the chilled basement of the palace. The Priestess Queen prayed there for almost two hours, sifting through the Darkness like one sifts through silt for gold. What did the Mother want her to do to make amends for Anderson? To make amends for her failure?

Love me.

The words haunted her, repeated through her prayers, accompanied by such warmth that Mikaela sometimes got lost in it, forgot her purpose.

Penance.

So after prayer she threw herself into projects all over Salo every day. Anderson told her to rest, to not push herself like this, but if she didn’t then not only she would lose, but her male as well. The Queen stained her dresses with rich soil as she gifted the small kitchen gardens of landen, light jeweled, and large estates. If they did not prove to Mother Night that they were worth her love, her time, her effort, than their lives would have been wasted. Kaels travelled to the edge of Salo, collecting Light Jeweled orphans that needed homes and bringing them to Vinna’s Place. There small worried faces looked up to her and the Priestess Queen always took time out of her day to read them a story by the fire. Still though, it was as if she was in an ever deepening hole that she couldn’t climb out of.

The weight of it wore on her, each night, when the soft lace of her nightgown pressed against her pale skin. It wasn’t enough. Every time she closed her eyes she saw the scattered pieces of Anderson’s Tiger Eye across the stone floor. She heard him screaming. She felt the raw agony of endings, of severed potential, race through their bond.

She wasn’t enough.   

So every night she slipped the soft fabric off of her shoulders and took out the soft leather of her cat of nine tails whip. She oiled it, rubbing each inch of its surface, so it would not stiffen. She lit a candle to Mother Night and spent the last hour after midnight in penance.

And then, when dawn came, she would do it all again.

Except for the next week. Her family had arranged to move her trip to see Lady Kalas up slightly, so she could focus on repenting for Anderson’s transgressions. That and they thought some time away from his Queen would do the Warlord Prince good—see what he could have lost. So Mikaela wore a simple white shift dress down past her knees, only adorned by white fox fur around her wrists and neck. She was looking forward to this week away, truth be told, because she was rather exhausted. Four hours of sleep a night, coupled with the intensity of her drive these last few months, had taken their toll. Perhaps…she could rest a bit here?

Still undecided, the Priestess Queen knocked politely on Lydia Kalas’ office door when she arrived. After permission to enter, she bowed to the Priestess and called in a small device that propped a book up for you to read, while a candleholder near it illuminated the pages. “A gift for graciously hosting me, Lady Kalas. You are a true blessing to my family.” Kaels smiled at the Priestess and took a seat in front of her desk. She always brought a gift for the witch, but she was always appreciative of the Craft that the woman taught her. Especially lately, when her communion with Mother Night had produced some disparate results from what she knew other Priestesses experienced. 

Offline Lydia Kalas

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      halyonix

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Re: Teach Me Wrong
« Reply #1 on: Mar 07, 19, 03:36:43 PM »
Every few months, for years now, this appointment took up a week of her time.

It was not a vexing thing. It was not a draining thing. It came like clockwork – mostly – and passed like the hours often do. As she reviewed its arrival, her finger traced her own handwriting in her schedule, thinking about how many times this event had come and gone. It was Lydia’s job to see to cases like these, especially with gifted witches like young Mikaela, a Priestess Queen from a noble family that boasted a second Queen in its recent lineage.

Such a shame that Mother Night had condemned the young Mikaela.

Though Lydia envied Mikaela’s dual Caste (but would never state it), she definitely did not envy Mother Night’s edict against the young woman. Whatever Mother Night had seen, or failed to find within, Lydia, in all of her years of working with Mikaela, had not been able to discern. Outwardly, the young blessed Queen was a stellar model of public devotion and civil service. Privately, or as privately as Lydia could ascertain, she was a pristine adherent.

As Lydia’s perfectly manicured hand continued to trace that writing, she circled back mentally to the only thing she thought Mother Night had found fault within the young Queen: her Bonded males. Perhaps Mother Night had seen how weakly Mikaela controlled her males, or had seen the future, and thus judged Mikaela wanting. Lydia did not apply much weight to her theory though. There was nothing she could do to change the young Queen’s fate. She could only affect what future lives may come, if Mother Night saw fit to try again.

Lydia closed her appointment book just as her servant, Nico, announced that her pupil had arrived. Such impeccable timing, as usual. As Mikaela entered, Lydia set aside her things into perfect little stacks of paper and books so that her desk was clear, indicating to Mikaela that she would now have the Priestess’s full attention, as always.

She looked worn, Lydia noticed. There were rings under her eyes and the Priestess wondered why. No, Lydia did not care for her charges. She felt nothing so paltry as care. It fell under responsibilities as Priestess to see to the spiritual welfare of others and if the body was not cared for, what did that say of care for the soul and its redemption? One did not come at the cost of another. Surely, Mikaela knew this.

A gift was not needed, not by this time in their relationship, but it was still accepted graciously. “Thank you, Lady Valdis,” Lydia said, inclining her head regally. “It is good to see you again,” she said. Cordial words spoken without any warmth, said out of social obligation. Yet still said. “Tell me, what endeavors have you undertaken since we last spoke?” It was an invitation for Mikaela to tell Lydia everything she wanted to speak of. A first round of investigation, really, because over the next few days, Lydia would pick apart every sentence and word Mikaela said. Perhaps even a thought or two. This was Mikaela’s time to confess and atone for anything that might be on her soul.

Offline Mikaela Valdis

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Re: Teach Me Wrong
« Reply #2 on: Mar 19, 19, 09:11:25 PM »
Even with exhaustion, Mikaela drew from the Darkness, infusing the room with the heavy feeling of otherness. The Priestess Queen found it calming and she knew Lydia, a skilled Priestess, would as well. Whenever she could, Kaels wished to pull on the Darkness, dragging it out line a fine thread, so she could stitch up parts of individuals they didn’t even know were torn. Lady Kalas, as the High Priestess of Ivalo, didn’t need such help, but the Queen wished to provide her with a calming atmosphere all the same. Especially since she had extended her hand to help their family for so many years.

When she asked her question, Kaels stilled, her hands gripping at her skirt momentarily. It was not as if this question was unexpected, but she simply did not wish to jump to it so quickly. She wanted a little time away from Salo, away from her family, and away from the mess that she had left behind. Did that make her a bad person? And an even worse Queen?

Yes.

She should welcome their help. She should know that their guidance was for the best…that…that…breaking Anderson was for the best. But, no matter how many times she dipped her hands into clear water, washing the faults from her skin, and descended into the Darkness, she could not feel that truth inside. Where her heart lied.

Perhaps she could put it off. The woman’s large blue eyes turned to Lydia and she started with anything and everything but her male. “I am currently trying to expand Vinna’s Place to other districts, one at a time. I met with Lady Garmi, from Salla District and we discussed funding and if she would be willing to send any light jeweled orphans to Salo.” Mikaela’s hands began to gesticulate as she spoke, faster and faster as she grew more excited. “I think the place really has shown benefits for those with a White, Tiger Eye, or Yellow birthright. Our oldest, Sanna, just went through her Offering and took a position in Tampere as the Court painter. She does such lovely work. I could ask her to do a portrait for you and Prince Eskola if you like?”

The entire mission of the orphanage was to give those with no purpose in life, those that just showed up on Court’s doorsteps with a fresh Jewel in their hands, a chance. An occupation. A future. Otherwise, despair would be bread into them, slithering through their young eyes and leading them to make poor choices.

Choices like Anderson’s.

“I’ve begun planning the Spirit Festival, gathering vendors and picking dancers. This year, I am even hoping a member of the Territory Court might bless the festival on the first day, reassure the Province that Glacia is still on a bright path.” She knew Elsif’s death had caused ripples to run through Salo, even within the small informal pack of kitchen staff and servants Mikaela called her own. Some reassurance would do everyone good.

“I’ve begun a new program at Salo’s border. We took a track of unused land, infested with weeds and overgrow, and gifted it to local city people. They each get a small allotment and they can cultivate flowers or vegetables. Anything they want really. I want to try and emphasize a deeper connection with nature in Salo.” She planned to award the best allotment with a position in their families estates, perhaps within the gardens, but she had not yet told anyone. She wanted to see the innate passion that might already bloom within her people. Or…her sister’s people.

Mikaela was avoiding anything having to do with her male, even as she knew her family had already informed Lydia of her bonded’s actions. For a small moment, she thought about omitting the accident all together. Hoping for a day of peach. But no. That was the flawed part of her nature trying to wrestle for control.

Slowly, carefully, she broached the subject. “There is one…disappointment.” She could not think of a better word. Because for all Anderson had done, she was not mad at him. She still loved him just as fiercely. There was only disappointment and a deep gnawing sadness at everything he had lost.

“My…umm…my bonded. He…he…well…he was worried about me. His intentions came from a good place. A really good place. But he made the wrong decisions about them…And a…a guard caught him working with the Underground.” She looked away from Lydia. He had not been transporting people. He had not been sowing seeds of discord. He had been new, a recruit, testing the waters. He had not done anything…so bad.

If Mikaela was blinded by anything, it was her males.

“It’s been dealt with. His Yellow was broken.” She couldn’t help it. Her voice broke at the last word. “I’ve been working to settle his soul since then.”

Offline Lydia Kalas

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    • The Red Shepherdess

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Re: Teach Me Wrong
« Reply #3 on: Apr 02, 19, 04:46:35 PM »
Was she reluctant to answer? That little movement, that pause had attracted Lydia’s sharp attention. But what flowed from the dual-Casted Queen’s mouth was not the confession Lydia was looking for. It was, instead, a recounting of all of her projects – a seemingly endless string of events, people, charities, and intentions – that at first came slowly to her voice but eventually sped up as her excitement was stirred. Lydia’s mind retained quick notes of everything mentioned but her attention was not kept.

She agreed, mostly because it seemed like a tolerable idea to have one of the young orphans practice her skills at painting on such an important patron, to having her portrait done but she knew that Prince Kain would not have the same amount of patience as Lydia did. So one portrait was all the aspiring painter would get from this Kalas household.

After prattling on about a festival and a new gardening program, Mikaela finally came to the meat of the report: her Bonded males. Lydia had already received a cursory summary of what had happened with the misguided Anderson Boden but she was deeply interested in what side Mikaela would tell. The Light Jeweled Queen had, naturally, attracted another Light Jeweled male in the Warlord Prince but, surprisingly, had also attached a Red Prince named Rafe Kristopher.

Perhaps Mother Night did see some promise in Mikaela Valdis, though it was not apparent in that moment as she recounted how Prince Boden had stupidly gotten himself tied up in the Underground out of “concern” for his Queen. Lydia did not rebuke Mikaela – she did not need to. She heard the distraught tone in the girl’s voice and knew that all she had to do was take the gentle path and Mikaela would follow. Why use the rod when a simple touch would do just fine?

“While I am glad to hear that justice was served, I do not relish the thought that it had to come to that,” Lydia said once Mikaela was done speaking. The Priestess left her desk and began her traditional gliding orbit around the room, a mannerism she used quite often to instill a lesson. “Mother Night knows how unstable males can be. Hence why she has decreed that only females should rule,” she stated. “Can you imagine a Warlord Prince, ruled by his lusts, in charge of the Blood hierarchy? We would descend into anarchy within days.”

“It is not unheard of for a male to show this type of…concern…for his Queen,” Lydia continued on, “though it is still misguided.” With her fingers steepled at her waist, she was like a ship cutting through the dark waters of doubt. “The fault mostly still lies with him, of course, but there was most likely more you could have done to curb his…unruliness.”

She let that small rebuke rest on those exhausted shoulders for a moment, another weight to her world, and then continued.

“But we cannot change the past,” Lydia counseled her. “We must set our eyes upon the future. Has Prince Boden fully realized his error? And what steps has he taken to rectify it?” Hopefully, he had turned in the scoundrels he had been associating with so that they could be scrubbed of their sinful ways as well.

Offline Mikaela Valdis

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    • yellow2rose
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Re: Teach Me Wrong
« Reply #4 on: Jun 23, 19, 11:23:32 PM »
Mikaela took a small gasp of the air and held back the burning in her eyes. Gone was the calm stream of the Abyss, lithe and unyielding to anyone. Lady Kalas was right. She had failed him. The fact that his Yellow was gone forever, scattered on the floor like rubbish, was her fault. She should have noticed he was going out more, acting different. But…but she had thought maybe he had met someone. A woman. Maybe he was hesitant to introduce her or scared Meya might disapprove. Kaels had never thought he would ever do something so…so dangerous.

So the Queen began to nod her head even before the Priestess finished speaking. “Yes, Lady Kalas. He knows what he did was wrong. A mistake. He regrets it dearly. He pray together twice a week now and I guide him into the Darkness, so that he knows everything he needs is right here. There is no ‘better’ place. Our home is here.” They had done that before, prayed together, but she cherished those moments even more now. She pushed herself to the brim of her power, trying to show him the way. Trying to make him see that Glacia was beautiful, that Mother Night had blessed it dearly. Whenever she did though, she lost her way, as if the Abyss was clouded as she attempted to show him the tenants of the Dark Religion that she herself recited before bed.

“I am also trying to get him more involved in some of my community projects. Get him more connected. My sister…well…she and my mother thought keeping him within our home as he grew up was best, but….” She paused, searching for the right words. “They are obviously very blessed by Mother Night, but a Queen knows her male better than anyone. I think the more connections he gets to the community the better.”

The Priestess Queen wrung her together, feeling like she could confide in the woman before her. “I know there was more I could have done and I regret that every day.” She would never be able to get the image of Anderson screaming out of her head. Never. Not as long as she lived. The sound still ringing in her ears, like a hymn that she couldn’t banish, Kaels looked up at the Red Jeweled Priestess through long lashes. Lydia had been there for Mikaela through her entire life, guiding her, training her. Perhaps she could help quiet the Queen’s mind. “I just…I know what he did was wrong, but everyone makes mistakes. I just can’t stop thinking that maybe breaking his Jewel was too much. He accepted responsibility. Told what limited information he had. It was for such a short time too…” She knew she shouldn’t question her sister’s decisions, but the question ached inside her chest. “Would you have made the same decision, Lady Kalas?”