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Mab/Meave - The Seasons of the Winter Sun

 
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Arrnadae D Mandunaur
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:38 pm    Post subject: Mab/Meave - The Seasons of the Winter Sun Reply with quote

Inimical winds bode ill for those who are slated for the change of fate. The winter season was fast approaching and the Winter Court had chosen its new queen after much deliberation. Meave was elevated by the grand dais that held the large throne of sculpted ice and frozen bone. Snow fell within the sithen’s great hall, accenting the play of wan silver moonlight filtering through the arched dome as it glittered and gleamed on the crystalline structures formed by the temperature of the chilly atmosphere. Columns of frosted obsidian held water-carved niches filled with the glow of green and blue lights, the frosted covering obscuring the source from the naked eye.

Arrnadae strode forth into the hall from the grand corridor; his steps had outdistanced his royal guard and those emissaries sent from one of the noble houses under the purview of the seelie to ensure the crown was transported to the rightful queen after the change of seasons. two of the six unseelie guards remained behind to bar entrance to the nobles from the seelie court, their authority and rank not quite enough to gain them audience with the Unseelie Queen of the Winter Court – they were not expected and Arrnadae felt what allowances were privilege enough, granting security in the gaining of access into Princess Meave’s sithen. The seelie nobles didn’t think so, however, and began a heated debate with the unseelie sidhe guards that continued to prevent them from passing beyond the archway into the great hall itself. Arrnadae’s ears were filled with the sound of music, as if they’d moved through a vacuum that soon ended as the threshold was passed – that in between place. Crystal bells chimed, ice flutes played chilled notes, pan pipes whistled. Ice cracked and reformed, adding a visceral feel to the experience of haunting music.

Oh, how beautiful they were, svelte courtiers in their gowns and royal frocks, their jewels and their tiaras of gemstones and ice. They moved for her pleasure, at her majesty’s behest. Meave sat atop her throne, her raven-black hair lifted off her shoulders and confined in complex knot work plaits. She was beautiful beyond remark; a horrible beauty – if one were to dare such a bold thought. Her eyes were as cold as her element, and frost glittered on the narrow plane of high-boned cheeks and the lower petal of her plush, pale lip. That sugared mouth, it dared to be kissed; the lips beckoned the delicate exploration of curious tongue, inviting. Her skin was nearly translucent in its pale suppleness, like ice itself, but alive with silver-white light which seemed to add a shade of white-blue along the delicate bow of the collar bone and shallow hallows along bare shoulders. Her ears gleamed with emeralds and diamonds; the same resided on her neck in a delicate-looking web of ice-like quality.

She rose slowly, and Arrnadae knew that there was purpose in the movement. She moved slowly, like ice crystals form on the surface of water. Her posture was immaculate as it was impeccable, despite the flow and drape of her black gown, lined in midnight blues and silver trim. It fit snuggly about the waist, and molded to the contours of her ribs, cradling her breasts. The gown was meant to draw the eye to her feminine proportions as it offered them up as a feast for eyes – the vanity. He stopped before the dancers, and the courtiers continued to twirl and intertwine in the waltz-like dance of olden times; a dance of shared partners constantly changing; a dance of grace and painful poise that was a precursor to ballet.

Dae felt the swell and charge of the Weird, the wild magic of this place. It was like a living thing, almost sentient, flowing through the chilled currents of air moving about the room. He glanced to either side of the dais where elder trees stood bare, and a chilly ponds of water and floating ice was disturbed by the winter nymphs basking in the liquid cold of the lucid waters, the gossamer slips they wore leaving little or nothing to the imagination. Their actions seemed innocent; their play was best described as a child-like frolicking that gave the sense that they were untouched by time. This was as far as came to purity, for they were women of indeterminable age – youthful in appearance – and were the princess’s personal hand maidens. It was when he removed the summer crown from his belt that the room came to a frozen stand-still. The wild magic wrested the crown from his grasp, spiriting it away from his fingertips like a giant jerking an object from his fingertips. He noticed the absence as he noticed the courtier’s turn their multi-hued gazes toward him. As one, they parted a swath of space down the center of the room toward the dais, and some drew away toward the dais at the sight of him.
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Arrnadae D Mandunaur
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Tis about time you answered my summons, darkling of Oberon House. The court has been dancing for my pleasure for at least a fortnight while we awaited your return to court.” Dae noticed the noble’s in attendance had controlled their features enough to betray little to no emotion, though a few eyes held contempt, others held myriad expressions, notable among them was the look of trepidation and fear. The nobles here knew his reputation better than most of the inhabitants of the Lands; some witnessed the aftermath of his bolder machinations first hand. Dae seemed unmoved by the words of the woman on the dais, and his breath frosted in the air as he let out a sigh, shaking his head.

“I answer no summons, princess, but follow the will of the tradition and the urgings of the Wild Magic. I did not expect to see you on the queen’s throne.” He stated in neutral tones, as though bored. “I see you have wasted little time in rallying supporters to your claim, however.” He took this time to glance around the chamber again, taking note of the faces in attendance; filing away their expressions for later.

“Claim!? Claim!! You inso…” There was an edge of incredulity to her chilly voice as she began to start her tongue lashing; he cut her off abruptly.

“We have noble guests from the Shining Court awaiting audience.” He stated, silkily, his tone reminding her of who and what he was, and that the God and Goddess, nor the Wild Magic had yet crowned her queen. Rage flashed in her eyes at his oratory, then calmed as they froze over with a look of sweetly savored malice. She allowed her plush lips to curve into a smile as sharp as an ice cycle. “Oh, my noble darkling…” she purred in a deep trill and hiss, “you have brought me gifts! Are they as handsome as you?” Dae was quickly growing tired of Meave’s games. The seelie played little games and intrigues as well, and he was fast growing weary of the gaggle of empty words and misleading pitfalls, a masquerade of pretty smiles masking selfish intentions; his time among men had spoiled him.

“They are here to witness the Rites of Winter, as well as to see to my protection, so if you could just tell me where I can find the queen I shall endeavor to pass along a good word for your welcoming ways and your graciousness in providing me the relevant information I sought.” His smile was tight, forced, and he made it plain to her that he wasn’t going to suffer her posturing any longer. Time flowed differently in the Lands than it did in the World, the same went for the Nexus Realms such as Rhy’Din. At this time in Faerie, Samhain was just a few days hence, and the Winter Rites were still to be performed to announce the Winter Queen’s crowning and the coming of the dark half of the year.

“Oh, dare say, you have been kept overlong from our glorious court, so much so that you have missed most of the gossip and information that is prattled upon.” She cut her eyes to her nobles in attendance then, many of whom averted their eyes from her gaze. He knew she was goading him, and he wasn’t going to make a gross breech of etiquette in front of all the nobles at court. Never in front of the nobles. He let the silence fall as quiet as the winter night. He could hear the water moving in the distance, the surface ice breaking as the handmaidens rose from the water to move to either side of the stairs that lead up to the throne. “Mab…” her voice held an edge of distain bordering on a lack of care, “is no longer queen. Her throne has been empty for some time, abandoned. Ohh, Nightshade, your face betrays your surprise!” She seemed delighted enough to laugh at that admission, which led him to school his features in a mask of stoicism bordering on arrogance and gravitas. He hated that moniker, it meant ‘death.’
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Arrnadae D Mandunaur
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Only the queen calls me that in public, highness, and as a noble I will have you grant me the respect I deserve. I am a son of Oberon House and I will have my title from you or you will not address me at all!” His tone had a dangerous razor’s edge to its quality of sound. “Where is Queen Mab, and why have I not heard of this during my time as ambassador to the seelie court?” She began to descend the stairs; the clicking of heeled slippers could be heard ringing off of the treacherous, iced stone beneath her. She smiled a cat-that-ate-the-canary smile at him as she approached. The expression told him she thought as though he’d just maneuvered himself into one of her traps. She moved gracefully, as all fae nobles do, in a glide of footfalls down to the main floor. The nobles took knee, and Dae flicked a glance toward the audience at their unanimous movement; thereafter, his eyes cut back to Meave. He resisted the urge to frown – they had already accepted her claim as queen so this was going to be difficult going forward. He could see the new factions forming around the room as he stood his ground. If he didn’t play the cards right, he was going to have a fight on his hands, and few here were going to challenge him openly. Twelve unseelie nobles fell into ranks beside and behind her as she moved across the room toward him, and they were the only ones visibly armed with weapons of station – queen’s guard, a third of them female – remained stoic as living statues.

Lord Mandu’naur,” she stated his name with a sultry tongue, the glow of her skin waxing in its amplification the nearer to him she got. He felt a rush of heat, a quickening in his blood and in other extraneous appendages. The heady fragrance of lonicera fragrantissima became just as apparent; so sweet the fragrance he could almost taste the nectar on his tongue. She was pushing her glamour to a degree that if he weren’t currently wearing cold steel weapons on his person she would have overpowered him with a wanton lust and an unshakeable longing. Even now, it was difficult to resist, she was beauty incarnate; a dream made truth. She was more powerful than he last remembered her, and his exchanges with her then had been brief and insignificant. “...I will tell you what you wish to know, but first you must agree to exchange with me something which I desire.” He didn’t like where this was going, and his hands retired to his back, crossing at the writs as his fingers clenched themselves within his palms. He was forcing his mind to focus; a push of will to clear the alluring fog threatening disorient and distract him from his purpose.

He focused on the discomfort brought on by wearing even the sheathed cold steel weapons in order to draw him clear of the glamour’s influence by tapping into reserves of personal energy, and turned the tables to show her he would not tolerate her insults, though in her eyes he knew she felt she had been insulted first. It was the height of rudeness that she was forcing her glamour on him without his leave, as if he were some lesser being – considering she felt she was a monarch and himself just a noble, she felt justified in doing so. The first insult had come when she had addressed him with familiarity at court without the experience and leave to ground it in truth. He was not her pawn piece as she was not the Queen of Air and Darkness, Mab. She felt, as evidenced by her posturing and current manoeuvrings that he had failed to address her as the queen she wanted so much to be. She’d purposely tried to tarnish his status in a play for power he did not see fit to afford her – had the unseelie court fallen into such decadence in his absence? She was being presumptuous, and he was going to make a point of it.

“I have little time for this, princess. The crown is returned to the Wild Magic, the God, and the Goddess. If Queen Mab does not make her appearance in the Lands before Samhain and the start of the Faerie Raide, at that time, will I acknowledge the one chosen by the Elphame itself as my queen. I see nothing now that presses me to contend with ye further and I have no wish to keep Queen Nicveven waiting.” He bowed; it was a smooth and flamboyant movement, far too exaggerated to be meant as more than the mockery it was. Gasps went up around the room. Nobles began speaking in hushed voices amongst themselves. He’d just insulted her by ignoring the attention she was drawing to her sensuality, her sexuality, and her desire to be fawned upon. He’d publicly slighted a high princess of Arcadia who many of them saw as their queen. There was an uneasy stirring in the crowd that caused his hand to grip the pommel to reassure his resolve; this self-styled queen's fury was elemental!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“YOU DARE SPURN ME FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE LESSER FAE!” The courtiers backed away from her as she moved forward again, pausing ten feet in front of him. Her guard went for their weapons. Dae dismissed them with nary a glance and continued the pretence of keeping his attention mostly on the self-styled queen of the unseelie. Her glassy nails grew sharp, her voice sounded like glaciers colliding, her fury stirring the fabric of her gown as snow and wind whipped around her. Her beautiful green-blue eyes narrowed upon him, glowing in tri-ringed vehemence. Sidhe, if not of mixed blood, generally had a trinity of rings to their irises that had correlation to who they were and only just hinted at what powers they might possess.

“I do not fall under law of this court, I owe you no fealty, princess Meave.” He was in the right, with his position as ambassador to Oberon House, he had the immunity against command afforded to any monarch of Elphame – one monarch cannot command another of equal station. He had the same immunity as Queen Titania might against Queen Mab. He was cut off by a shriek of rage as she gestured toward him. Her guards surged forward with weapons drawn, sword and spear points directed at his upper torso and head as they cautiously neared. “Let us dispense with the bellicose display, princess, I have no desire to disarm ye guard in your view.” He spoke with a matter-of-fact confidence as his shoulders rolled back and down; his chin lifting a fraction of an inch higher to accentuate the sharpness of his eldritch features; the movement was almost bird-like.

He stepped forward as her commanded guard came on and within the fraction of a moment and somehow appeared in juxtaposition to her back faster than even the immortal eye could track, as if he were hidden from sight for a span of time. He remained unarmed, hands open and held to his side to show the other nobles he did not intend to harm Meave. He was a warrior well trained in the art of dealing death to the undying and could have had her head if he wanted to claim it. He was no King of Hearts, and therefore he had no desire to make a trophy of her pretty head. His hands then retired to a position behind his back moments later. Her guard thought otherwise once they noticed where he had reappeared and started to form a circle around him whilst his own guard moved to close a tighter outer ring of protection around the whole. Judging by the ‘queen’s guard’s’ wide-eyed wariness it didn’t seem like they wanted to test their mettle against the ambassador and his guardians, at least the grand majority. House Oberon was an old house; old before the courts were established and these traditions were founded. Many of Meave’s guard weren’t as experienced as the Ambassador’s retinue.

Swords flashed and spears appeared in a blinding display of speed from Dae’s personal guard, all of them cold steel, all of them deadly to the fae in attendance. Neither side pressed an issue, but his guard did not bar physical access to his person from Meave despite the stalemate. The queen’s guard couldn’t choose whom to watch, Arrnadae’s guardians or Arrnadae himself. Many of them had heard rumors, horrific rumors, of Arrnadae’s prowess in battle. His first sword, Cath Cailleach, it was said, embodied the prowess akin to the names of the two aspects of the goddess she portrayed. He carried with her the raven-feathered cloak of the unseelie as well, a relic of fabled power. Two of the queen’s guard whom the abassidor was not familiar, in unison, moved cautiously to interpose themselves between Arrnadae and the queen to keep her safe from any source of curse or spell he might throw at her should her anger make her rash of thought. His guard’s swords and spear-tips menaced any movement from the remaining queen’s guard with the threat of their leaf-like blades.

“When I am crowned, Lord Mandu’naur,” she seethed, fuming on the other side of the wall of guards shielding her from him, “I will have ye at my mercy when your stint at playing ambassador is over! It is then you will know what it is to be reminded of your place, unseelie noble, for you will become the Queen’s Darkness again, and my consort until I choose, at my whim, to take you into my bed as my king. Tis simple as that! It has been long since you have been permitted consort, hasn’t it Lord Mandu’naur?”
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Arrnadae D Mandunaur
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“The concern is not yours to own, princess Meave, with all due respect. I did not come here to engage in bloodshed, but merely to complete my duty as ambassador between the courts. I have brought the crown, and by your leave, we shall go.” His features were paling a lighter shade of grey as a moonlike luminescence outlined his silhouette. Shadows bled away from him, soaking into the dark garb he wore as the radiance of his power came to him. His ire was rising, and he was making a physical show of it via his magic.

“Please, darling, call me... your... Queen.” She flashed a smile full of alabaster teeth, her lips curling back into something reminiscent of a sadistic grin. It added to the dangerous beauty which was the embodiment of Meave. She seemed to have ignored, or glossed over, his polite request despite the tone of diplomacy in his voice. “Would ye not like to be king to my queen, son of Oberon House? I know ye want me. No mortal can resist my charms, and few of the sidhe have the stamina to do so. Ye aren’t so far above the rest of my nobles.” Her voice took on the effect of enchantment toward the end of her speech. She brushed her guards aside like the limbs of a willow tree, and stepped forward to close the gap between herself and Arrnadae. It appeared like she was far from done with this little game of hers. She knew Cath Cailleach was watching, and her smile blossomed fully as she felt the heat of her gaze. He pressed a hand to the ambassador of Oberon House’s chest, and then came that delicious body; her carriage remained poised as she rose on her toes to press her bosom into his barrel chest. She glanced to the side, to his first sword, as her lips came close to his chin and the side of his jaw. “I will have you, my prince of night, not she. I always get what I want.”

“I think it best, perhaps, that you chose one of them.” Gesturing with a slight turn of his torso to the nobles still on bended knee, many of whom were averting their eyes from them once again – they’d been watching the exchange with veiled interest and secret judgment. “I’ve heard tales of your attentions, your ‘teasing.’ I do not relish, nor do I long for, a place in your bed, highness. You may reserve that gift for someone else better suited to your brand of pleasure. As ye have so graciously brought to my attention before, they have spent a fortnight of endeavours to foreplay, after all. Ye will find my heart most recalcitrant.” He fought the urge to shiver as chill wintery breath danced over his small-hairs like electricity; a sort of cruel pleasure came to the forefront of his senses at each little brush of her whispering lips against his skin. Frost accumulated where she trailed her sensual mouth against the flesh of his jaw with her upturned face.

Her guard’s captain strode forward to strike overhead with his spear between the shoulder blades. Arrnadae’s first sword moved to intercept and two short leaf-like blades caught the shaft of the spear in an “X” block; her boot smashed into his midsection in simultaneous counter which sent him to the floor, sprawling, as he slid to a spot five feet away. The blow was thunderous; icicles came free of the domed ceiling and shattered on the floor around them. She gave him a smug smirk, and stepped back into formation around their charge and the queen menacing him. Arrnadae couldn’t help but smile at ‘Chatty Cathy’s’ efficiency – a moniker he’d given her because she was prone to silence and body posture over speech. It was his teasing way to show his affection and appreciation. She was a fierce Trueblood warrior in her own right, deadly precise as she was quiet. It was a show for Meave, like female peacocks displaying their plume of tail feathers.

Meave wasn’t amused, though her ire was redirected momentarily to her captain. She parted from Arrnadae and made her way to where the midnight-blue skinned sidhe had kicked him. She cast the woman a withering glare that was returned by his first sword with her own feral grin, she showed teeth. Meave formed a sour moue with her mouth and sent a solid kick to her captain. He went flying, hit the ground with a bounce and roll, and then slid across the marble floor into a column twenty feet away. “I did not order you to attack, impudent fool! How dare you accost your future king!” She turned just in time to see the smile die on Arrnadae’s face. Meave’s gaze shifted immediately to Cath, and she sneered. “If you will not come to my bed, Lord Mandu’naur, I shall take her in your stead! She is unseelie, after all. Not all of your guard is under the protection of the shining court.” She hissed her words with a vehemence born of tundra winds, and he could see the green in her eyes flare to life with the emerald fires of passion’s jealousy.

“The queen may choose their guard from their court, as is tradition, princess.” He’d affected a neutral tone, his face impassive. “If you have no more news of Queen Mab, then I shall away, by your leave or without it!” He gave a pointed look at her guard, and his hands moved forward from their position behind his back, the left hand moved to settle on the hilt of his sword. “That is, unless you wish to bar me and mine from fulfilling my other duties.” If she was going to bar his exit, there would be death. He affected that in his eyes as the whites and silvers bled out of his eyes, forming black spheres which shimmered with a darkling anti-light. Her guard tensed like wolves preparing for a fight.

“Leave, Lord Mandu’naur, and take your guard with you. I will have the majority when I wish them. I’ll summon you then, after my coronation.” She stated with a smug indifference and turned, her guard moved with her back to the dais, upon which sat the throne she had the confidence she’d soon possess. Arrnadae turned, and with weapons still bared, the ambassador's retinue fell into step on either side of him, forming up into filed ranks, Cath Cailleach three paces from his back. In short order the exited the great hall of Meave's sithen, collected the remaining seelie guardians attached to House Oberon, and headed to the mirrors of silver and the exit. The queen of the demi-fae wasn't known for her patience and they were behind schedule; they needed to make up as much time as inhumanly possible.
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