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 A Royal Visit [Mari], The Seelie Court of Avalon pays a visit
Queen Vivienne of Avalon
 Posted: Aug 16 2016, 01:43 AM
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Vivienne prepared her horse, savouring the moment of peaceful silence before what would undoubtedly be a tiring journey. She was glad to be leaving for Yalanze at last, the constant wittering of the court far behind her for the first time since the peaceful irresponsibility of her youth. A Queen must not go armed into delicate political situations, a Queen must not ride alone at the head of her party, she must be protected, and in fact a Queen would send an advisor and not travel so far at all. She had withstood their criticisms for a time, before announcing in no uncertain terms that a Queen could, and would, do all of these things and that perhaps it was not the rightful role of the court to seek to control the actions of their monarch. She would attend all political negotiations herself, she always had. She had been crowned the matriarch of her nation and as a mother would for her children, as Vivienne did for her own child, she would as a Queen assure the safety and happiness of her subjects. Additionally, she had not gone without Excalibur since Raven’s birth, and though it may cause offense to appear armed before her potential allies, she would not release her sword for the comfort of others. She was Queen of Avalon, Head of the Seelie armies, and though she had exchanged her battle helm for a crown, her armour for the softer gowns of the court, she would never allow herself to be perceived as weak.

Vivienne had studied the new world of Yalanze closely since the end of the bloodshed that had torn Avalon apart, observing from afar its potential for trade negotiations, and had maintained her distance even as war had erupted amongst her potential allies. It was difficult, to simply ignore such conflict, but her people were in no position to fight another war, and her court was divided still even while its members spoke words of supposed peace. The separation of the courts had angered many, but had saved many more, and still she knew there were doubts as to her suitability as monarch. One could only hope, she mused as she saddled Nimueh with confident, fluid movements, that those she intended to break bread with were sympathetic to the cause of her inaction. She paused, breathing deeply the fragrant air of her homeland, and then signalled a nearby guard.

“Inform the party we are to depart within the hour.”


“Yes, your Majesty.”


“Thank you.”

She watched as the group prepared themselves, a select party of her most trusted advisors and guards, noting their unease. The Fae had not had dealings with the Vampire Folk in many years, and the court of Slythanus was not without its own dangers, but Vivienne remained stoic. She would be meeting with the Queen Mother, who sources informed her was perhaps the most diplomatic of the Vampiric royal family, having explained to her advisors that so soon after the war, the King was occupied in containing and rectifying the damage done to his nation. While this was true, Vivienne had her own reasons for selecting the former Queen as her host. Surrounded as they both were by courts as fickle as pits of vipers seeking to control and intimidate them, Vivienne felt that the Queen Mother would perhaps see not the differences between them, but what they had in common with one another, and would provide a valuable ally in the political negotiations between their two kingdoms.

“We are ready, Your Majesty.”

Vivienne merely nodded, urging her horse onwards and beginning their journey.

*~*~*~*~*

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Marina Drăculea
 Posted: Aug 26 2016, 08:37 PM
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It was rare to have visitors to Sylthanus and even moreso after war had ravaged the land. The castle was only just starting to look decent after the dragons had demolished part of one wing of it during her capture. Mari had insisted that the workers be compensated for the back breaking labor of making sure it went up not only in record time but that the work was done well. Those carpenters and masons were now some of the lesser nobility for their service to the Crown and the Queen had seen to it their families were cared for and they had lands and estates that they could be proud of.

If she had anything to say about it there would be no more taking advantage of the working classes and skipping out on paying them. THAT she would stop if she heard of it. They were too few in number to ignore the lesser nobility now and far too few to ignore those not ennobled by Vlad. She knew there would always be the poor struggling but she could at least try and mitigate it.

And so it was that she was here in this place, her guards in attendance as always, waiting on the arrival of Queen Vivienne. Her black gown was off the shoulder and elegant as she stood with the poise and grace that one who had lived for thousands of years could possess. She could, if she had wanted to or cared for such things, make even the elegant vampires look like uncoordinated toddlers if she chose, that was not the point of this meeting however so she forced herself to throw in a few “normal” twitches of impatience.

If she had her way she’d have just focused on things that needed attending to but then her retinue would think she had zoned out and did not care about anything. They were only partially right in that assumption, she really didn’t care about the trivial things, but she did care about the people who had looked to her and Ingeras when their world had turned upside down; She more in the case of healing rather than guidance. She would never be so foolish as to think these people would ever tolerate her presence if it were not for her son and his father before him.

The sound of horses approaching caused her guards to shift slightly, ever paranoid that there would be an attack. They remembered the retribution Vlad had leveled on their predecessors and had a growing fear that Ingeras would do so as well if he felt their zeal for their job was lacking.

Mari huffed in annoyance, she hated all the stress around her. “Do calm down Captain. This is a diplomatic mission. We’re not likely to run into trouble that I can’t handle.” She murmured softly as she glanced over at the man and his pale skin glowed a faint pink in embarrassment. Getting restless she moved forward on her midnight black mare. The creature was decked out in silver and black barding with the crest of the royal family and her long showy mane was braided with red roses from Mari’s garden.

Mari loved her gentle nature. “Steady there, girl. I’ll make sure you’re comfortable once we’ve gone to the castle. I know its not the best place for you.” She ran her hand over the horses neck and sent a pulse of healing energy towards her. She turned her gaze towards the oncoming retinue and smiled. Maybe this would turn out alright after all. The Creator knew she needed something good to happen after the years of bad.


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Queen Vivienne of Avalon
 Posted: Sep 7 2016, 09:42 AM
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Silence fell across the group like thick, dark velvet as the castle walls approached. Before them, dwarfed in comparison to the towers and walls so newly renewed and yet simultaneously so ancient, was the former Queen and her retinue – as silently watchful as those approaching them. She was not an imposing figure, one would not know the Queen Mother’s true strength at a glance. She was solemnly dressed in black, the darkness of which should have made her lifeless skin seem all the more pallid but instead made her seem all the more radiant in her beauty when compared to the darkness around her.

Vivienne raised her hand and they drew to a halt. For a moment, nought but the breeze passed between the two groups, now face to face in the shadow of the great castle.

“Well met, Your Majesty.” Vivienne’s voice was as calm and steady as the flow of a river towards the sea. She inclined her head in greeting before looking up into the eyes of the woman she had come to speak with. “I am Queen Vivienne of Avalon, I speak for the Seelie folk. We wish to extend our hands in friendship, following these dark times in both our kingdoms. As token of our intent, I bring you a gift.”

Here she flicked her fingers, beside her a guard raised in his hands a basket within which was a small rose plant. The flowers were dappled purple and white, seeming to gleam even when shadow fell upon them.

“These flowers are native to the banks of the Great Lake of Avalon. It is my hope that as the friendship between our people flourishes, so too do these roses continue to bloom and grow in strength.”

She lowered her hand once again and the guard lowered the basket once more from sight. Vivienne had heard word that the Queen of Sylthanus was keeper to a garden within the castle walls, and had hoped that a gift of flowers would appeal to the kindness and patience of spirit of which she was rumoured to be gifted. With such bloody conflict still fresh in the memories of both kingdoms, Vivienne was of the belief that now was a time more than ever before when a hand extended in kindness was needed above the stern diplomatic force urged on by her advisors. For her to go so armed was a sign of strength, she did not wish for it to be misconstrued as an act of ill will.

“History has proven our nations and their people to be strong of heart, and it is time for the Fae to step out of the shadows once again so that the strength of the people we both love can be shared and used to build a future for us all where such loss as we have known is a thing long past.”

Having spoken her piece, Vivienne smiled. Her guards were tense, uncertain, perhaps even afraid, but it was her duty as Queen to form her own judgements of their potential allies. Her judgement could rebuild or destroy a nation, and so it was with a cool head that she pushed aside her own personal fears in favour of the interests of her people. As Queen she was mother to many, and as she would go hungry to see her people fed, she reached out despite her own misgivings to see her people safe. Content that she had said all she could, Vivienne waited patiently for a response.
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Marina Drăculea
 Posted: Sep 12 2016, 09:20 PM
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Mari beamed in spite of herself as she faced the blonde haired Elven Queen, “It is a pleasure to meet you and your kinsman today, Your Majesty.” She murmured with a nod of respect with her head. She hadn’t known what to expect from the Seelie Queen she knew most fae were mercurial in nature and so needed to be handled with kit gloves. In an age where the vampires seemed hell bent on destroying themselves with the rise of the lich it was going to be difficult to find any allies whatsoever. The dragons were not lily white by any means but thus far, they had yet to lash out at anyone in the same way that the Demons and Vampires had for centuries.

Marina looked at the flowers and her eyes welled up with happy tears. She had lost so much, that this small gift touched her. It seemed like a lifetime since anyone had been even remotely happy around her. Longer still since she hadn’t had to be a pillar of strength for someone else. “You honor me with your gift. I hope it finds company with my other roses in my garden. Thank you, it is a thoughtful gift.” She murmured softly, blinking away the tears that threatened to spill unheeded from her eyes.

“You honor us with your visit to our land. My people are creatures of shadows and have rarely been greeted so kindly. It is my hope that both our nations can heal from this injury that we have endured and continue to bring a lasting peace to the word we both reside in. I am not a warrior as my son is but even warriors need time to rest and raise the next generation and I hope that the current peace allows both our people to enjoy the blessings of peace, love and kindness.” She said softly.

“Please call me Marina if you wish. My husband was far more formal than I could ever be and my son takes after him in that regard but I prefer a more relaxed air with those I speak to. I too am a healer of my husband’s people and I do my best to serve them in that capacity. The ways of the vampire people may seem alien to you but I have found in my time here that there is nobility, honor and even dare I say kindness?” she said the last with a tongue in cheek look as her guard tried their best to look stoic. “My guards are the most honorable of vampire kind even if they choose to keep a stiff upper lip.” She said the last with a smile, “Will you ride beside me, Your Majesty? For indeed, we are both women who have known difficulties, and reshaped our world in spite of such. We are sisters in hardship, although I wish we were sisters in joy but still, it is a kinship nonetheless and I see you as my equal if not mentor in some respects. Please ride with me and we shall see the gift you have bestowed upon me given a new home near siblings that will be happy to share the light.”

If the Queen and her guard permitted, Marina would ride beside her with an easy gate as they approached the castle. The portcullis was open to allow them entry side by side and indeed it would stay open for as long as needed for the retinue to feel comfortable. “There is a stable near here where your horses may rest and gather sustenance. My own horses call that place home and when we heard of your possible visit we had it enlarged to allow for your mounts so they could breath clean air and have sweet water to drink, as all living creatures should.” She murmured as she was helped off her horse by her Captain of the guard and waited for Vivienne to join her, “I have refreshments set up in my garden. It is large enough for your retinue and my own to be comfortable while we speak if you wish to do so.” She said simply as she moved with purpose to the place where she had stayed for so long. Sticking to the outside of the castle and entering the garden from a side door.

The garden was immaculate as always, the golden wire roof of the structure sparkled in the light like a jeweled birdcage, “Fear not, your Majesty. My husband designed the outside of this space but I designed what resides in it. My husband had a rather…unique take on things.” She knew how it looked. It was a cage done as a show of power and done to keep the nobility happy that the foreign Queen would know her place. There were so many layers in this place. Indeed the energies of the place now used the structure that Vlad had built to anchor the protective energies into place. “Please relax. There is plenty of comfortable seating here as you and your retinue can see.” She said as she gestured to the comfortable cushioned seats that had been redone in colors of Vivianne’s home in honor of her visit.

Mari walked over to a small pot that held a blood red rose within it, “I had thought to give you something from my own hands but it looks as though we thought alike. This plant is from the first rosebush that ever grew in this place. It sprang up when my husband asked me to marry him and it was how I knew he was sincere in his affections for me, for without love nothing good can grow. The plant this rose comes from has been used to make the oil that anointed the foreheads of my children when they were born and their brother before them. I am sure its essence helped them to thrive in this place and grow into adulthood with honor and grace.” She lifted the pot and offered it to Vivienne, “This plant will let you know when treachery is afoot. Its color changes from blood red to black when someone means you harm. I have prayed by it and it has my father’s blessing on it. I hope it will be a symbol of hope between our nations that we may always be friends and allies.”



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Queen Vivienne of Avalon
 Posted: Jul 21 2017, 12:51 AM
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“The pleasure is mine, I can assure you.” Vivienne allowed her expression to soften as the dark haired woman before her beamed. Her offering was well received, and she huffed a sigh of relief. “As representative of my people, I thank you for the opportunity to visit. Isolation breeds ignorance, and we have been sequestered in our own realm for too long. I hope to show the children of our nation that the borders of the their lives can extend far beyond the hills of Avalon, and that it is through communication and friendship – and not proud silence – that nations can truly become strong.”

The other woman’s words rang true in Vivienne’s mind, she knew what it was to have the world’s perception of your people be an unpleasant one. Her parents had been proud, argumentative and stubborn and would accept no insult to their honour – but would sling plenty at each other. Her most vivid childhood memories were of the King and Queen using her against each other, to cause hurt and demand favour. It would not surprise her if the woman before her was looking for hint of their spitefulness in their daughter’s eyes. Had she met them, Vivienne wondered, it had been centuries since the Fae had last set foot on foreign soil, since the days she had crept away from her arguing parents to meet Merlin by the lakeside. An eternity ago. At Marina’s words on warriors, Vivienne smiled, a hint of sorrowful bitterness in her eyes.

“War shaped the world in which I raised my own daughter, Raven. The conflict began before her birth, and I swore it would end long before she might bring children of her own into the world. There are those who dream of wars in which to prove themselves, but those of us who have seen such horrors often dream only of peace. It was a peaceful realm I fought for, though whether or not I managed as much is a matter highly debated.” Her lips curved in amusement. She remained stiffly upright in her saddle, but her eyes were softer and more welcoming, she hoped, than the guards surrounding her. “Then you must call me Vivienne, my parents were such sticklers for titles that I tired of them very early on in my life – and that was a while ago I can assure you.”

She had heard that the Queen was a stranger in her own land once, though new few of the details and decided that prying was uncalled for. She had her own fair share of secrets, and would not appreciate snooping into her own affairs. Instead, she nodded and smiled.

“It is an honour to know that we are protected by those whose code of honour is strongest, it is a trait I have found most admirable in all worlds, from ours to the realm of men.”

Excalibur seemed to warm in its holster, for she had only parted with it to the most honourable amongst men, and would likely never do so again. Nudging her mount forwards, Vivienne allowed a rare and bright smile to grace her elegantly stoic features.

“It would be my pleasure, Marina. May we shape our past hardships into something from which we and those who depend on us can draw strength, a lasting bond of friendship not only between our two people, but perhaps between us, as well.”

They rode together towards the ominous outline of the castle, the ancient portcullis opening fluidly to welcome them in, and around them Vivienne sensed the tensing of her guards. At mention of a stable, Nimueh huffed happily, and Vivienne stroked her mane.

“Many thanks, Nimueh has been my companion for many a year. In times of war, we assured that our mounts were fed even before ourselves, for they were those who kept us upright and steady even at our weakest.”

She waved off her guards as they moved to help her, swinging herself with liquid grace from the saddle and adjusting her heavy velvet cloak before straightening. She stood a few inches above the other woman, though Marina had a presence that outweighed her physical size. Having readied themselves for potential conflict, the guards around her looked to their Queen for guidance. She gestured that they should follow behind the two women, and while they looked a little uneasy to the well-trained eye, they did so without word. The only man who seemed unperturbed was her captain of the guard, they had fought alongside each other on the battlefield and he trusted her judgement without question. Her dress swished fluidly behind her as she walked alongside her fellow Queen to the gardens. They were beautiful, though their beauty was an imposing one upon first glance. A gilt cage, even when blooming with life, had a very simple message. There was energy thrumming in the air, glimmering along every leaf that shook and rustled in the breeze.

“It is beautiful, Marina, I have often found that nature soothes the soul. One day perhaps I will show you the Lake of Avalon, where grow the most splendid of our natural displays.” She turned to her retinue, “At ease, gentlemen, we’ve a great deal to discuss, I shall call if I require your aid in any matter.”

The Captain nodded once, flicking his wrist to disperse his men as the two women walked arm in arm amongst the foliage of the gardens. Vivienne despised being watched over like a boiling pot, she always had. Somewhat ironically, it had been her parents strict observation that had urged her to escape on her own at night. They had insisted that every dance, every meeting with another – regardless of sex or station – be monitored. For she was their only child, and any observation made by one party and not the other simply gave the next argument more cannon fodder.

The memory of her parents faces when she had announced her pregnancy was one that, even on the darkest of days, always managed to make her smile.

Taking her place on the cushions laid out beneath the canopied cage, Vivienne watched as Marina turned away, returning with a beautiful rose. She could not help the smile that emerged – perhaps the two queens were even more similar than they realised.

“What a wonderful gift, it is beautiful.” She could feel the magic of life singing in its petals, a bright ruby red that shone even in shadow. At the fair Queen’s words her smile saddened a little, from love had grown all the great joys of her life – from the daughter that she and Merlin had created together to the horse he had crafted from sea foam just to see her smile – and yet she knew well the double-edged sword that loving could be. As Marina described the flower’s unique gifts, Vivienne’s golden eyebrows raised towards her crown.

“Well my advisers will be very pleased indeed, they seem convinced of my ineptitude in defending myself.” Her lips curved into a wry smile and laughter twinkled in her eyes, “For I am but a weak and feeble woman, of course, albeit one with a very large sword.”

She took the pot, cradling it in her arms and gesturing to the cushion beside her.

“Come Marina, sit with me, for we two have been through too much to stand apart on ceremony.”

There was a peculiar shifting heaviness to the air emanating from the woman beside her. It was as though Marina herself were protecting the visiting party simply by being present. The sensation was comforting, and despite herself Vivienne relaxed a little into the cushions. She had been strong and distant so long, so long that it had formed a chasm of loneliness in her chest. Only Raven saw her smile, and even then she imagined that to her daughter she must seem stern and far away more often than not as of late. As she sat beside Marina, Vivienne – for the first time in centuries – entertained the idea of a friend.
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