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|SIOFRA CIANA AONANI||
Posted: Nov 27 2017, 11:32 AM
~1900 • Fae • Perfection • Seelie Court
Once Upon a Time...
Siofra is typically regarded as incredibly beautiful. And this isn't just because she is Queen and people want to give her lip service. While no longer the epitome of maidenly youth, she still looks beautiful and appears to be similar to a woman in her late twenties/early 30s.
Siofra naturally has golden blonde hair that can change in the light. But, her dying her hair various colors or highlighting it is not unheard of. A consistent thing is that keeps her hair long, usually going to her mid-back. She will arrange and style it in a variety of manners rarely having it completely down and instead making sure it is pulled back in some way. She has an assortment of accessories, crowns, and other bits and baubles to adorn herself with. If she was ever asked, she probably would say her hair is one of her favourite features she has.
Siofra's natural eye color is a deep forest green, but as with her hair, she been known to manipulate light to change her eye color when she feels like it.
Usually there is some form of light around her but she can change it and extinguish it at will.
As the Seelie Queen, Siofra has access to many materials to make outfits and dresses. She has a strong sense of the 4 seasons seeing as her powers are tied to them. As such she typically wears dresses, accessories, and shoes so they match the seasons perfectly. Same with her makeup and hair. Everything is coordinated to perfection. She prefers luxurious items that are rooted within nature. If she travels, Siofra often will make sure to coordinate with the locations to where she will be going.
Anger. Pain. Humiliation.
The emotions reverberated about her heart and throughout her body creating a horrific aching sensation. Ever since the news had been received over one week ago- her entire life as she had known it had been turned upside down.
It felt like she was trapped in a cycle of neverending hurt. Like a cold stone in the pit of her stomach, her heart was too heavy and too broken to even begin to try and put the pieces back. All she knew was that whatever sembelence of normalilty she knew was broken. And it was her own fault.
Siofra couldn’t help but berate herself over and over and over. How could she have been so foolish? How could she have hoped and placed her hopes in a person such as him? An Unseelie of all things. Hadn’t she doubted him even a bit? Had she not been even the least bit cautious? Perhaps….perhaps in the beginning she did- perhaps in the beginning she was. But the more she looked back at the past, clawing through the memories as she tried to regain her bearing- the less and less certainty she had of what exactly happened. The more she looked, the more she found herself scrambling for answers that would not manifest.
It was Autumn. The season of change, the season that mirrored spring and its changes. But right now all she could think about was how much of a curse this season was. She could only see the things he had taught her. And while there was a sense of abundance to the season, harvest, joy, thankfulness… all she could see and feel was the rot that led to the icy winter. The death that hushed all before the frosts and northern winds came.
Was she not the Queen of the Seelie? Was she not supposed to be perfect, infalliable? And yet- she had made a mistake. A horrific one that should anyone discover the true nature of it- she’d be done for. All she could do now was work- work to make this right. Work to make this better. Work to make this not end now, but to continue moving forward for her people.
If anything though…the once closely held notion of peace had long since faded from her mind. If Ravalore would act like that- no Unseelie could be trusted. They were too different. All the things she had once thought- were true. And while she had been proven wrong even just a tiny bit… it was just that. Small instances of being proven wrong, but wide swaths of being proved right.
It hurt. It hurt to remember those times, to look back and know that he was a large part of who she was now- and that part of her ability to govern and use magic well were all thanks to him.
All in all, it wounded her pride in a way she hadn’t seen coming.
One week ago….one incident was all it took. But that was the thing- that incident was the unforgivable act that proved her earliest of early suspicions true. And it was her fault.
But, Siofra knew she couldn’t just sit there and wait, sit there and cry over and over about what had happened, no. She had to take action… and if he thought that he was the only one to learn valuable information, information that could be used for an advantage- well then he was wrong. So very wrong.
Siofra made her way down the winding paths of the forest to a small home nestled within a large ash tree. Her servants had gone ahead to alert the mage she was coming and indeed prepared for her arrival. The fae here bowed as she arrived, her eyes a cold amber color as she made her way to the door. “You are to go back to the palace at once.” She said evenly to the servants as she passed by them, but her words made them stutter and stammer,
“Your majesty we could not. With the recent attack by the Unseelie it would be-“
“I ask you this for that very reason. It is not wise for you to wait in the open with everything that has gone on.”
“But my Queen…” they tried to cut in once more only to have Siofra frown,
“I will not tolerate it. I am the Queen of the Seelie, and Unseelie that seeks to challenge me will feel the wrath of my light. Especially in respect to what has occurred. I will not hear any more on this subject.
Seasons came and went, and soon Winter was upon the Seelie Court. As always, Siofra instructed that everything be harmonious in the changing of the seasons. Winter was a time of quiet peace, but peace did not mean change was absent, nor did it mean that certain things from the past couldn't be put to rest.
Today, she had summoned an Audience. An announcement would be given and at the very center of it all- was the small flower fae Farren. Not only was he to attend, but he was also to come and visit her beforehand. Everything was prepared... and for now she sat in her room. The only mirror in her entire palace was located here. She checked her appearance carefully- she could after all only use the mirror once a month. Today was a special day, so today was the day she would use it. A smile came upon her lips at the sight of her reflection- but all too briefly her time was finished- fleeting seconds, barely a glance before it was all said and done. Quickly, she covered the mirror once more, securing the bonds that kept the dark fabric in place.
Still, she now knew how she looked- and while usually she had the knowledge of her appearance even without the sight of a mirror; it was still quite nice to be able to see her actual reflection. Her blonde hair was braided back and around her head was a circlet of silver with emerald-colored enameled holly leaves and ruby berries adorning it. Her dress was also wonderfully made- white and silver fabric adorned with snowflakes, ice crystals, and snowdrop flowers draped across the queen’s body. All in all, it was an flawless ensemble for both the season and the day.
Siofra stood, and made her way to the door where her servants were waiting for her. "Summon Farren to my study." she said with a soft smile, the two fae bowed and murmured their responses of acceptance before moving away as Siofra continued to her study to await the poppy fae. She knew he was likely here, and no doubt he had discovered the elders from his old village had also been invited to this particular audience.
It did not take long before Farren arrived and Siofra stood to greet him, a smile gracing her lips as she saw him. They had met long ago- and yet her affection for the small fae remained. He was quite sweet... and innocent. She had learned so much about him during the times she would occasionally explore the Outer Courts. Those past days where she had gotten bored of Inner Court life and so used her illusionary magic in order to disguise herself and see new things and meet new people. Even back then, he had been so childlike. Now that Farren was in the Inner Court though- well... at the very least they could see each other more often. Even if he was busy with the work she would give him, and even if he spent most his time sleeping; especially in the winter.
"Greetings, Farren." She said with a slight warmth in her tone as she welcomed him to her study.
"Hello, my Queen. It is lovely to see you today."
Farren was smaller than he was usually, he even looked younger than she knew he was, but Siofra recalled it was due to the season's impacts on him. His smile was soft, as were his cloudy blue eyes- Farren bowed to her leading Siofra to offer her own response,
“And lovely to see you too, Farren. Rise. We have much to discuss.” She said evenly, her smile still there on her features. She watched Farren straighten, his breath drawn in a slight, soft inhale as he placed his hands in front of him, folded,
"Yes, my Queen?"
“Come with me,” She said motioning for him to follow her to the Audience Room. “Today we have some guests that I believe you know? They will be staying for dinner. I’ve also prepared a banquet in celebration for today.” She walked down the hall with him, happy to see that Farren was able to keep up with her pace, “You’ve done quite well with your studies and court work.” She said with a small nod.
"Thank you, your vibrancy." He murmured, a soft blush decorating his fair cheeks as he dipped his head with the given thanks. "I hoped to have made you very pleased."
“You have.” Siofra said simply, looking pleased. She took a small breath as they continued walking down the halls, servants bowing to them both as they passed, “You know...I always am watching, Farren. A Queen must know her people, what they do- and what they've done. All these small details make a larger picture. It is important that nothing- no detail, no memory, no event- is overlooked. Those who ignore the past, are doomed to repeat it, those who forget memories or ignore the small things- open themselves and others to more sinister damage. So remember this Farren….” She said pausing as they came to the main hall, stopping short of the entrance. “I don’t forget anything.”
"Yes, my Queen." The small poppy fae spoke with a dip of his head.
Siofra did not glance at the fae as he reacted to her words, but she knew he heeded them- perhaps her meaning would become quite clear soon. She heard a certain calm in his voice- that was good. The queen waited as she heard the announcement of her arrival sound and the doors opened for her. She entered the Grand Hall, Farren falling into step behind her. People stood and bowed as she walked to her seat at the head of the room to her throne. Many seats had been set out to welcome their guests. Her green eyes glanced over the Fae from both the Inner and Outer Courts were present and seated all according to their rank. Near the seats were some small fires that burned in metal pits to keep the room warm. Siofra was quite pleased with the arrangements; the room had been made to be epitome of winter and beauty. Branches dipped in glittering frost and ice that wouldn’t melt decorated the room, clusters of evergreen needles, red berries, and winter flowers were all arranged with precision and expert knowledge. It was the perfect blend of natural beauty and magic. The windows were frosted over glimmering and shimmering as small gold and silver light orbs floated in the air.
The Elders from Farren’s village were seated fairly prominently. And it had been arranged that Farren’s seat would be alongside theirs. And indeed, the Elders looked quite proud- perhaps already anticipating the large reward they would perhaps get for discovering Farren. But obediently, Farren took his seat amongst the Elders sitting, slightly slouched with his shoulders relaxed, the small flower fae delicately crossed his legs. Siofra masked her annoyance with a smile, and instead sat down in her seat looking out over the audience. On her cue, others of her Inner Court took their seats, followed by those in the Outer Court, they were chatting excitedly, whispers and wonderings of the purpose of today’s audience. Siofra made a mental note to perhaps hold such gatherings more often- although for different reasons than today. So, she clapped her hands to slow the chatter.
“Good Day everyone.” She said with a bright, but soft smile, “Today we have quite a lot to do. It is my pleasure to announce that today we have special guests, the honored Elders from the village where our very own Farren ab Cathal hails from…”
She smiled a warm smile, “Please, Rise Elders…” she said gesturing to them.
The Elders hardly took a moment before the five of them all rose. Some patted down their robes, while others adjusted the flowers decorating their clothes or hair. Their proud smiles were bright, and clear. During all of this, Farren merely sat quietly as he obediently watched the display taking place. The Grand hall began to grow slightly chilly- the lights briefly dimmed only for a second but within the offer of good news- it was ignored by most save for the more perceptive Fae. It was slowly coming together,
“Now…” Siofra trailed off before sighing, her smile also faltering as her breath came in tiny wisps of silver, “Hm…I’m sorry- I must request something of you five. It’s a bit cold now. Would you be obliged to do me a favor?” She asked.
It was no surprise to hear the echoes of “Of course my Queen, your Vibrancy, anything you desire,” coming from the tongues of the men who stood before her. The pleased look returned to her features as she nodded, gesturing to the fires blazing away at the edges of the room in large hearths, her hand gracefully moving to include the small grates.
“Each of you bring me a coal from the fire, and place them at my feet, so I may be warmed.”
The room seemed to grow even colder, both from Siofra’s own magic, and the slight shock and surprise at her request. Farren finally seemed to focus in, his gaze shifting and widening ever so slightly as he looked from the Queen, to the now.... thoroughly surprised Elders.
".....Your-....your Majesty, we do not understand-..." The eldest of the respected flower fae spoke up, his skin growing far more pallor than usual. "Do you have a dish we may use to carry the coals?"
Still keeping her serene smile, Siofra let out a small hm, “Sadly…I don’t think I do. It should not be an issue…you may use your hands.”
All of the Elders stiffened- and they were not alone- members of both the Inner and Outer Courts were far more alert than they had been moments before, some whispers took wind breaking the silence that had followed in the few seconds after her request.
What could the Queen be doing? She would never make sure an outlandish request unless she had a reason to. So the question was….
What had the elders done to earn such a task?
It was clear that the Five Elders made to protest, their expressions ranging from horrified to flat out confusion. Their mouths opened, but no words came- what could be said? Their Queen had made her request that moments before they told her they would do as she said… and it was only when the eldest hushed them all did they finally become subdued.
Meanwhile, Siofra merely watched as they pandered and panicked. As they talked amongst themselves... clearly looking for a way out. But finding none. She glanced at the rest of the court- her more wise and discerning advisors and court members slowly were piecing things together. Rumors. Echoes. Had they been true?
"Y-...yes, your Majesty." The Eldest finally spoke, shuffling towards the pits blazing with orange and gold flames, the others following suit. A long moment’s pause stretched out, and only when that had passed, did the first Elder reach in and grasp a coal. A cry of pain rang out through the room as his hand withdrew back from the pain.
At the sound of a cry, a couple of the seated fae stiffened, but Siofra did not react, instead her smile slowly began to vanish as the Elders took their time.
“I hope you did not drop that coal. I thought I asked you to bring the coal to me, not pick it up and drop it back.” Her voice was precariously caught between light and icy. She was being stern, if it hadn’t been clear before- it was clear as crystal now that this was a punishment that was being carried out.
“Apologies….y-your Vibrancy…” The eldest of the Elders said, his voice tight with pain. Again his hand reached into the pit grasping the hot coal. It was a struggle- it was painful but he knew…. Should he drop it once more the Queen’s anger would likely be unleashed.
A light sizzling noise filled the air, and he began to trek back to the Queen. The other Elder's followed, taking a hot coal in hand, some crying out in pain, others cursing or whimpering. Normally cursing was seen as horribly offensive especially in the presence of the Queen but the pain perhaps made it more understandable at the very least. So she watched them, unamused as they carried the hot coals to her.
Tears streamed down the oldest Elder's face as he neared the Queen, the hot coal glowing within his hands. It was then, at this time, Farren spoke up, his head turning towards the Queen.
"My Queen, what is the meaning of this?" He asked gently, the softened murmur travelling across the lavish room towards her. It was unexpected, but understandable that Farren would question what no doubt everyone was wondering. Leaning back, Siofra looked at the court before her, before focusing on Farren,
“They brought dishonor on themselves and to another very important fae- one that far outranks them. And while status is something to be minded- the Elders know that no matter who they did this to- it was unacceptable. So, after much consideration, I found this to be a very merciful punishment.”
Whimpers and cries of pain filled the hall, and at her explanation more whispers began to fly about as the prior suspicions were now being confirmed. Farren merely sat up as still as a statue, as everything happened around him. A little frown pulled at his lips, but at her answer it seemed that he did realize what she was doing his expression smoothed over. Siofra smiled at Farren as he nodded ever so slightly,
"I see." He murmured, settling back in his seat to watch the display with cloudy eyes. The first Elder had finally reached the Queen and dropped the coal with a cry of pain at her feet before doubling over and cradling his hand against himself. The other Elders quickly followed, dropping the hot coals which sizzled at the feet of the Queen. Siofra, her gaze hardening ever so slightly as she raised her head and looked down upon the whimpering Elders.
“Farren?” Siofra’s voice rang out in the hall, “Name me the codes of which we Seelie follow.”
Farren in response merely turned his gaze towards the Queen with calm certainty, as he recited the names of each part of the code. "Death Before Dishonor, Love Conquers All, Beauty Is Life, and Never Forget A Debt." His gentle voice spoke, and seemed to carry louder than all of the other noises in the hall. As he recited them, the other fae’s murmurs and whispers began to quiet down.
“Death before dishonor...” she repeated softly, “And Farren, with that rule in mind…does that include just your own honor- or does it include the honor of other Seelie as well?”
"It includes the honor of other Seelie." Farren responded smoothly, his gaze slowly turning to look towards the Elders. "It is against the code to bring dishonor to another Seelie, for that is not our way."
Siofra nodded solemnly, “That is correct, Farren. We are to honor each other and do right by each other. No matter the status, no matter our kind- we are all Seelie. To dishonor each other makes us no better than other unspeakbles. That being said- rules are sometimes broken. And as a result, we much take action to correct such transgressions.” She focused on the small poppy fae, green eyes taking him in as she extended a chance to him- and what he did with it- would be important in determining what was to result from this day.
“Shall I kill them for you? For after all, Farren ab Cathal… it was your own honor they tainted. Forgiveness after punishment though is something I will also respect, the choice I leave with you.”
Siofra managed a softer smile the temperature in the court rising as the coals warmed her. Still, the soft crying of the elders was beginning to become grating. “If you choose to spare their lives, I will also let you choose to allow the court healers heal them or let them heal naturally”
Siofra watched as Farren’s gaze shifted from the Elders, to the Queen, and then back again. A long moment of silence followed, seemingly as if the flower fae was weighing both options. He rose from his seat, his height hardly imposing yet the latent glamour he gave off spoke of hidden power. The poppy fae watched as some of the Elder's turned their gazes towards him, the eldest dropping to his knees, “F-Farren, my child- please have mercy…” He murmured, begging through tears of pain and fear, and yet Farren did not grace them with a response, instead the poppy fae tilted his chin up, and began to speak.
"This punishment has proved worthy enough to pay for the harm they had supplied me in my youth. I ask that they be spared. But, they shall heal naturally and on their time, for it is only fair payment for the burns they had inflicted upon me."
Siofra’s smile returned. Proud, and relieved- she had made the right choice today. She clapped her hands indicating for the servants to assist the elders back to their seats. And now, that she was certain of her decision- she announced for all to hear, “And so the Future King-in-Waiting has spoken.” She called out with a satisfied smile, as shock, murmurs, and gasps from the assembled guests filled the air. The King in Waiting had been declared? Just now? In that way?? This was unheard of- this was unknown… but yet it had happened- and Farren of all people as well! Undeterred, Siofra cleared her throat causing a hush to fall over the crowd, “For now I’d like to call a break, I think it will be quite welcome. Dinner will be served in an hour for each and every one of you after and then we shall have the promotion ceremony.” Siofra had looked over towards Farren to see his reaction at her announcement and like the others he himself was shocked. The poor thing was frozen still, his eyes widened ever so slightly in disbelief. He looked left and right, as if he couldn't believe what he had heard. But he only saw confirmations, Fae bowing their heads and murmuring congratulations. Farren’s glamour pulsed suddenly, with the shift in his emotions, but he kept it under control. Very, very slowly, he looked back towards the Queen, clearly shocked into silence for the most part. Siofra smiled at him before rising to leave and take a break before dinner. No doubt Farren was shocked- the rest of the court was too. The poppy fae managed a small gentle smile back at the queen. But she was set in her ways- her decision had been made for a variety of reasons. Farren was powerful in his own right… but he was also loyal. He was naïve at times- but also content where he was. Perhaps he would be unhappy in his new role, but Siofra really had no intention on changing things. Farren was unlike so many other Inner Court Fae, all of them clamoring for her throne and crown- hoping to be named the King or Queen in waiting so they would have the power and status they craved…. No doubt just waiting for her to vanish or her life to end so they could take over. No. Farren was not like them, he was sweet… and as indicated today- merciful, but not unjust- even in matters that concerned him.
She was confident in her decision. And so the Queen descended and went amongst the court Fae to greet them during the break. Looking over towards where Farren had been, he seemed to be leaving- casting not even a look in the direction of the still whimpering Elder fae. Siofra turned her attentions back to the court, greeting those around her with smiles and small waves, and greetings. A man did catch her eye- his fashion while impeccable… was quite unique.
Siofra’s gaze lingered only a bare second or two more than normal before she nodded her head in his direction and continued her way around to check in with the other guests before she, herself would go and relax. It was going to be a long night ahead of her, but nothing she was a stranger to. Celebrations, parties, dinners, but everything would be perfect.
For how could it be anything, but?
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About the Author...
OOC ALIAS: Alivi