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livrose

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About livrose

  • Birthday 10/19/2002

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    emma!

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  1. Queen Emma, from the Seven Skies, welcomed Borris into the place where all whom he loved had passed. Her nephew of witty tongue and weighted quill. She drew him in alongside Klara, offering a familiar smile he would not have seen for too long. Though, in her head, she could not shake a few lines of his verse. "This has been a race well run, a battle well fought. In this age, none shall forget your name."
  2. Emma Karenina's heart, though long since stopped beating, swelled with pride. All that had been sacrificed and worked for, by countless women before her, was beginning to become worthwhile. "Ah. Little Georg, continuing where ea and mea ladies had failed." The prospect of an equal and celebrated Haense seemed more tangible, now. It was a thought to warm even the coldest in the Seven Skies.
  3. haense!!! this is so great
  4. From the Seven Skies, Emma Karenina had continued her vigil over all her loved ones much like she had done in life. She had watched Ami’s last days, her goodbyes, had felt her pain of losing both father and husband. Johann’s girls would inhabit a special part of her heart. Even now, though it no longer pumped fresh blood, it still felt as full as ever. When Amicia passed into the afterlife, Emma was waiting.
  5. From the Seven Skies, Queen Emma likely had begun a new enterprise of bakeries in order to feed the wandering souls who rotated through her doors. With Haeseni delicacies, attempts at childhood favourites as well as home-crafted recipes, one needed only to follow the wafting smell of burning to pinpoint the Queen’s efforts. With a sixth sense only a mother might possess, as Karl expelled a last breath a small smile etched itself into her expression. That night, one more place was set at their table. They were to welcome a son, a brother, a friend, home.
  6. love you mady, wishing you well <3
  7. A Fond Farewell Streams of amber light dappled through the Queen Mother’s bedroom shutters, marking a criss-cross on her clean sheets and wooden floor. The entire room was bathed in that coppery glow of late evening, reflecting off red-painted walls. Emma tracked errant dust motes as they swirled about her from her position in her reclined wicker chair. Her chest rose and fell in shallow breaths, as she twisted her wedding ring around her finger, thinking. Moments before, she had ushered out the physicians Karl insisted on. This, their fourth or fifth visit to her chambers after all his badgering, armed with futile tonics and pastes… their soft whispers, furtive glances, and unendurable sympathy proved all too much. Hurrying them out with faint smiles and echoes of gratitude, it was only when her door quietly clicked shut that Emma let her practised expression crumble. She had braced herself against a side table, breathing heavily, before stumbling towards the chair. Music throbbed still, from the rooms of the wider Palace. Laughter rang, glasses faintly clinked, and the hum of chatter carried across the evening air. Analiesa’s debutante continued in full swing. Already eighteen… and with her youth and opportunities blossoming by the hour. Emma felt almost as though if she squinted and let her vision blur, the lamplight of her room blurred to that of dazzling chandeliers overhead… and the ballroom music drifted closer to envelop her unmoving, aged figure. She imagined herself young, feeling as light as her skirts, at one of her brother’s parties at Jerovitz. With her nuisance of a fringe… Jan clapping another Lord on the shoulder… nieces stuffing the odd chocolate in their pockets when Elizaveta wasn’t looking… her dear sisters there, looking on. The scene became a swirling of noise and movement, and the familiar wooden textures of her childhood home. But the lens of rose-tinted youth soon faded and the heavy ache settled once more like a weight atop her chest. Emma, sinking back into her own body, exhaled with a quiet hiss and tilted her chin back. She knew it would not be long now; not long for this leaden tiredness to pass. To escape the shackles of the physical into eternal lightness, eternal music and dancing, with all who had passed before her. Another shallow breath rattled out of her chest. Emma couldn’t help the small smile which wavered for a moment, at that thought. How had she found the concept of death so fearful, before? The deterioration, perhaps - a drawn-out withering of mind and body - had scared her once. Yet now, as endless sleep beckoned on the blurred horizons of her vision, death seemed a divine possibility for reunion rather than condemnation to darkness. Interrupting her vague ruminations, a door slammed below and increased voices floated up to her room. Clinking cutlery and glasses followed. Ah. Emma huffed out a long breath. They have arrived. It took another minute before she felt she could rise, reaching for Sigismund’s cane to brace her weight on, and took the stairs one-by-one to greet her gathering family downstairs. She had taken the prime seat by the large stone fireplace, a cushioned place which allowed her to observe each member of her family as they conversed. Someone brought a patchwork quilt over, laying it across her knees. Marius, with his arm slung around Nikolas’ shoulder, growing more excited the longer he spoke to his brothers; Analiesa laid on her back, speaking of the party with her hands splayed across her stomach; while Karl and Amadea poured wine and moved chairs to form a makeshift table; Ser Walton, ever-steadfast by their side. This... this is how she would remember them. And yet, soon enough, her eyes drooped heavier at the table. Shapes and colours began to bleed into one another, her bones grew leaden… just beyond the film of reality she could have sworn she heard a chuckle by her ear. Her eyes flickered open. It had a faintness, a ringing quality that grew ever-clearer. Josef. His blue eyes and ruddy cheeks, still boyish, appeared in her mind. A deep laugh followed… Edvard’s. In the corner of her vision, Emma saw the silver glint of a sword she knew in her heart to be Sigismund’s, and distant clanging of metal ensued. Her brother was there, too. Feeling his presence, his taller stature, from behind - Emma exhaled a shaky breath. Jan. Her mother, too, stood beside a man. A man… this man… she knew him, although he was little more than a stranger. Their figures were outlined in a silver glow - translucent in the distance, in the intersection between the living and dead. Slowly, her fingers reached to clasp her childhood necklace. Tonight, putting on the locket, it had felt right. With the sprig of lavender inside, now likely rotten or deteriorated, Emma lifted it to her lips. The father she’d yearned to know; finally, here. Family and friends, waiting. Focusing back to the current scene of opening presents, congratulations and chatter at the table, Emma felt enveloped by life - speaking of memories, advice, and the future. Her living legacy, in these people around her, in grandchildren and friends: a legacy infused with love. Isabel's words to her rung in her mind. Analiesa and Aleksandr, and the blossoming of their courtship. Marius and his questions. Seeing Georg with his grandfather’s cane, one which she has been leaning on for many years now. Her little Maya, reciting her last rites, as she had promised to so long ago. Emma had never yearned for Queenship; never wished for the weight of a Crown - but this life had afforded her everything she wished for, and more. If only she could return to herself as a girl, one who dreamed of happy endings and who, in naivety, was wholly intimidated by the duty asked of her. All is well… she would tell her. Do not cry. Emma thought of Kaustantin’s last words to her that very morning, in a letter she kept folded on her person even now. Of her children, with a pang of guilt at the thought of leaving them - they had known grief enough. Of Walton, who had asked her forgiveness in the end. Then, of the last word she had uttered to Sigismund. Home. She was not far, now, from seeing her boys again. As her vision began to blur at the edges, the silver figures grew more pronounced. Emma could see their expressions, earnest and loving, and a pair of arms opening towards her. A beckoning. The chatter of the Barbanov’s dining room grew more distant, muffled, as the tethers anchoring her broke - with their tension dissipating, her taut muscles relaxed. I am ready... Her lips parted, but no sound broke. They understood. So finally, at peace and old, Emma Karenina expelled a long, last breath. There would be no speech, no grand expressions of love in those final moments. She had never been one for delivering flowery addresses. Instead, her contentment and gratitude was known that evening within soft looks upon loved ones. Surrounded by noise and family, warmed by blankets and the fire, she slipped quietly from this world into the next - a smile etched into her expression. Yet, if one were to pay particular notice, they would see a little figure curled into her side - his cream shell dulled with age and roughed with various scrapes and adventures. Herman the Hermit Crab, laid atop the quilt against Emma - and died with his oldest friend. The pair passed through to the Seven Skies, together, drifting towards those silver figures...and all Emma could feel was warm, and light, as though she were a child at Jerovitz once more.
  8. Emma Karenina added sweet Madeline to her prayers that night. She knelt at the side of her bed, eyes glued shut, as the aged woman recalled the many months aiding her and Iulius’ engagement, the happy years that had followed. Iulius, whom she considered a son, Emma worried for - and resolved to visit him and the children soon.
  9. i love conor schizo posts!!! +1
  10. Emma tucks the palace into her old lady handbag (not powergaming)
  11. THIS IS THE NICEST THING THANK YOU SM (i can't believe you put in the spit glass) but genuinely just having the opportunity to be part of this fab community, let alone Queen, is just amazing - i'm very grateful c:
  12. Ashes to Ashes It was already early evening when Emma set foot out of Karosgrad’s gates. The sun had cast a warmer gaze onto the Kingdom for weeks now, and today was no different. Metal whined as the gate clanged shut behind her, and she glanced rightwards, out towards the sprawling Haeseni farms. Pin-sized men worked in their pastures and fields, still bowed over to sow their crops. It was the end of the planting season. Soon they would return to their homesteads, to the clamour of ordinary life, to wives and children, and send their prayers to Godani for a bountiful harvest later in the year. She certainly did not envy their labour in this weather. Few clouds obscured the sky that she peeked at through boughs of evergreens. Emma leant on a cane… his cane, and it accompanied each of her steps. With every click it made, resounding against the stone underfoot, she found some solace. It was as if another remained in stride beside her. Walks had the capacity to stretch time into a translucent film. Perhaps that was why she had taken to them, so. They punctuated her days with steady steps: the crunching of gravel, the scuffing of heels, soft trampling of overgrowth. More importantly, they took her away from Karosgrad: from the pitying looks of passing courtiers, murmured condolences, and the palace which now seemed so stifling. By the time she paused at the crest of a hill, one peppered with flowers half in bloom, the summer sun hung low in the sky, heavy with sleep. She squinted up - by her estimations, she couldn’t have been far from Jerovitz. Rays of sunlight dappled the ground beneath in a hazy patchwork, as the air grew thick with chirping and buzzing from all manner of insects. A low soothing hum, spurred by the warmth of early summer, surrounded the lone woman as she caught her breath. It was as if the evening had sucked in a last gulp of air and stilled, fearful of her intrusion into its serenity. The wind dropped to almost nothing, and the silk layers of her skirt fell back into place. Only there in that clearing did she let the smile slowly droop from her expression. Years of muscle memory and an infectious habit of laughing had created deep smile lines in her cheeks. She slowly rubbed at them, smoothing out the aches. It was a Queen’s smile, she’d been told. One of tenderness, of understanding, concentrated with a warmth that made the receiver feel as though her attentions were spotlighted upon solely them - if only for a moment. She wore it from noon to night, sometimes. An accessory; like her favourite earrings, or headscarf. She was not truly Emma without it. But in solitude, in quiet, where the gentle afternoon faded into night; where birdsong chimed and the day mellowed, she let it fall. Emma tilted her head up a little, towards darkening skies, and inhaled a whoosh of air through her nose. In truth, the last few weeks afforded her time to think. Too much time, perhaps, as the ghosts of her past re emerged into her consciousness. She had thought of her steady mother, of the father she had yearned to truly know. Jan, with his unshaven chin and boisterous laughter, her protector and confidant. Oh! How she regretted not sending him that letter. Her sisters, all of them scattered across Almaris. Kaustantin was long-settled on his remote cabbage farm. She tried to imagine Eleanora, then Petra’s face, picturing her dearest friends as standing before her, arm-in-arm. Diana, Adalia, Johann, Ana, Henrietta, Konstanz, Andrik, Marus, Marie, and Adrianna joined them. Names and faces swam across her vision, so many more than she could list. Edvard. Josef. Sigismund. And now Eirik was leaving, too. Haeseni generations shift with a snap of a finger… She could picture him, standing arms-crossed by Majid, wearing his usual pensive frown. …And suddenly, we are no longer needed. Emma couldn’t bring herself to disrupt the wind as it swirled drowsily around her, and voice this loneliness aloud. Speaking it almost made it seem too real. For a moment, she had considered going with him. But then her children, her grandchildren, soon replaced those thoughts. She wanted to see Karl settle upon the throne, continuing his father’s legacy. So she would not leave - not yet. She laid down the cane. In its place, her hands sought to clasp the urn. It was a simple pot; clay, with no grand embellishments or gold edges. No one could have known the remains of a King lay inside. All are equal in death. Someone had said that to a girl-ish version of her, once. She straightened up, weighing the pot in both hands. Now, what to do… just dumping it seemed a little crass. So she cleared her throat, and on the quiet hill, her quiet words rang out. “It’s a little disconcerting that the whole of you fits in this pot.” A strained laugh broke from her lips, and she winced at her choiceful first words, just in case someone was listening. “Uh.. szam. What I… what I mean to say, is that I cannot quite believe you’re not…” Emma trailed off. For a long moment, she gazed at the urn, trying to muster up the right words. These, somehow, felt more pertinent, more important, than before. “I wish you’d have told me. I wish… for so many things.” She fiddled with the lid of the urn, letting the silence settle once more before she continued. “Godani, we both know, has his limits. Even he does not keep his oaths. I suppose you’ll know him by now…” The idea amused her. God and Sigismund finally in the same place. “He certainly has much to answer for.” The Queen-Mother narrowed her eyes at the urn. “Any sign that he’s truly there would be appreciated. A… a rustle of a branch, or snowfall in summer, or- a little bird, swooping down now.” She paused, expecting some magical act to make itself apparent. Nothing. The only answer came in the form of squawking birds flying overhead. She sighed, lowering the container. Her gaze snagged on a flower just by her left foot. “If you were here, I’d give you a whack for breaking your promise.” She admitted quietly. A series of emotions flickered across her expression as she murmured those weighted words. Anger, chiefly, soon dissolved into pensive rumination. All of the frustration she’d kept balled up, which pressed down on her chest in a tight knot, had been slowly unravelled on her walks. She imagined it to be like a long yarn string, trailing behind her - and when she wished to turn about, she did not attempt to gather it back into herself… all the hurt, and frustration, but allowed it to guide her home. With that cavity opening up, came space for acceptance… and eventually, forgiveness. “I…am trying to understand, love.” “As I see it,” she continued, more matter-of-factly. “Hosting resentment will only leave it to fester and spoil happier memories. So… I embark on a journey of forgiveness - you know me, I could never hold a grudge for very long.” She had, perhaps selfishly, wanted these last few moments with Sigismund alone. To scatter his ashes to the wind, to say a few, last, words. For good measure - as Emma wasn’t one to take chances - she muttered a quick prayer. As the evening darkened still, and a blanket of mist seeped over the meadow, the clearing seemed to Emma as though the air itself shifted, pregnant with… with a sense of something about to happen. Her sister had always gushed about places of intersection, pockets in time, where spirits intertwined with the earthly and mortal once more. She half-expected spectral figures to emerge from trees, to convene among the grassy centre. Tendrils of mist crept closer, and with its eerie beauty, she could almost hear the lilting echoes of their last conversation: It is the duty of the living to remember the dead. Emma had always loved stories. Princesses, knights, gallant deeds and heroism, faraway worlds of magic and gaiety. History books and essays would record the life of Sigismund III, certainly. His actions and decisions would be poured over by historians for years to come. But Sigismund Karl… Emma found her gaze returned to the urn. The stories deemed too trivial for academic texts she would tell to little Valdemar, to Andrei and Georg. She would paint a picture of the red-clay Karosgrad of their childhood, and the vibrant sun which sunk behind its walls. She would show them how the glowing orb threw the last of its rays over the tiled roofs, how it lit the harbour’s still waters, or melted dripping snow off the trees. She would show them all which she had loved. Old passages of the city, haunts and hidden spots. The Karosgrad they had built, had lived and served for. The Karosgrad that would come into fruition in Karl’s prosperous reign. That thought, and the reminder that in the passing of one generation another was ushered in, comforted her. She smiled down at the little pot. It was a sad, wavering smile. “Tell them I love them for me. Just… just hold them. Until I see you all again. There are things to sort here, yet.” The sun had, in its descent, brushed the sky with hues of pinks and purple. It must have been the prettiest evening Emma had seen in a while. With a last exhale, she tipped the urn… and the wind picked up. It was then that a gust blew across the green expanse, lifting the ashes up higher, and farther away. Emma didn’t dare move. A wobbly smile remained long after the cloud of ash had faded into obscurity. She couldn’t help it - seeing him light as air, carried up into the unclouded sky. No fears, no troubles, could weigh him down now.
  13. Emma Karenina placed the letter on the edge of her bedside, smoothing out any wrinkles. She had scanned the page, read and reread the words a hundred times over, yet still it did not feel real. Her apprentice, the brave and selfless Surgeon she had known... the woman who had delivered almost all of her children, who stood by her for lessons and clinical crises, gone like so many others. Johann, Adrianna, Sigismund, all in a matter of weeks. The bed creaked as she sat down on its edge, eyeing the boxes and trunks that piled around her, amidst the moving process from her old rooms. Still in her black robes, Emma sighed, fiddling with the edges of her sleeves. She was tired, so, so tired, and yet even when her eyes fluttered shut- she found no respite.
  14. Emma Karenina, Queen of Haense, had never ridden a horse so quickly. When the messenger boy, red-faced and panting, had arrived; she just knew. His sunken eyes betrayed his following message, and he barely uttered the name of the King before Emma felt the world tilt with a lurch, and she heard herself calling for her steed. She pressed herself against its flank, ignoring the aches of hard riding, as Norlandic trees and foliage streaked by, soon blurring to the icecaps of Haense. Home. The name Sigismund spilled from her lips as she arrived to the Haeseni gates - and she was ushered to the Prikaz. Each passerby’s expression was mournful, each one pitying. She kept her chin lifted, mounting the steps to the Nikirala, ignoring the circling whispers. There, she sat quietly beside his body, holding one of his stiff hands as if squeezing it hard enough would encourage the colour to return to his cheeks. Walton had told her what had occurred as she entered. She had been struck silent. Emma leant forward to brush back a curl of Sigismund’s greying hair, before slumping back in her seat. Alone, and unheard, the Queen whispered to him. “Vy said vy wouldn’t. Vy said- vy…” She sucked in a wobbling breath, overcome with grief- yes, but guilt as well. She hadn’t been there, in his last precious moments. Hadn’t been there to try, to beg him, not to duel. Behind the hardened exterior, the beard and the grey, laying there Sigismund seemed more the boy-King she had known and loved, all those years ago. “Ea hope vy have found vyr peace.” She said, eventually, each word heavy as it rung out in the quiet room. “With all who we have loved.”
  15. Emma leant out over the edges of the Vidaus pavilion, placidly eyeing the dizzying drop below. Wind tustled through the open ballroom, yet still the slight woman perched, silks and scarves whipping about her face, unmoving. Sorina had sat beside her for a few hours until the light had faded and the air grew colder, before seeking refuge in the warm. Perhaps she was punishing herself. Emma had reached Ana, pulled her out of her bench, tried to resuscitate her - and yet, with another of God's bitter twists, all her medical training proved futile. Who could she protect, what sort of physician could she call herself, if she could not even save the ones she loved? So she remained outside long after any of the sunset's light had winked away, until her figure was a mere dark outline against the pillar, still staring out into the dark fabric of night.
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