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Title: Warlord of Glacia
Author: Jourdana Standish/queenmidalah
Fandom: Black Jewels
Pairing(s): Morton/Wilhelmina Benedict
Rating: PG-13
Warning: Mentions of violence; language
Word Count: 16,241
Summary: A tangled web is changed when a certain Warlord takes matters into his own hands; he finds himself fighting for his life instead of embracing death. He also finds love, but could lose it by a few careless words.



~~

"What was the point of it?" Gabrielle demanded angrily while tears fell unheeded down her cheeks. Chaosti was at a loss as to how to help his wife. "What was the point of offering the memories if they weren’t going to do any good?"

Wilhelmina lifted her head from Morton’s shoulder, her fingers resting on his leg. She saw Surreal raking her fingers through her hair. Wilhelmina thanked the Darkness that Surreal and Saetan had been able to heavily sedate Daemon after Draca’s announcement. He couldn’t have tolerated any of this right now.

She could tell that they all would have liked to have found out more about the memory ritual that Ladvarian had requested of them, but they all were more intrigued by the fact that Tersa seemed too calm and undisturbed-- and also a little angry. It would take someone mucking up something very important to make Tersa angry.

"Yes, Tersa," Karla said testily, her sorrow finally haven given over to anger. "What was the point?"

"Blood is the memory’s river. And the Blood shall sing to the Blood," Tersa replied. Gabrielle said something succinct and obscene.

"Shut up, Gabrielle," Surreal snapped.

Tersa was sitting on the long table in front of the couch, next to a pile of wooden building blocks. Surreal crouched down beside her. "What were the memories for?" she asked quietly.

Tersa brushed her tangled hair away from her face. "To feed the web of dreams. It was no longer complete. It had lived, it had grown."

"But she’s gone!" Morghann wailed.

"The Queen is gone," Tersa said with some heat. "Is that all she was to you?"

"No," Karla said. "She was Jaenelle. That was enough."

"She was my sister," Wilhelmina whispered, her head resting against Morton’s shoulder again.

"Exactly," Tersa said. "It is still enough."

Surreal jolted, hardly daring to hope. Those words actually gave them all pause, their gazes intent on Tersa. It was Surreal who reached out and touched Tersa’s hand, waited until she was sure she had the woman’s attention. "The Queen is gone, but Jaenelle isn’t?"

Tersa hesitated. "It’s too soon to know. But the triangle kept the dream from returning to the Darkness, and now the kindred are fighting to hold the dream to the flesh."

That brought protests from Gabrielle and Karla.

"Wait a minute," Gabrielle said, glancing at Karla, who nodded. "If Jaenelle is hurt and needs a Healer, she should have us."

"No," Tersa said, her anger breaking free. "She should not have you. You could not look at what was done to that flesh and believe it could still live. But the kindred do not doubt. The kindred will not believe anything else. That is why, if it can be done, they are the ones who can do it." She jumped up and ran out of the room.

Wilhelmina felt her gourge rise. She looked over at Gabrielle and Karla, frightened at how pale they were. "What... what does she mean?" Though in her own way she suspected that she already knew the answer. She had seen how bad Morton and Karla had been after Jaenelle’s healing for poison. She could only hazard a guess as to what had been done to Jaenelle after unleashing and reabsorbing her full strength.

"It means that we need to have faith," Karla finally said. "In Jaenelle and in the Kindred."

~~

Wilhelmina had needed time. After speaking with Saetan and Geoffrey, she had needed time. Even seeking Morton out would be too difficult and Jaal was wherever the kindred had taken Jaenelle. She felt truly, and utterly, alone at that moment.

It had pained her to hear the news Saetan had delivered. That Leland, Philip, and Alexandra were dead. Despite so much, one single act had decided their fate. She suspected that Alexandra, more than any of them, would have been washed away during the Purge of the Realms that Jaenelle had wrought. Leland and Philip had most likely been executed by those that remained, for allowing things such as Briarwood. Anger in the wake of everything that had happened would have given way to violence. And her mother and stepfather would have paid the price. If Alexandra had survived the purge, she too, would have paid the price. Saetan had been as gentle as possible, had tried to reassure her, but the emotions that had swamped her senses after he told her they were gone had been to much and she escaped as quickly as she could.

Now she sat, alone, with her thoughts. Despite her love for Morton, despite knowing he had survived, she felt completely and thoroughly alone. They still had received no news on Jaenelle and Wilhelmina began to wonder if she would ever truly return.

She was the only one in her family left. Lowering her head, she succumbed to the sobs that had filled her chest, and she left herself mourn the family she had loved, yet most never truly had loved her in return. Only one had loved her enough, but had always been far beyond Wilhelmina’s reach. She mourned the what-ifs and the could-have-beens. She only hoped that she could rebuild herself from the ashes of yesteryear.

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