July 22, 2017

In Which Eldona Regards the Unanswered Questions

July 7, 1204

"No, I can see that Oswald means well, but I do agree with you." It was odd, perhaps, that Eldona knew her sister-in-law's betrothed better than she did her sister-in-law herself. Oswald, possibly to make up for Agathe's reservations, had indeed made much more of a point to get to know Searle and herself, despite not having much reason to do so other than the family connection. But Agathe, Eldona had determined, didn't keep her distance for sheer lack of interest--and in Searle's case, plenty of space was indeed crucial to his well-being. "Unless the journal contains something he might find comforting or interesting or important, I don't see why Searle needs to trouble himself with it."

"Exactly. That, and... well, you know Searle and I don't exactly know each other like most siblings." Agathe broke their eye contact for a second to wave as little Celina turned her head and shot her aunt a toothy smile. The circumstances dictated that Agathe probably knew Searle's daughter better than she knew Searle himself, just because there was so little baggage to navigate when it came to a well-loved toddler as opposed to a grown man of harsh roots. "You'd be a better judge of whether it's relevant to him anyway. You don't think there's any chance of him finding it, though?"

"I doubt it. Searle's respectful of my study. He won't go through my drawers or anything, if that's what you're worried about."

"Good." But reassurance about her brother's security did little for Agathe's overall mood. From what Eldona could gather, her sister-in-law had escaped enough of her mother's scrutiny to lead a happy enough childhood, but her father's death had seen her transferred to the care of Maeja. Maeja was a lovely woman--but she was a lovely woman with much knowledge and therefore much well-informed hatred of Searle and Agathe's mother. Agathe wouldn't have grown up without more unanswered questions than any child needed.

"Thank you for helping me. I doubt it's anything more than her own madness, but we can all move on once that's confirmed."

"Indeed." Agathe, Oswald, and Searle too. Searle had a new life. That didn't mean the old one had never happened, that there wasn't still healing to be had even if it could never be complete. "You're a better sister to Searle than I think you know."


July 12, 2017

In Which Dea Urges Asking First

June 12, 1204

"That is exactly what I wished to hear. I shall begin a review of all issues I wanted to address with both Dovia and Carvallon immediately." Dea had dared hope, at least, that the upcoming nuptials between Prince Oswald and Princess Avirelle would ease the long-standing tensions between Naroni's two most significant allies, but given the current players on both sides, she wasn't about to make many assumptions. Hearing this firsthand from one of King Oswald's own sons made for a welcome bout of relief. "My best to both your nephew and his bride-to-be. I'll be unable to attend the wedding myself, but my sister Geneva and her husband will be there as my representatives--along with Celina, of course."

"Ah, yes. My stepmother. A lovely woman, but... I do still struggle to think of her as such, especially given the distance." For that, Koradril couldn't be blamed, Dea supposed. The duchess's marriage to the King of Dovia was a political arrangement, one that required her to stay in Naroni as an ambassador of all parties, more of a bridge between the two kingdoms than anyone's wife. That marriage had also happened long after Koradril might have been young enough for a stepmother to make much of an impression. "I did rather enjoy meeting her granddaughter, though--your cousin, who was here earlier."

"Camaline? Yes, I'm quite fond of her." Camaline had indeed been helpful, and quite sweet about it too. Dea just wished she could offer her something equally substantial in turn.

"I'm glad to hear it. I, uh..." Koradril swallowed, as if he might draw back the verbal stumble. It was rather unlike a prince with both formal and informal studies in governance. "Forgive me, as this is rather sudden, but it occurred to me as I spoke with Camaline that my family might still honor her betrothal in spite of my nephew's death. My Tivalia has been gone for five years now, and I had started to think about remarrying, both for my own sake and my children's. Granted, I'd understand if Camaline had no interest in an older man with children from a previous marriage, but... well, it was a thought."

"It... certainly is a thought." Dea flexed her jaw, unsure if even Camaline knew much about her own taste in men having grown up with the fixed idea of Farilon. On the surface, she found little to object to about Koradril, but simply 'not objectionable' did not an ideal husband make. "I can't claim such intimate knowledge of my cousin's heart, but she's approachable. I don't believe there would be harm in asking."

"Then I shall gather up my courage and ask." Koradril managed a wistful smile, shyer than most princes had much business in being with a foreign queen. For such a tall man, Dea found the difference in their heights held a sudden insignificance. "Do you think her parents would find the match acceptable?"

"I wouldn't worry about her parents." And not just, she wanted to say, because of who they were. "Ask Camaline herself first."


July 7, 2017

The Photofuckit Plan

So! My recent string of inactivity has me somewhat behind in internet news, so of course my initial reaction to pissed-off references to Photobucket was to shake my head and figure that they broke a tenth of their accounts again or introduced a ridiculous new interface or some other major-but-temporary fuck-up.

Obviously, that is not the case.

And, funny story... pretty sure this blog has been using Photobucket since 2009? Lucky for me, the shift doesn't appear to have rolled out to Naroni's account at the time of this late-night phone posting (and for as long as that remains true, if you want to have thirty Naroni posts open in different tabs for no reason other than to cause Photobucket some grief, hey, it's not as if I can stop you from doing so...). I also still have most-if-not-all of the images in accessible offline storage. But, it's only a matter of time, here's the plan:

  • First, change over all posts from 2017 (start with the smallest bit of work, I know).
  • Then, knock off posts by month of posting, alternating between the most and least recent, completing the job somewhere in the middle (and hopefully before summer work hours end in early September).
  • Character profile pictures, for the most part, are also story pictures; for these, it will probably be easiest to update them as I go along with other regular tweaking to that site. I'm already updating all the noble lines every week just because someone who's related to everyone had a kid, what's updating photo links on top of that?
  • I THINK most of my download preview pictures are at Imgur already, but I will comb my older posts next time I log in at the Keep, just in case.
  • Other story blogs? Honestly, since I can't even be bothered to pretend I see updates to those on the horizon, I might just make them private. I'll consider a login option if there's any interest, but I won't be bothering with the photo links.
  • That just leaves my "blog blog", which isn't a high priority since I almost never post there. But once I get the Naroni pics out of the way, I'll run through it and see if anything needs fixing.
  • If I'm forgetting anything, it's probably because it's not important. But hey, let me know on the off-chance that it is.
Project Fixing Shit will commence... probably Saturday, because it would figure that I work Friday and it would doubly figure that I'd made plans with the boyfriend (yes, that happened-- and I believe he shall henceforth be referred to as "an unwitting contributor to the decreased activity of a blog he's probably never heard of and almost definitely doesn't know is the property of the woman he's currently fucking") for after work. Weirdly, the more I think about it, the less daunting a task it seems. And that is WEIRD AS FUCK, considering that my usual response to any inconvenience is to have a complete mental breakdown. Thank you, meds.

And with that, I'll end with the likely-unoriginal observation that Photobucket might have seen more of a profit from their ad revenue if they hadn't insisted on allowing ads that took up half the screen, intruded on its interface, opened sketchy sites in new tabs, tested the dexterity of antivirus programs with drive-by download attempts, and otherwise rendered the site an unusable cesspit without the aid of your friendly neighborhood adblocker. On today's internet, if you want a blocker exemption, you've got to fucking earn it.

(And apologies for an weird formatting or typos. Again, phone... plus I need to be up in four hours, but probably wasn't going to be able to sleep without posting this, because fuck my life, I guess.)

(And yes, new Naronis will still happen as fixes go on. But now Photobucket has to share the blame for delays with work and the boyfriend! Actually, I'm just going to let it take the bulk of the blame during the fixing period, because they neither pay me nor sleep with me.)

July 3, 2017

In Which Camaline Babbles

June 12, 1204

"Oh! My apologies. The steward said that the queen was in here."

The speaker was a man Camaline didn't recognize, but the grey eyes and the firm chin betrayed him as one of the Dovian royals. He had to have been at least in his thirties, but he was still handsome enough for most expectations of a prince. She wondered if her Farilon would have aged so well, had he been allowed to do so.

Farilon's relation or not, however, it would have been horribly impolite not to respond. "She was, and she should be right back. Might I be of service in the meantime, your highness?"

"No need for such formalities from the daughter of a princess herself--at least, judging by your much prettier version of Duke Lornian's face?" The prince ventured to the center of the room and pulled her from the bench with a kiss to her hand. "I'm Koradril, King Oswald's youngest."

"Charmed. I'm Camaline--and yes, my parents are the duke and duchess."

"Ah." His eyes sparked in recognition at the sound of her name. Had they met before, in fact? Or... "Ah, yes. You were the one who was betrothed to my late nephew."

"Yes, well... why marry a prince when you can spend your summers recording the minutes of your cousin's less important appointments? Er, not that you would have come all the way from Dovia yourself for anything like that, of course. If Dea knew to expect you, she must be off fetching a proper secretary. Not sure why should would have lied to me about going to the privy, but--

"Oh. I'm just babbling now, aren't I?"

"Perhaps--but I suspect more than one brilliant observation first stemmed from a stream of babble. And now I'm even more sorry about Farilon, as we could always use more chances for brilliant observation in the Dovian court."

"Alas, if I know my own babble, I wouldn't be holding my breath." Come to think of it, she wasn't quite sure how she was breathing now. Had her body somehow missed the fact that she was making an ass of herself in front of a visiting prince?

Her mind, at least, kept up just well enough to make an escape. "Allow me to find my cousin for you. I'm sure you have something important to discuss, if you came all this way yourself."

"Actually, it was more a matter of my itching for a bit of a trip--one that I'm increasingly glad I opted to take." But, as tact dictated before a lady took her leave, he kissed her hand once more. "That said, I suppose I should talk to the queen sooner rather than later."