calescent: (k ~ vision)
Kiribel Miar Swan Ardelay # "Kiri" ([personal profile] calescent) wrote2014-03-04 03:25 pm

change

The eldest (by ten minutes) of the Swan children, borne by the niece of the Ardelay prime, has been a suspect for her great-aunt's successor since she was five hours old.

The twins' father is a hunti fellow who makes an odd match for his elay wife and an odder one for her overwhelmingly sweela family. He comes home from his excursion to bless his twins with flexibility, imagination, and contentment for his son in his left pocket. In his right pocket are two sweela virtues, intelligence and clarity - that's a clue as to her alignment, if not a guarantee - and power.

Not every prime is graced with that particular hunti blessing in their first batch, but it's certainly suggestive.

Kiribel is possibly the most obviously sweela child of all time. She reads, she holds intensely strong opinions and defends them with more firey passion than wooden stubbornness, she seems to entirely inhabit her own mind to the point of forgetting that she's in the middle of trying to walk. Her twin is less obvious, but by the time they're seven people are guessing he's torz, and he doesn't dispute it. Their little brother is elay like their mother.

It's Kiri people pay covert attention to, because when the old prime dies, the new one is called up. The prime makes plans to start teaching her things, maybe bringing her to court, when the girl is ten.

The prime dies when Kiri is eight.

It's the middle of the night when it happens, and Kiri wakes up thinking the brightness filtering through her eyes is sunshine. It is not; she has set her bed on fire.




The accidental arson doesn't take particularly long to get under control. It's the other, less obvious power of the Ardelays that gives Kiri real trouble.

If the previous prime had the gift of mind-reading, she never saw fit to mention it to anyone. Kiri tells everybody, and screams at her parents and her brothers not to get too close to her, and weeps, inconsolable, in her replaced bed. There is a range limit. She can have company. But if someone gets within a few feet of her -

"I can feel it," she explains to Aleko, her twin, who is a safe distance across the room. "It's in your - warmness. Just stay about that far away and it won't happen."

"You can try it," she says dubiously to Jayce, their little brother, when he suggests wearing a lot of coats and mittens to obscure the warmness. That he does this in the hottest part of Quinnahunti demonstrates his dedication to hugging his sister.

But it doesn't help unless his face is covered up too, to the point where he can't breathe, so that doesn't work.

Kiri does without brotherly hugs for a month until Jayce has another idea without such suffocating pitfalls, and then she waits until Jayce is asleep, and climbs in with him, where she'll pick up nothing but fragments of dreams and only until she nods off herself. (Aleko sleeps lightly, and will surely wake up if someone joins him after he's managed to fall asleep; and Kiri talks at night; but if she sleeps first and he wears earplugs they can arrange things that way and only have Aleko sneaking back to his own bed at three in the morning half the time.)

She imagines this will work until she is at least twelve, but has no idea what she will do once it's weird for her to snuggle up to her sleeping brothers.

By this time there has been a fair amount of rumbling from various political interests that the new prime, eight years old or not, should be meeting various people, ranging from the king and queens and princes to the other primes, and Kiri is all for it. As a sort of concession to her age there is no objection that her brothers and parents accompany her to the Ardelay property in Chialto that she has inherited. They can't hug her - not without letting slip any secret that may cross their minds, and not without her nearing nausea from guilt; if Great-Aunt Ardelay did this casual invasion of everyone she met then Kiri is glad she's dead - but they can support her, with enough space between them.

Renny, her mother, has the most experience of anyone in the immediate family with politics, even if she couldn't stand the stuff and ran off with a man of no significant family at her earliest convenience. She's the one who goes shopping for Kiri's pretty new dress in sweela coral-red and other wardrobe items suitable for a newly visible prime. (Kiri dreads trying to navigate a crowd and doesn't care what she wears anyway.) She's the one who goes with Kiri to the palace. She stays five feet back as they walk in.

The king has already been immunized against the various powers of primes, so there's that.
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-05 10:03 pm (UTC)(link)
The princes haven't.

With the younger one, that isn't much of an issue, because he is just a year old and not yet permitted to wander out of his nursery unattended.

The king's firstborn is a different matter.

Whether or not he is permitted to wander the palace, there he is, easily recognizable by the circlet perched in his mane of fluffy brown hair. He traipses cheerfully toward Kiri and Renny. One of his shoes is partly unlaced, and his extremely fine blue silk tunic has a rip in the hem.
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-05 10:20 pm (UTC)(link)
"Oh," says the prince. He stops where he is, thinks for a moment, and then shrugs. "Okay. Does that mean you're the new Ardelay?"
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-05 10:22 pm (UTC)(link)
He peers curiously at her.

"Do you not like reading minds?" he wonders.
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-05 10:27 pm (UTC)(link)
"Well," he explains, "if you're acting that way because you don't want to read my mind, that's different from if you're doing it because you think I don't want you to read my mind."
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-05 10:31 pm (UTC)(link)
"Why, though? I mean, probably most people wouldn't want you to, it's a good guess if that's what it is, but that's different from it being not okay whether somebody cares or not."
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-05 10:34 pm (UTC)(link)
"It just doesn't seem like the kind of thing that's bad all by itself," he says. "There's people I wouldn't want reading my mind, but you're not one of them. So I don't care."
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-05 10:37 pm (UTC)(link)
"I'm nine," he says, rolling his eyes. "Nobody tells me secrets."
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-05 10:50 pm (UTC)(link)
The prince laughs.

"I might change my mind," he says. "But I don't care now. And you almost called me Prince Hector and then you didn't, so I think I'd rather you read my mind than not."
kindestgarden: (g ~ all grown up)

[personal profile] kindestgarden 2014-03-05 10:51 pm (UTC)(link)
"'Your highness' is better?" asks Renny, who's just within earshot.
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-05 10:52 pm (UTC)(link)
He grins at Renny. "Yeah. I was wondering if you talked!"
kindestgarden: (c ~ crayons and such)

[personal profile] kindestgarden 2014-03-05 10:52 pm (UTC)(link)
"Kiri is the prime, not me. I'm only here if she needs help with something," says Renny.
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-05 11:02 pm (UTC)(link)
The prince turns his grin toward Kiri.

His thoughts aren't especially complicated at the moment; mostly, he is just feeling friendly and cheerful, with an undercurrent of 'see?'.

"Kiri, huh? Nice to meet you," he says. (And she knows what not to call him, which frees him from saying it. Perfect.)
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-05 11:06 pm (UTC)(link)
"Bet I do!" he agrees sunnily. "What parts do you wanna see? There's the kitchen and dining rooms and a bunch of people's rooms I'm not supposed to go in and my little brother's nursery and lots of decorative crap. Some of the decorative crap is pretty nice I guess."
Edited 2014-03-05 23:08 (UTC)
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-05 11:16 pm (UTC)(link)
"Okay," says the prince. "Kitchen's closest. This way."

(This is not technically literally true—they will have to go through some of what he termed 'decorative crap', and past some of the rooms he is not supposed to enter, along the way—but the kitchen is closer than the dining rooms or nursery or any especially notable decorative crap, and is therefore the closest thing he would like to specifically show them. Which is the sense in which he meant it.)

He leads Kiri and her mother out of the boring room (that is what it's for, it is for wasting a lot of space, it's the stupidest thing he's ever heard and he considers the prevalence of kiertens strong evidence that all grown-ups are crazy) and down a hall.

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-05 23:32 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-05 23:39 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-05 23:43 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-05 23:45 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-05 23:48 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-05 23:53 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-05 23:56 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-05 23:58 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 00:01 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 00:03 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 00:06 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 00:11 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 00:13 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 00:15 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 00:20 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] kindestgarden - 2014-03-06 00:22 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 00:24 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 00:27 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 00:59 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 01:04 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 01:08 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 01:11 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 01:15 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 01:19 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 01:23 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 01:25 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 01:29 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 01:33 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 01:36 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 01:40 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 01:57 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 02:02 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 02:06 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 02:37 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 02:41 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 02:48 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] kindestgarden - 2014-03-06 02:52 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 02:54 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] kindestgarden - 2014-03-06 02:56 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 03:07 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 03:11 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 03:16 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 03:19 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] kindestgarden - 2014-03-06 03:22 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 03:35 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 03:48 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 03:54 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 04:01 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 04:07 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 14:58 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 16:58 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 17:24 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 17:26 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 19:09 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 19:24 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 19:34 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 19:35 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 19:48 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 19:51 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 19:54 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 19:58 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 20:00 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 20:08 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 20:40 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 20:56 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 20:58 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 21:14 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 21:16 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 21:30 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 22:09 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 22:16 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 22:18 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 22:20 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 22:23 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 22:32 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 22:40 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 22:53 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 22:57 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 23:16 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 23:21 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-06 23:32 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:01 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:03 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:07 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:10 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:16 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:20 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:23 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:27 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:29 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:32 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:36 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:42 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:45 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:49 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:52 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 00:58 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 01:07 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 01:10 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 01:17 (UTC) - Expand

...

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 01:23 (UTC) - Expand

...

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 01:26 (UTC) - Expand

...

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 01:39 (UTC) - Expand

...

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 01:41 (UTC) - Expand

...

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 01:45 (UTC) - Expand

...

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 01:52 (UTC) - Expand

...

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 01:56 (UTC) - Expand

...

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 02:03 (UTC) - Expand

...

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 02:05 (UTC) - Expand

...

[personal profile] pythbox - 2014-03-07 02:09 (UTC) - Expand