From "The Legends of the Hollowed Lands." Chapter 2, page 15.
Edea Amberleaf was a prodigy. In the truest sense of the word, she represented an array of skills and talents so perfectly fined-tuned that even a lifetime master in any one of her fields could barely be considered an equal. She was renowned in the arts, wartime strategy, history, architecture, psychology, medicinal biology, magical theory and magical practice. The polymath was easily one of Tyr’s most valuable assets.
Yet, she could not even hold a candle to Queen Seraphina Lalafina Oblige.
When first conscripted as the queen’s right hand woman, the young Edea thought her new role to just be that of a glorified secretary. Oh, how wrong she was. No matter what Edea thought herself capable of, the queen was always five steps ahead, spinning tactical webs so intricate and well put together that the supposed genius could just barely follow along.
Over the course of only a few centuries, Edea watched Her Majesty transform a once dying civilization into a thriving empire known throughout all the Hollowed Lands—having done so not only as a ruler, but a behind-the-scenes mastermind. She controlled her people with the supernatural grace and subtlety of a night-spider— dispassionately, intelligently, efficiently. Yes, the High Elves of Tyr worshipped their queen with the adoration that they should have. But even today, they were unaware that the land they treaded on was nearly synonymous with the palm of Seraphina’s hand.
The queen always, always, knew what she was doing.
Karyn had absolutely no idea what she was doing.
Being teleported to the throne room was cool. Really cool, actually, she never felt a rush of weightlessness like that in her life. Learning that the throne room existed at the very top of the tree-palace--and that all guests hoping to waste her time had to get there by foot--was freaking amazing. The throne room itself? Surreal. The ceiling was entirely built of stained glass, displaying not only the fittingly massive foliage that umbrellaed the mind-numbingly gargantuan tree, but a stunning rendition of what was probably the High Elves' history. The walls were contrarily made up of clear glass, showing off the brilliant city that supposedly belonged to her. And the throne was literally hovering off the floor.
She was at the top of the world.
And it was utterly terrifying.
Karyn was not the High Elven queen, no matter how forcefully the bookmark dragged her through this mess of a plot. But the way people in this damn story—nobles, servants, whoever else she was forced to talk to—treated her, feared her, respected her? Everyone, and this meant everyone, worshiped her with profound reverence.
Queen Seraphina was not just the backbone of… of Kyr? Or was it Lyr? It didn't matter. She was the heart beat, the life blood, the very soul. Nothing happened without some degree of her influence. She had a finger in all the pies: a spy in every single less-than-legal business, friends in high places, low places, and wherever else she needed them. It. Was. Insane.
And so. Incredibly. Stressful. Karyn wasn’t the one at the wheel, but she nonetheless wanted to jump off this crazy ride.
So… Yeah. She needed a break. Bad. When she was finished with the school lunch and learned about the hour of free time before her meeting up with Jon? And now that she was off schedule and out of paperwork to fill, the Story finally relaxed its stony grip on her? Seraphina’s stunning visage may have looked on with the same clinical dispassion as always, but Karyn could almost feel her eyes begin to water.