"I am noble too, oh Lord of Wolves. Starlight was my mother; and my father was the dark."
The Queen of the Awoken is as much an enigma as the Reef she rules. It is said that she won her crown through ruthlessness, and that she stands as master of the Fallen House of Wolves in place of their defeated Kell.
The City's rise spells an end to the Reef's age of isolation. The Queen will surely look to this new era as an opportunity. And the City, in turn, must look to her. The Reefborn Awoken have spent long ages out on the edge of everything, and they may know secrets of terrible weight - the Queen most of all.
Ghost Fragment: The Queen
For a while the only lights were the eyes of the Witches tending to the cell. The drone of the soul machines echoed through the prison. Gas billowed and ebbed into the shadows.
She entered. They scurried to their points around her, the method of their arrangement precise. "The Archon Priest has been retired, my Queen," said the Witch to her right.
Far from throne and audience she moved without theater. "Any word of Kaliks Prime?"
"We still sense something among the Anankes." This voice came from behind her. She did not turn to acknowledge it.
For the span of a brief silence she moved between the sealed cells of the Wolf nobility with her Witches in constellation around her.
"More of your brother's Crows have entered the Cauldrons of Rhea." The Witch directly before her spoke with a dry buzz. "The Nine do not approve."
She stopped a moment to study the sealed face of a cell. The cloud of her breath mingled with the slow exhalation of cryonics. "Send them one of our prizes. Something to commemorate our mutual victory."
"And which of your prisoners would you gift?"
If she paused to think it was only for an instant. "Send them Skolas."
"A lovely gesture."
"Mm." She cocked her head as if listening for a frozen heartbeat. "And remind them this: the Crows are mine."
The Queen's Brother
"I will not sacrifice my birthright for the promise of security."
As the Queen's confidant, spymaster, and deadliest enforcer, her brother wields enormous power, particularly for a male born in the Reef's matriarchal society. Recent reports suggest he may differ from the Queen on key matters of strategy - but it remains to be seen whether this gap is a source of conflict, or part of the reason the Queen values him so highly.
Ghost Fragment: The Queen's Brother
The machine had wings and feathers, sleek and black as its body. But the feathers were eyes, too, sharp and delicate, and ears that pricked at every sound. The young prince considered the machine, considered its purpose, and his own. And then he called to it.
"I have a task for you."
Obedience was woven into its workings, and so it stopped. "Master of Crows?"
"Mind the Black Garden's gate. Follow anyone who passes through."
"In the name of your sister," the machine vowed. And it went to find its warp capsule, just as another came in. But this one flew skittishly, as if to evade its master.
The prince caught it from the air. "You avoid me?"
"I am tasked by the Queen."
"But you serve me." He let it tremble in displeasure for a moment. "Tell me your news."
The machine flicked its wings. The prince stroked them flat with slow assured motions. "Tell me your news," he said again. "What's the harm?"
"The Heart is growing stronger," the crow said. "The Vex transformation has begun, and the Progeny are stirring."
The prince considered this in silence for a moment and then he wrapped the crow up in his fist and folded its wings around it so that it could not move or fly. He did all this swiftly, and with purpose.
Carrying the machine, he went to see his sister.
She was alone with her Fallen guards, sitting before a window into infinity. Her eyes did not leave the universe; but sensing her brother she said "Yes. What is it?"
"There's news to share," he said, and offered the crow in his fist. "And I think I have earned the right to share it."