King and Queen of Ravka
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More progress on the sleeves for Alina's Black Winter Fete Kefta!
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Symbolism/Analysis of the Black Kefta
The Kefta to End all Keftas
She reached into the box and pulled out yards of rippling black silk. The sleeves and neckline were delicately embroidered with gold and glittered with tiny jet beads...The neckline of the gown was laced with a black velvet ribbon, and from it hung a small golden charm: the sun in eclipse, the Darkling’s symbol...
the black silk clung to my new form, shifting and sliding like sewn-together shadows ...in the other boxes on my bed we found golden silk slippers, glittering jet and gold earrings and a thick fur muff
"Black," Genya whispered.
His color. What did it mean?
I am so glad you asked, Alina! There are several possibilities that I will gladly talk for far too long about:
This black kefta is a claim- it's saying; Mine, do not touch.
This black kefta is protection- it's saying: Touch and I will destroy you.
This black kefta is a statement- it's saying: Power, I have it in spades, don't try anything.
I'm going with all the above.
On a more serious note, while this does have undertones of possessiveness and control it should be noted that Alina is in a precarious position. There have been assassination attempts made against her, she is in danger.
The Darkling is saying- the Sun Summoner is under my protection. She wears my colors. She is no ordinary Grisha, she carries the weight of my protection wherever she goes, and I will come down on you like a ton of bricks if this nice kefta gets torn.
I don't believe it is full possession/claim because he didn't need to add the gold. Do I think that he should have consulted with Alina? Yes. But also, no.
He's her direct superior. (But he has crossed personal boundaries) It's perfectly within his power to make this decision, although I certainly wouldn't hold it against Alina to be miffed.
The neckline of the gown was laced with a black velvet ribbon, and from it hung a small golden charm: the sun in eclipse, the Darkling's symbol.
The symbolism of Alina carrying the Darkling's symbol against her heart... need I say more?
The sun in eclipse may be his symbol but I've increasingly felt that it represents both of them. If it were merely the Darkling's should it not be a new moon? All shadow. But it's not. It's both (maybe I’m just being whimsical).
I can’t help but think of the Darkling waiting centuries for the Sun Summoner to be born, and how that might have played a role in his own external sigils. An outward symbol of his desires he’s unable to fully realize.
They cannot be one without the other. It's a symmetry that I adore.
The Jet Stones: I go lapidary
There are repeated references to many small jet stones in Alina’s kefta and in her earrings. I admit, at first glance I was disappointed. Why not onyx? Or obsidian? Those seemed more elegant somehow, more valuable.
Well, I was wrong. The symbolism is on point!
Jet Stones were made popular by Queen Victoria in the 1850s (and they only grew in popularity, reaching their peak in the 1870s). They were a symbol of mourning (Queen Victoria wore them to her daughter, Victoria’s, funeral).
At least, this is a neat reference to some quite period appropriate costuming.
At most, I adore the implication that this could be Alina’s mourning gown.
Because this is the chapter before everything changes, before the death of her time at the Little Palace and this Black Kefta is a symbol of a life she could have lived. But didn’t .
The Sun Summoner
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Little Witch - Part 16
The Darkling x Reader
'It's work-related Baghra, I'm not here because I miss you'
'Then get to it.' She snapped and walked around you, settling in her seat by the fire.
'How is Alina getting along?'
'Like a wounded animal' You sighed. As much as you hated the woman, she had a knack for training Grisha and always succeeded so this wasn't good.
'How bad is it?'
'She can't light a doorway on her own without Aleksander clutching her wrist.'
'Surely she's not that weak. Maybe you're just losing your touch'
'Get out.' She snapped.
'The Fete is 2 weeks away, it would do you well to make sure she doesn't embarrass herself' You let a subtle threat slip into your words but in reality, you couldn't touch Baghra, Aleksander forbade it himself.
'Or else what? You'll wrap my own shadows around my neck and wring me to death?'
'Foolish girl. You have a pretty face but deep down you are uglier than the Black Heretic himself.' Baghra always seemed to have a paramount of new insult ready to throw your way.
'Well isn't it lucky that I share a bed with him'
'You are absurd'
'Only the best of us are.' With that, you left the blistering heat and made your way back into the palace, your mind drifting back to your first ever encounter with Baghra.
'You'll train with Baghra' General Kirigan said as you awkwardly stood in your lavish suite, feeling the ill-fitting Tidemaker kefta weighing heavily on your shoulders.
'I can fight already there's no need' You didn't want to be here, you wanted to go back to your regiment in the First-Army and sleep on an uncomfortable cot surrounded by your friends. The Palace reminded you too much of your old family home to the point of it making you uneasy.
'Not that kind of training' As handsome as the General was, you didn't let yourself succumb to his looks or that faint smile, even if it did erupt small butterflies in your body. Don't trust him.
'Do I have to wear this coat?' It was the first time you'd put it on and although it was very well made, you didn't think it suited you.
'That's your uniform from now on I'm afraid.' He gestured to his own black kefta. It was magnificent.
At the time, you hadn't yet known you could possess more than one Grisha power, but that was about to change really soon as he led you down the narrow steps leading to a hut.
It was nestled deep in the Palace gardens, and you longed for the same privacy. It wasn't anything like the Little Palace with its dull exterior and homely interior. But the heat, oh the heat, it was scalding. You fiddled with the kefta belt and buttons, tugging the thick coat off of you as you looked around, awaiting the woman the General referred to as Baghra.
'Hello?' You folded the blue coat over the back of a chair, feeling too awkward to sit down.
'You must be the Elemental, child you stick out like a sore thumb' An old woman appeared in the doorway. Her hair was graying and her clothes looked worn.
'An- wha- elemental?' You tested the words on your tongue, were you not a Grisha?
'Sit.' You did as you were told as she sat opposite you, leaning forward and having a good look at you.
'I've only ever met one of you, you're very rare'
'What am I' The urgency in your voice was strong.
'You take powers from other Grisha. You don't have any of your own.'
'So I'm not a Grisha. Why am I here then?' You scoffed.
'Just because you can't conjure up on your own doesn't mean you are not Grisha'
'I don't want to be here.'
'You've made that quite obvious.'
The room stilled as you thought about which questions to ask next.
'Is it hereditary?'
'Most likely. One doesn't don't know they are an Elemental until they touch a Grisha who is conjuring, hence why you're so rare. There's no test for it.'
'I don't fit in'
'No. You don't.' At least the old woman agreed. 'But don't let that be the reason you flock to change. There are those out there that would kill to have you in their ranks.' She eyed you again, a hidden meaning in her words that you couldn't decipher.
'I can be more than just a Tidemaker?'
'You can be much more, but only if you know how to control it.' She gripped your wrist suddenly, and a weird feeling spread through you, much like the one when General Kirigan touched you. It was like a rush of calm and surety.
'You have potential, a lot of it.'
'How are you going to train me if you've only ever known one of me?' You didn't mean to sound as harsh as you did, but you were growing impatient.
'Grisha science is simple child, even for those who come from Merzost.'
'Maybe in due time, Y/N. Maybe then I'll explain.'
She never explained it, never mentioned it to Aleksander, never taught you properly. She held you back constantly and consistently. It was only when you left and almost died did you learn the true reason behind your kind and it still made you apprehensive.
You had yet to dabble in Merzost yourself even though your whole being came from it. You had felt drawn to it sure, but you understood that there was always a price to pay. Like Aleksander with the Fold, or Ilya when he created the amplifiers. You weren't willing to satisfy that silent thirst just yet if it meant sacrificing something dear to you.
The Palace was swimming in life right now despite the brutally cold air. The children had just finished school for the day and were running around playing in the snow while the Summoners were practicing on their grounds. It was nice to hear their laughs and content conversations, a stark contrast to the life you led a mere month ago.
The Little Palace wasn't perfect, but it was the sanctuary Grisha needed and you took pride in the fact that you helped achieve that. Aleksander may have done the bulk of the work, but you put blood, sweat and tears into ensuring that all kinds of Grisha felt safe in Ravka.
You watched as the young Tidemakers used all their might to break through the thick layers of ice on the lake. They worked in unison and in silence as the water shot up and behaved as if it were their puppet and they controlled the strings.
'Reminiscing?' Aleksander appeared at your side in his dramatic black cape.
'When I first came to the Palace, I truly thought I would be stuck as a Tidemaker forever' You laughed at your childish insolence.
'What's so wrong with being a Tidemaker?'
'Hmmm, maybe the fact that East Ravka is land-locked?'
'We have a lake' He pointed out with an amused grin. 'How is Alina?' He changed the topic.
'Your mother is doubtful'
'Isn't she always' His eyebrow raised in a sign of annoyance.
'Claims Alina cannot do anything without an amplifier by her side.'
'She's holding back.'
'Alina or Baghra?'
'Both.' You turned away from him, returning your gaze to the Tidemakers.
'You think she's up to something?'
'When is she not up to something, I fear your return has made her antsy.' You couldn't help but let out a giggle.
'Baghra is unnerved by me, my life goal is complete.'
'She thinks you corrupt me.'
'Does she know it is the other way around?' You mused and took hold of his hand, the action hidden behind his cape.
'I'm offended Ms.Y/L/N. I was under the impression we are both as bad as the other.' He squeezed your hand back, the cool silver ring pressing against your skin. You shivered, cursing yourself for not bringing a cape.
'I think I have to go back in' You said as you watched your breath leave in a cloud of fog.
'I think that's best.' He gave your hand one last tight squeeze and let go, leaving a brief kiss against your temple. You watched the elegant sway of the black material as he made his way to Baghra's hut.
You ran back to the warmth of the indoors and requested a food tray be brought back to your chambers while you dealt with stationing new Grisha around the camps. It was tedious and boring but once you got this done, the rest of the day was yours to do whatever you wished. The library was calling your name, but so was the banya. You had spent so much time in the Little Palace covered in mounds of work you completely forgot to enjoy yourself.
As you signed the last station order, you leaned back into your chair with a sigh and sipped the rest of the kvas in your glass. It wasn't even dinner time yet but you found yourself stifling a yawn. Your mind wandered to Aleksander for the umpteenth time that day. Why did he go to Baghra?
His steps were loud as he descended the stairs into the main part of the hut. Baghra was still sitting in her chair from her previous talk with Y/N when she heard the door squeal open.
'Mother.' His voice echoed throughout the small building alongside the crackling of the fire.
'Have you come to ask about your Sun-Summoner? if so then the Witch has already beat you to it'
'Don't call her that, she's your Deputy now'
'I will call that brat whatever I please.'
'Baghra, I am warning you.' He didn't care for her petty games.
'Do you not see her for what she is Aleksander? She hasn't changed. You cannot go back from the atrocities she has committed.'
'Have you forgotten who I am, who we are?' He spat through his teeth.
'But you have a cause Aleksander, she craves power for the simple reason of it being addictive.'
Baghra had tried to reason with her son countless times about the girl. She pleaded with him when he'd first given himself to her, she's a monster, she will ruin you.
'I have shown you so much mercy Mother, am I not kind enough to you? Must you curse the woman I love?'
'Love is foolish my son and it never got you anywhere. She is trouble, let her go.'
'You would be an amazing court jester' He laughed and sat down beside her leaning in closer 'I am an arm's length away from finding the stag and when I do, the sun-summoner will be at our disposal and Ravka will be ours.'
'The stag is fictional. A myth. You are wasting your time.'
'If a Sun-Summoner walks amongst us, a magical stag isn't in the least a doubtful tale.'
'I'll believe it when I see it. Besides, your biggest worry right now is getting rid of the plague that haunts this Palace.'
'And what would that be, do enlighten me, mother.'
'The woman who came in here earlier bragging about sharing your bed.' Aleksander's heart leaped in his chest. She wasn't ashamed to admit it.
He leaned in closer to his mother, taking her worn hand into his.
'I suggest you find a way to get over your hatred for Y/N before it's too late. Nobody disrespects the Queen and gets away with it'
He got up and made his way to the door, ignoring the look of fury on his mother's face. He was too far away to hear her whisper;
'My boy, you will never get either of those things as long as I live.'
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So, someone has been Lurking a round the Shadow and Bone fandom - mostly inspired by the fabulously talented @orlissa’s and @jomiddlemarch ‘s glorious fics, which give a GREAT nod to a more historically grounded Grishaverse. And... I do keep going to Pinterest and staring at pretty gowns, (coincidentally in shades of gold and black)... so...
Oh, what the hell. I make no apologies, people. This mad historical fashion dump is my ‘give Alina ALL the imposing gowns and elegant outfits’ -and possibly a shadowmancer husband post...
A Radiant Ballgown - Literally!
First off, I COULDN’T pass up this gown! It was designed by Charles Frederick Worth for an 1883 fancy dress ball in New York for one of the Vanderbilts, who appeared as the personification of “Electric Light”.
This was a very cutting edge costume for the time. The dress even came equipped with a battery to power an electric torch carried in one hand.
(But who needs batteries when you’re a Grisha Sun Summoner?)
It’s a glorious combination of butter yellow and white silk, with hints of lustrous black velvet at the hem. The spangled gold embroidery all over the gown would glitter under strong light - which is just PERFECT for a Sun Summoner to wear whilst demonstrating her powers. It’s also no bad outfit to wear if you have Unresolved Sexual Tension with your shadowy nemesis whilst dancing in the midst of a decadent Lentsov masquerade ball. This gown sort of begs for that kind of high-melodrama!
Now, I don’t know whether I’m subconscious channelling some ‘last days of the Romanovs/Anastasia’ vibes when I think about keftas for Alina...
(Not ... quite what I’m going for)
but... I ended up looking at Paul Poiret Edwardian evening coats for inspiration, and oh my goodness, the sheer luxurious drama of them all!
Grisha keftas... because they’re worth it. (The one on the right feels very ‘Decadent Tango with the Darkling’ to me)
I mean, if you’re going to have to rule as a benevolent dictator with your shadowmancer husband after overthrowing a corrupt regime in order to protect Grishakind and Ravka, you might as well look amazing while doing it, right? In colours which show how you “balance” each other out...
The gorgeous yellow velvet robe on the right looks like maybe the costume designer from Shadow and Bone used it as inspiration for Alina’s gold kefta? either way, the black appliqué is GORGEOUS. And I would wear it in a heartbeat.
Plus, if you couple them with the breathtaking Mario Fortuny gowns of the late teens/early 20s, it gives a gorgeous look that very much plays into the ‘Sankta Alina’ image...
They come in gold and black, for choosing your look: ‘Sun Summoner’ or ‘Dark Bride of the Starless Saint’.
I have to admit, my shipping brain chose these last couple of fluttery dressing gowns for the fact they would be very tactical for persuading Aleksander to stop working on his battle strategies and come to bed.
I’m sorry. i’m trash.
A massive, massive thank you to all the wonderful fic writers out there!
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I agree with the Darkling on ONE THING
And its that Alina should be in a black kefta, she is gorgeous
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i'm upset... my mother's eid outfit resembles a kefta
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SHE HAS THE BLACK KEFTA ON
SHE HAS THE BLACK KEFTA ON
MY GIRL LOOKS SO GOOD IN THE BLACK KEFTA
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Idk why this is something to be excited about. Tbh, imo, i'd be pissed. It feels like I belong to him or that he owns me or something (which is his goal). Esp if im the sun summoner and my colours are gold, yellow and white. Why would i wanna wear black, the exact opposite of my powers?
If its about being his favourite, like Royalty tend to do back in the day, then his insignia or just black lining would work (e.g Alina's dress in episode 8) but no to full black!
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Yards of rippling black silk. The sleeves and neckline were delicately embroidered in gold and glittered with tiny jet beads.
“Black,” Genya whispered.
What did it mean?
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It’s their wedding photo shoot and no one can tell me otherwise
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Alina's Black Kefta is actually looking more like what its meant to be now - minus the sleeves.
The next stage is to add the stag print to the velvet.
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Cat Fight - The Darkling x Reader
Some fluff cause all I have in my drafts is angst, angst and more angst 😈
You peeked your head out into the hallway to check if the coast was clear, turning it left and right then ahead, eyes searching for that black kefta and its owner. Once you were satisfied with the emptiness, you burst into a quick sprint, heading directly into your quarters which are hopefully empty. Aleksander is supposed to be back from Kribirsk any minute now so the cruciality of the situation remains high.
Your boots are still covered with muck and grass from your morning ride as they sully the clean carpets of the Little Palace but you couldn't care less right now, the small ball of black fur under your kefta needed to be hidden as soon as possible.
You pull the door open quickly expecting a quiet room but are met with the remnants of the inner circle. Ivan, Fedyor, Genya and Zoya stand around the table, their General nowhere to be seen. You stand there like a deer caught in headlights and have to remind yourself no one can see beneath your heavy coat. You clear your throat, shutting the door behind you.
'Ivan, you're back, where is the General?'
'He is in the Fabrikator workshops' You nod and walk to the far door in the room leading to your private chambers but his voice rings out again 'Y/N we need you to look at these reports from Kribirsk.' You whip around and force a quick smile and make your way over to the small stack of paper. If your walk was funny, nobody questioned it but as you awkwardly leaned down to grab the pile, a small sound erupted from the kitten, one that definitely wouldn't come from a human. Your eyes widened and you silently prayed nobody noticed. It was too late to cover it with a cough or fake sneeze, so hoping nobody heard it was your best shot at survival.
With your back to Fedyor, you didn't see the confused look on the heartrenderers face as he listened to the extra heartbeat coming from under your kefta. Ivan must have heard it too, for his eyes were as wide as saucers. The pair looked at each other in horror. The only logical explanation they could think of was obvious; you were pregnant.
Zoya and Genya watched the two in confusion as you stood back up, straightening your back and giving everyone another smile. 'Let me carry those for you' Fedyor pried the stack from your hands before you could ask why and stood in front of you now with a beaming smile. Your own smile faltered at the look on his face. Had he heard the cat? Just as Zoya started to give mission report on her solo trip to a border camp, the kitten started moving.
You tried to look inconspicuous, but the lip between your teeth and the small whimper you let out were far from normal as you pretended that everything was fine when in fact the kitten was clawing its way up your stomach with its very sharp claws, scratching your skin through your thin blouse. You turned away slightly, biting onto your clenched fist as the animal desperately tried to move up from its nestled position in your skirt pocket.
'Are you okay?' Her smooth voice tinged with an underlying sense of offense rang out in your ears, not only were you blatantly ignoring her report but the faces you were making did little to impress her.
You didn't have time to catch Fedyor's sharp look in her direction because before you could stop it, the small black kitten peeked its head out through the lapels of your kefta.
You could hear Genya gasp and then her soft 'Awwwww Saints look at it'.
Ivan and Fedyor burst out laughing, clutching their stomachs in the fit that almost brought them to their knees.
You sagged your shoulders and took out the animal, holding it in your hand. 'Uhhh so I found this little guy in the woods' The black ball of fur looked around the room, its cute tiny nose sniffing the air around him.
'Is that a cat?' Zoya spat out.
'Congratulations Zoya, you're not blind' Genya retorted as she walked forward, petting the kitten. A quiet purring sound erupted from its throat in enjoyment. Genya all but melted from the adorableness. 'Are you keeping it?'
'I don't really think animals are the General's thing' you laughed but everyone in the room knew that you were in fact, keeping it.
'Here' Ivan brought over a small container of water, placing it on the table next to you. The big bad Heartrenderer seemed to have a soft spot for cats. His hand gently caressed the young thing in your hands. You thanked him and placed the kitten beside it and watched as it drank. 'Is it not supposed to be milk?'
'That is actually false.' Fedyor mused, amusement still abundant on his face.
'Did you give it a name?' Genya said
'I said I'm not keeping it'
'Keep telling yourself that' she laughed and then said 'What about Inky? Or Cinder?..... Graphite?'
'Are you just naming everything that's in David's workshop?' She turned her head away, hiding the blush creeping up her face.
'Alright then. What about Shadow? Hm? That one's good.' Zoya suggested.
'Oooohh I like that one' You picked up the kitten and held it up 'Everyone meet Shadow'
In that moment, the door to the room opened and Aleksander waltzed in with an ease only he possessed. He stopped short and stared at the five of you, one holding a kitten and the rest fawning over the small thing. You all froze but the kitten meowed at the sudden lack of attention.
'Can someone tell me why my deadliest soldiers are swarmed around a cat?' Ivan and Fedyor straightened up, clearing their throats and addressing their General but Zoya was already out the door, Genya trailing behind her like a lost puppy.
'His name is Shadow'
'And what is Shadow doing in my Palace? In my rooms to be specific' He approached you, signaling for Ivan and Fedyor to leave you two alone.
He stared at the small black cat and sighed. If you didn't know Aleksander as well as you did, you would have said he was scared of the animal.
'Go on, pet it'
'I don't want to'
'I said pet it' You all but shoved the kitten into his face, his large hand coming down to touch the soft black fur. The kitten leaned into his touch, eyes closing as it purred.
'You're keeping it, aren't you?'
'I think you mean we're keeping it. I can't resist cute things dressed in black, you know that' You winked.
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the way aleksander looks at alina when he sees her in a black kefta for the first time? life changing.
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Good morning, Ravkan Fashion Squad! Here’s an entry for a sleek kefta upgrade for Alina, whether or not she is the Tsaritsa of Ravka, the General’s Bride, or some other, to-be-determined title that reflects her decision not to retreat to the orphanage at Keramzin with Mal.
I love the lines on this and the pleats and don’t forget those gloves!
@orlissa @montmartre-parapluie @vesperass-anuna @fericita-s @theburnbarreljester
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@bugzyjune replied to your post:
That “beware of powerful men” line is so irksome. That line doesn’t really tell you anything. I will never get over how much they blew up Alina’s character development by having her run back to Mal after she had grown so much in the Little Palace. I can’t blame the show for this, they made the best of the source material. I really think LB needs to re-examine a lot of her ideas, especially about women, power, and minorities. These are three things she didn’t handle well.
And as we know the Darkling is actually helping Genya get revenge on the King, and Genya at this point is willingly serving him as a spy, this line is definitely nonsensical. I suppose Genya could have meant it as a general rule of thumb based on her own experiences with the King (completely understandable and is a good rule altogether), but the way it was set up in context, (as a response to “I think I’m going to stick to the black kefta moving forward”) it felt like she was referring to the Darkling in particular, which she would not have done at this point in the narrative. Also, if this show is really going to look me in the eye and try to tell me Genya would warn Alina off the Darkling after witnessing her normally stoic, guarded, cold, imperious, powerful, dangerous shadow summoner general visibly enamored at the sight of Alina...I think I’m just going to laugh. (Especially since the narrative later on went on to frame Genya as an enabler of the Darkling’s “abuse.” Le sigh).
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By the way, y’all promised me that Mal was annoying as fuck and that I would support Darklina with every fiber, because Mal really wasn’t it. So explain to me why am I here liking this Mal dude and enjoying his relationship with Alina?
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literally anyone: moi soverennyi, are you wearing the...?
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