This blog is a serial fantasy novel. It also provides an outlet for recipes and social analysis derived from the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Novel chapters are numbered and appropriately tagged, and added to the Table of Contents. Random plague-related content has “Journal of the Plague Year 2020” in the title, and some helpful tags and cross-links.
The hero of my serial novels, Inglorion Atropos Androktasiai, grew up in an orphanage (as a hero should), the product of a wartime rape. I recommend reading the stories in order, starting at the beginning. That’s the best way to appreciate plot, character development and a broad narrative arc.
In Volume I: Early Years, Inglorion serves his god, chases women, takes up smoking, discovers his fate through a series of visions, joins a tribe of vicious dark elves, and is crowned Marquis Theates despite near-suicidal recklessness in battle and in life.
At the beginning of Volume II: The Magnificent Five, Inglorion returns aboveground to set up a spy network and disrupt the slave trade. He receives a Letter of Marque to engage in legalized piracy, and recruits four flawed but charming characters to help: Valentine Shelawn, an escaped slave and heir to the Shelawn fortune; Aramil Augustus, a well-born assassin who was banished for idle highway robbery; Ajax, Inglorion’s Drow valet and right-hand man; and Lucius Scaevola, a half-Drow gladiator raised in a brothel. When a rescue operation goes wrong, Inglorion learns the burden of command. He also finds time to father a half-Gypsy daughter, dabble in cross-dressing, and fall in love.
In these pages you will also find two related stories. Man Raised by Spiders is the coming-of-age story of Inglorion’s cousin Valentine Shelawn, who was orphaned in the Xialo Massacre and raised a slave in the Underdark. Valentine has no memory of life aboveground. He appears in Liamelia, ignorant of his parentage and of gray elvish customs. In the year that follows, he’s reunited with his surviving family, falls in love, and inherits a fortune. Though he gains the outward marks of gray elvish respectability, his loyalties remain divided. This allows Inglorion to recruit him as a double-agent for the Theates tribe.
The events of the first three volumes are all triggered by a war crime: General Field Marshal Tereus Shelawn rapes a Drow prisoner of war and forces her to bear his child. Decades later, she avenges herself by slaughtering Tereus and his extended family, and enslaving the only survivor, three-year-old Valentine. The Last Days of Tereus Shelawn narrates the events leading up to the Xialo Massacre from Tereus’s perspective.
Inglorion in the Elysian Fields is intended to be the last volume of the series. It’s a love letter to my hometown, and a meditation on grief.