17. Incidents May Occur

The following morning, when Alexandra and Rosalee finally arise from their long, human sleep, Inglorion tells Alexandra, “I came for a reason, you know. I’m here on tribal business.” Alexandra looks up from helping Rosalee to dress. “What is it? Should we go outside?” “No. Better to discuss it in here. I can’t tell you […]

6. Tokens

The next morning, Valentine wakes to a note from Xardic: “Urgently need your help. Please come to my office as soon as you get this. I will meet with you when you arrive.” Instead of sending the man back with a reply, Valentine says, “He wants to see me immediately? Give me five minutes. I’ll […]

5. The Labyrinth

Aramil has left a message saying he’ll join Valentine in the stable yard to train. Valentine begins a series of strike drills, alternating bursts of punches with push-ups. Valentine finds it comforting to train. It’s the one time when he knows what’s expected of him, and feels competent to handle any challenge. In truth, he […]

4. Further Training

The next day, a footman delivers an elaborately folded note from Aramil. “What the fuck is this?” Valentine asks, “an origami swan?” The footman shrugs. “His handwriting is terrible. Can you make this out?” “He’d like a rapier lesson this afternoon, if convenient.” No valid excuse rises to mind, so Valentine scrawls a time early […]

3. The Island

The next episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Claudius Shelawn. Just a few days later, Valentine has a fresh opportunity to experience the benefits of family membership: Sieia holds a garden party in his honor. For much of the day, being honored seems to consist of standing around nursing a […]

2. Theates

The second episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Claudius Shelawn. The next morning, Valentine receives a dinner invitation from his cousin Sieia, Xardic’s wife and, apparently, one of his many living Shelawn relatives. It’s delivered by a servant who was told to wait for an answer. Valentine gives a verbal […]

Author’s Note

I’m taking a brief break from publishing episodes of The Magnificent Five. Over the next several weeks, you’ll see episodes from Man Raised by Spiders instead. Man Raised by Spiders is the coming-of-age story of Valentine Claudius Shelawn, who is the third member of The Magnificent Five, after Inglorion and Ajax. In these pages, he’s […]