63. An Impulse, Visceral and Piercing

Ajax and Aramil retire soon after dinner, leaving Valentine free to broach a delicate question. “Inglorion, you know Sieia gave me Tereus’s cloak, and I wore it for some time. It had sentimental value, though I’d be hard-pressed to say why. I feel it’s yours by right.” Inglorion laughs and shakes his head. “I remember […]

62. The Others Should Follow, and Will

Inglorion walks back from the Foreign Office slowly, giving himself time to think. As he strolls the wide, green streets and squares of central Liamelia, it occurs to him that perhaps he should have mentioned this scheme to Virginia, Valentine and Ajax before signing papers committing to it. He might have reviewed recent intelligence, consulted with […]

57. No Man of Honor

Penelope and Sieia pay a brief call of ceremony on Virginia the following day, and make arrangements for the proposed dinner party. Sieia says, “Valentine and I will come fetch the three of you. Even if it’s just a family party, somehow it’s more comfortable to arrive together.” That evening, then, the Ceralac family barouche […]

56. An Extraordinary Woman

After the first few weeks of joyous optimism, Inglorion suffers creeping uncertainty. He worries that Virginia will meet someone more eligible and leave him. Virginia is not volatile or light-hearted, and seems disinclined to listen to other suitors. She’s beautiful and well-off, though, and a sensible man might try his luck, whatever her initial inclination. […]

41. How It Feels to Be Handsome and Charming

The next morning Valentine wakes up feeling stale and weighed down, though he doesn’t remember why. He spends the morning reading correspondence from his estate agent and lawyers, and consulting with Ajax about household matters. Valentine is forcibly reminded of his sorrow when he meets Inglorion in the atrium, where they’ve marked out a boxing ring. […]

1. The Magnificent Five

Volume Two Theme Song: Adam and the Ants, Don’t Be Square (Be There) … for good, clean fun (whatever that means) Our hero, Inglorion Atropos Androktasiai, Marquis Theates, stands in an underground corridor, gazing apprehensively at a beam of sunlight shining through the cave entrance from above. He’s lived underground for decades now, part of […]

51. A Fucking Pity and a Waste

Soundtrack and Video: Marilyn Manson, The Beautiful People Inglorion finds himself in his quarters, with no idea how Alecto and Ajax got him there. He’s still high — unpleasantly so. He’s not hallucinating, but his mind is spinning free. He stares at the ceiling with no idea of moving, and probably no ability to do […]

50. Ceremony, Vision, Illusion

Soundtrack and Video, Adam Ant, Kings of the Wild Frontier (Live 2011) Alecto has finally finished Inglorion’s back, and now a young woman is splayed across his spine, half-hanged: Arachne in the process of metamorphosis from human to spider. It’s an image dear to the Drow, and to the Theates in particular: Arachne confronted the […]

48. An Unenviable Domestic Situation

Soundtrack and Video: Adam Ant, “It Doesn’t Matter,” Live 2011 They resume tattooing the following day, Inglorion insisting that he’s fine. It’s painful, but he’s eager to finish. Alecto injects him, then inspects the previous day’s work: a swallow in flight on one shoulder, and a nightingale on the other. She begins to fill in […]

44. I Didn’t Know Such Kindness Existed

At first, Inglorion is not confident of his ability to locate the midwife and wet nurse, short of making embarrassing inquiries at the inn taproom. To his relief, Collatinus recognizes her name, and the next morning he directs Inglorion to the Amastacia farm, just inside the city walls. As he enters the farmhouse gate, Inglorion […]