25. Collateral Damage

When she returns in the morning, Lucius is awake, and she can hear him and Tereus talking quietly, though she can’t make out the words. Their voices are almost indistinguishable — clear, sweet. As young men they could imitate each other flawlessly. Tereus would mimic Lucius’s precise, measured diplomat’s tones, and Lucius could easily adopt […]

86. Doing God’s Work by Digging Privies

Inglorion’s kneeling there, hands clasped, when Father Nate pokes his head in the tent flap. The priest says, “I can come back later, or I can join you in prayer. Whichever you prefer.” His expression isn’t what you’d call gentle, but he seems kinder and more human than he has before. “I’m done praying, but […]

85. A Plea for Guidance

Just before daybreak, the temperature drops and a chill breeze kicks up, waking Virginia from trance. She’s shivering. Inglorion has somehow stolen both cloaks in his sleep. He’s curled up tightly, deep in trance, and she’s huddled next to him for warmth. She disentangles herself gently. He’s limp, breathing deep and slow. When he’s awake […]

60. The City Barracks

The glorious conviction of triumph fades, as it must. Inglorion soon suffers from the same itching impatience that tormented his father and forefathers, back to some nameless, primal Shelawn who emerged from the Great Divide scheming to abduct an heiress or float bad stock. Just as he finds himself wondering whether he should call on […]

30. Listening for a Miss

Life in the Underdark as Marquis Theates sounds exotic, but at times it resembles the life of a mid-level manager in corporate America, seen through infrared vision. Over the next few days, Inglorion attends a lot of meetings and briefings, and holds some. He writes and reads reports, resumes his usual alliances and vendettas. All […]

29. How Like Your Father You Are

Though the throne room is grand — high-ceilinged and ornate — it gives a curious sense of intimacy. A whisper in any corner can be heard throughout with uncanny clarity. Inglorion walks down the aisle, between the rows of empty stone benches. As usual, Philomela sits on a low stone dais. Before her, there is […]