84. With My Body, I Thee Worship

Once dinner has ended and they’re heading back to Inglorion’s tent, he whispers to Virginia, “Is Lucius well enough to spend the night alone? I want us to have a little honeymoon.” “Of course. What did you have in mind?” “Go fetch your cloak and I’ll show you.” She gathers her cloak, kisses Lucius goodnight, […]

81. Virginia Replies

Inglorion takes Virginia’s arm again, and they walk further down the post road. Finally she says again, “I hardly know what to say.” Her manner is calm, but he can tell that she’s puzzled and confused. “My dear, only three answers are possible: Yes, no, or a request for time to think it over. Why […]

80. Inglorion Proposes

Another four slaves died during the night, so Inglorion and Father Nate are in one of the two makeshift morgues, allocating eight fresh corpses to graves and planning funeral rites. After the incident with the half-orcish woman, Inglorion feels it’s wise to review each case formally with Father Nate. Space is tight, Inglorion’s scrawled notes […]

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. […]

52. Leaving His First Love Behind

For the first time in his life, Inglorion is entirely love-struck. After one evening in Virginia’s company, he’s gone from finding her intriguing and feeling excited about the possibility she represents, to the conviction that he must have her, and that he’s willing to remove any obstacle, overcome any objection. He wakes up the following […]

51. I Couldn’t Stay Away

Inglorion is unusually nervous when he presents himself at Virginia’s suite the following evening. He feels guilty and anxious, but he’s drawn forward by anticipation. When her maidservant admits him to her private parlor, he’s surprised by the force of his desire — he’s almost bashful in her presence. At the same time, her manner […]

50. Madame Etoile

The next time Inglorion visits Lucius’s dressing room, Lucius says, “I think it’s time we had a little field trip. My mother is in town, looking into her business interests here. She owns a modiste’s shop, Madame Etoile’s. They have the usual stable of wealthy clients, but they also make women’s clothes to order for […]

47. Eralon Amakir, Esq. Gets a Beating

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. Valentine continues to drive their marriage plans forward. His thwarted desire finds expression in absolute, swift conformance to what he believes to be Valykria’s wishes. He tells himself again and again that he placed Valykria in danger by taking her to the […]

11. I Couldn’t Turn Back If I Wanted To

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. Valentine has dutifully shown up at a ball of Sieia’s, largely to distract himself from his internal ethical debate. He’s distracted, though. The weather itself has a kind of moody intensity. Even here, in a stuffy ballroom lit and heated by dozens of […]