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 […]

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 […]

32. Ignorance and Blindness

Soundtrack and Video, Marilyn Manson, “Sweet Dreams,” live early 90s Inglorion returns to his quarters to find Ajax in the storeroom, scratching in one of the many ledgers he keeps tracking the flow of black market goods through Inglorion’s household. Inglorion cocks his head. “Why are you up so late, Ajax?” “Are you ready for […]

31. Event Horizon

The first step is to see the Duchess outside the usual setting: Formal cabinet meetings and the like. He sends a note to Clytemnestra asking when he can have an audience, and receives the following reply: Your Lordship, If you present yourself at Her Grace’s quarters late this evening, I will admit you. Philomela’s private […]

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 […]