33. Conclusion: The Great God Pain

Soundtrack and Video: Johnny Cash, “Hurt” Tereus wakes up, dry-mouthed, bile rising in his throat. He’s tied to the split-rail fence surrounding the stable yard. His arms and legs are spread wide, and he’s slightly bent at the waist, cheek pressed against a rough wooden beam. His bonds are cruelly tight. It’s exhausting to support his […]

14. Xialo

Tereus enters a long, dark period. Later, it will feel as if he’d fallen under a fairytale curse. During this time, he engages in unbridled brutality, beating Lavinia, raping the odd parlormaid and terrorizing his valet. He has a series of  near-fatal carriage and riding accidents, which prove that neither is a reliable method of suicide. […]

91. The Magnificent Five: Conclusion

Inglorion’s recovery is slow and uneven. A few days after he’s consistently awake and conscious, he’s able to sit up and read, spend an hour or two a day in the library or Sieia’s sitting room. After another week, he’s permitted to read the newspaper, though he suspects that they’re withholding certain sections. Neither Valentine […]

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 […]

32. The Road to Amakir

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. The sun does rise, as expected. Valentine wakes up just before dawn to a sense of quiet, animal satisfaction. The ground is unpleasantly hard and imperfectly cleared; it’s cold and a stiff breeze has kicked up; he’s in dire need of coffee. […]

15. Epic Luck

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. Valentine has a secret now. Inglorion — Sieia’s half-brother, Valentine’s cousin — is a high-ranking, token-holding member of the Theates clan. At first, Valentine avoids discussing this with Sieia. There seems to be nothing to say, and conversation implies judgment, decision, action. […]

7. The Magnificent Five: Ajax

Delightful as it may be to linger over Inglorion’s sentimental adventures, it’s time to turn our attention to the second of the Magnificent Five, Ajax. In these pages, we have referred to Ajax as Inglorion’s Drow slave and valet. When Inglorion recklessly exposed himself to a massive dose of spider venom, Ajax nursed him through […]