11. Rosalee, The Gypsy Princess

Inglorion receives a brief note from Alexandra requesting that he visit the King of the Gypsies at his earliest convenience to discuss personal business. The letters they’ve exchanged have been limited to general news items. They don’t share an intelligence cypher, and neither one of them is inclined towards sentimental correspondence. Nonetheless, he excuses himself […]

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 […]

49. The Usual High Cost of Blood and Treasure

Soundtrack and Video: Adam Ant, “Shakin’ All Over,” Live 2011 Once breakfast is over, there are further delights in store for Tereus. This is the day when he and Marcus go through a ritual where Tereus pretends to have an independent opinion about estate matters, and to ratify or veto Marcus’s decisions. Every week Tereus […]

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 […]

47. And So You Shall

Soundtrack and Video: Adam Ant, Rough Stuff (Live) Alecto agrees to tattoo Inglorion for what Ajax promises is a very moderate price. She must have been pleased with the bargain, because she agrees to do his back and face — three or four session of several hours each. They do it after hours, in her […]

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 […]

42. Proper Channels

Inglorion wakes from trance at dawn the following morning. The candle has burned down, and has not taken the bedclothes, bed and inn with it. The previous night’s storm has passed, leaving the air damp and chilly, the sky clear. The inn and docks are waking up — people are eating breakfast, ordering conveyances, working […]

41. Sheltering the Flame

Soundtrack, Part 1: Marilyn Manson, Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger (Live 1999) Part 2: David Bowie, Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide (Live 1973) The inn Inglorion has chosen is by the dockyard, a long walk from the Shelawn family townhouse. It’s late — just before midnight — and the streets are quiet. Inglorion’s boots echo on brick, […]