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 […]

40. This Insupportable Loneliness

Valentine reaches the flat, uses the latchkey to let himself in. Finally, he’s alone. He’s out of the public eye, and the servants have gone to bed. He retires to his dressing room, strips off his jacket, waistcoat and neckcloth. The fashion is for tight, elaborate neckcloths, so there are are pink marks all around […]

39. It Solves the Problem

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. There’s no way to mark time in their cell. It seems like it’s been more than 12 hours but less than 24 when Inglorion returns. He brings a candle, which he lights as he enters. He locks the door behind him. He […]

5. The Labyrinth

Aramil has left a message saying he’ll join Valentine in the stable yard to train. Valentine begins a series of strike drills, alternating bursts of punches with push-ups. Valentine finds it comforting to train. It’s the one time when he knows what’s expected of him, and feels competent to handle any challenge. In truth, he […]

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 […]

53. The Full Treatment

Soundtrack: Skinny Puppy, Tin Omen A couple of weeks into Inglorion’s adventures with the black market, he strolls over to the smoking area to check on a coffee shipment. It’s the kind of thing that Ajax would normally do, but that Inglorion now handles occasionally in the name of research. A knot of slaves is […]