6. What You Fear Is True

“How long have you been in this land?” Brutus asks casually, as if he’s making conversation. He’s studying Inglorion’s face intently. “Not long. A few weeks.” “How did you come here?” Inglorion’s gaze flickers over to the older man’s face. It’s impassive. Now that the dark is falling, Inglorion’s eyes are shifting to dark vision, […]

60. The City Barracks

The glorious conviction of triumph fades, as it must. Inglorion soon suffers from the same itching impatience that tormented his father and forefathers, back to some nameless, primal Shelawn who emerged from the Great Divide scheming to abduct an heiress or float bad stock. Just as he finds himself wondering whether he should call on […]

33. Shoot Me Up Already

Soundtrack: Download, “Separate” Inglorion is standing in the anteroom just outside the throne room. Cabinet officials linger here and there, chatting in twos and threes, because the poor acoustics allow them to speak in relative privacy. Clytemnestra is trying to guide Philomela out of the throne room, past members of the Xyrec delegation, who are […]

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 […]

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 […]

48. Tereus Shelawn Was a Brute

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. Valentine is accosted by another Gypsy child who is not a child. She directs him to an address that turns out to be a hookah lounge not far from Hairy’s Tattoos.  When Valentine gives his name, an attendant — a lovely, dark […]

40. Charon Pallas Proioxis

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. Valentine is sworn to Lolth, and the ceremony is truly strange. The priestess administers a strong drug beforehand, so Valentine remains uncertain about what actually happened, and what was a hallucination. He remembers being covered in spiders, but surely that didn’t happen. […]

38. How to Keep the Game Going

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. There’s a sudden ruckus. Four Drow guards enter, and in a swift, businesslike fashion, they cut the bonds holding Valykria and Valentine together and hogtie them both to poles. They hoist Valentine and take him away, leaving Valykria bound and alone in […]

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. […]

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 […]