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 […]

30. Stay Cool, JP

The dregs of light and color drain from the clouds; the sky goes black. It’s a cloudy night, the dark of the moon. Just as Tereus is thinking of lighting a candle, he hears a whinny of terror from the stables. There’s a frantic equine scream, and then a chaos of sound: Paris smashing his […]

6. One Episode in Decades of Combat

The ink dried on Tereus’s quill long ago. He sets it aside, covers his face with his hands, blocking out the fading light. His jaw is clenched, his throat is working. He’s trying to bring something up, or hold it down. Long before the events of that day, during his first command, he came upon […]

5. Part of the Flesh Itself

After tea, Tereus shuts himself in the library to consider Lucius’s words. He lights a cigarette, kicks back, props his feet up on the massive, marble-topped desk. Lucius is right, of course. In his misery, Tereus has managed to recreate the atmosphere of stifling terror that cloaked the house when Agamemnon was alive. And no […]

89. A Close-Run Thing

Consciousness returns unsteadily. Later it seems as if he was awake and lucid for long stretches, explaining complicated matters to people who wouldn’t listen. He feels that perhaps he was interrogated at some point, and that he may have had visions, none of them memorable, thank God. When he’s first truly conscious, it’s evening, and […]

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 […]

25. A Fate Worse Than Death

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. To: The Honorable Lucius Ceralac, Mayor of Liamelia From: Mindartis Amahir, Clan Leader of the Wood Elves of Xilomelia Dear Lucius, By now you will have received news via courier of the destruction of the Xialo settlement. Words cannot express my grief […]

24. Xialo

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. In his rootless frustration and boredom, Valentine turns back to the archives. Perhaps if he knew more history and read more fluently, he could understand these people better. Except for a very small rare books room, the stacks of the Liamelia archive […]

18. Rude and Inquisitive Elves

When Inglorion enters the city, the atmosphere has shifted from the last time he was there. Additional guards are posted at the gates, and though they recognize him, they question him closely about his business and how long he plans to stay. “I’m here to visit family — Marcus Shelawn and Sieia Ceralac,” he says. […]