11. Foreshocks

Tereus wakes gradually. The light seems wrong. It’s afternoon or evening, or a storm has rolled in and obscured the sun. He feels so fucking miserably ill that it takes him a moment to appreciate that he’s not in jail, and though the skin is broken on the knuckles of both hands, he’s not covered […]

8. The Smooth, Hard Surface of His Indifference

When they reach her bedchamber, Lavinia hisses, “How could you humiliate me like that?” He’s a bit taken aback. She’s taken much more flagrant behavior in stride. “Pardon me?” “The way you fawned over those vulgar, nasty old women.” He says in a commonplace tone, “If you’re bent on quarreling, come into my dressing room […]

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 […]

2. The Greatest Errors of His Career

It’s long been said that for a Shelawn, men will lay down their lives and women will pull up their skirts. Agamemnon Shelawn’s heir Tereus seems designed to fulfill that prediction. Most noticeably, he’s an attractive physical specimen. He’s tall for an elf — over six feet — and unusually strong. His features are shockingly […]

1. The Last Days of Tereus Shelawn

Tereus Shelawn was the son of Agamemnon Shelawn, the wealthiest man in the filthy rich city-state of Liamelia, and Agrippina Veii, the daughter of a gray elvish earl. Tereus’s mother can be disposed of quickly in this narrative, much as she was in life. She was known for obedience and inoffensive prettiness; the author has never […]

68. The Iliad, of Course

Inglorion has several frivolous ideas about how he’d like to be portrayed — or, at least, ideas that he can’t explain, like posing in a corset — but he keeps thinking that, damn it, he wants Lawrence to draw him in a library with a copy of the Iliad. It’s far from an unusual desire. […]

34. Even Victory Is Bitter

Soundtrack and Video: Skinny Puppy, “Spasmolytic,” 1980s concert footage The Drow line up. Tisiphone gives them their shots, and instructs them to pair up with the prisoners. Within minutes, a weird energy spreads among the soldiers. They’re twitching, their nostrils are flaring, their sweat smells sharp and pungent. One woman clenches and unclenches her fists, while […]

30. Listening for a Miss

Life in the Underdark as Marquis Theates sounds exotic, but at times it resembles the life of a mid-level manager in corporate America, seen through infrared vision. Over the next few days, Inglorion attends a lot of meetings and briefings, and holds some. He writes and reads reports, resumes his usual alliances and vendettas. All […]

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 […]