4. Lara Lucia Veii

Now that Valentine’s legal troubles are drawing to a close, and his notoriety has faded from immediate public memory, his cousin Sieia resumes her efforts to find him a suitable wife. Because Valentine is young by elvish standards — a mere 78 — at first she focused her efforts on exposing him to a variety […]

2. Old Selves

Though Virginia could raise many excellent objections to the proposed trip, she refrains. When Inglorion finds her in her sitting room and airily informs her that he plans to relieve a stubborn inflammation of the lungs with a week-long, high-altitude camping trip, she knits her brow, considers, and gives a quick nod. “You’ll be glad […]

24. Inglorion Claims His Inheritance

Inglorion moves into his father’s house, and takes over the garden, bees and chickens. In theory, there’s a satisfying symmetry to this. Certainly Lucius seems unsurprised, and quietly agrees it’s for the best. In reality, Inglorion’s confronted with an immediate, practical task. The walls, ceiling and floor are all spattered and stained to various degrees. When […]

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, […]

61. The Letter of Marque

Over the next several hours, Inglorion is interviewed by six different men. Two are openly hostile; one, disarmingly genial. The remaining three are neutral or non-committal. They all inquire into his weapons training and combat experience. One questions him extensively about his language studies, though he doesn’t speak Drow, Romany or French, and can’t give […]

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 […]

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 […]

46. The Weight of the Past

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. When he gets back to the townhouse, he finds Valykria alone in Sieia’s sitting room, as he hoped he would. She’s holding a novel in one hand, and staring into the fire. She looks a bit tired and sad. When she sees […]