64. Effervescent, Honey-Flavored Hope

From the beginning, Inglorion finds the task of turning five individuals into a team both absorbing and daunting. All five are clever, skilled and devoted to the cause. They’re also far from perfect. Valentine is a busybody: Rigid, convinced of his own righteousness and insight. Ajax is quietly efficient, and uncomplaining and uncritical to a […]

62. The Others Should Follow, and Will

Inglorion walks back from the Foreign Office slowly, giving himself time to think. As he strolls the wide, green streets and squares of central Liamelia, it occurs to him that perhaps he should have mentioned this scheme to Virginia, Valentine and Ajax before signing papers committing to it. He might have reviewed recent intelligence, consulted with […]

57. No Man of Honor

Penelope and Sieia pay a brief call of ceremony on Virginia the following day, and make arrangements for the proposed dinner party. Sieia says, “Valentine and I will come fetch the three of you. Even if it’s just a family party, somehow it’s more comfortable to arrive together.” That evening, then, the Ceralac family barouche […]

51. I Couldn’t Stay Away

Inglorion is unusually nervous when he presents himself at Virginia’s suite the following evening. He feels guilty and anxious, but he’s drawn forward by anticipation. When her maidservant admits him to her private parlor, he’s surprised by the force of his desire — he’s almost bashful in her presence. At the same time, her manner […]

33. Valykria

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. The next few days of travel are uneventful. Though Aramil tries to take an interest in his surroundings, he’s subdued and sad as he reflects on the consequences of his actions. Valentine, on the other hand, is profoundly relieved to be freed […]

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 […]

13. Lessons in Elvish

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. Valentine and Sieia are first down to breakfast. “I’ve found someone to tutor you in High Elvish script,” she says, while pouring out Valentine’s coffee. “I’m proud I thought of it. Albertus is the head archivist for Liamelia. You’ll like him — […]

3. A Side-Dish for a Roman Banquet

Soundtrack and Video: James Brown, Sex Machine He twines his fingers in her hair, leans in to kiss her. He finds this instant almost unbearably erotic: The first time he touches her with plainly seductive intent, the first time their lips meet, the moment he feels her incline towards him. Not mere verbal assent, but physical […]

2. Alexandra, King of the Gypsies

Soundtrack and Video: Eurythmics, Missionary Man Inglorion’s first errand is to visit a Gypsy camp just outside Liamelia’s city gates. The local Gypsies are the only allies the Theates have aboveground, and contact is informal and sporadic. Recently the alliance has consisted entirely of occasional visits between Inglorion and Krysztof, a quiet old cobbler with […]