9. Particularly Brutal

Tereus wakes the following morning feeling ill and out-of-sorts. Breakfast is slight and improvised. The toast is cold, and his request for bacon meets with polite incredulity. Lavinia actually laughs it off. She and Valeria seem to have met and reaffirmed their sisterly bond by agreeing that he’s a Bad Man. Tereus has often wished […]

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 […]

4. Unhappy and Uncertain

The brothers trot along for another moment, until they reach the edge of the creek. They dismount, hitch their horses to the massive remains of a felled tree. Tereus spends a moment with Paris, watching to see if he’ll try to pull free. He seems inclined to crop grass quietly with Marcus’s mount. Tereus remarks, […]

3. Of Course It’s Been Terrible

A few years after the scandal breaks, Tereus’s brother Lucius is recalled from his diplomatic posting on the continent. His superiors make it clear that, though he’s given satisfaction personally, the stain on his family name has become a political liability, and he can no longer hold a position of trust in the government. Lucius […]

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 […]

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 […]