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 […]

13. Free Fall

Over the years that follow Sieia’s flight, Lucius and Valeria start to fill their nursery. Through some strange miracle, Lucius is an affectionate husband and father. Not only can he tell his children apart, he has an intimate knowledge of their likes and dislikes, and their intellects and temperaments. He and Valeria are aware that […]

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, […]

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 […]

67. Laying Down Pipe

The Magnificent Five still ride out at least weekly, so time is scarce. Even so, to Inglorion’s surprise, he’s intrigued and humbled, and feels compelled to be drawn, just like he used to seek out mirrors to study his Drow eyes. He’s also seen enough to know that if he intends to collaborate with Lawrence, […]

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 […]