Archive | May 20, 2013

Rin/Girey Nano (Beta/Excerpt)

There is no greater curse than ‘May you never sleep soundly,’ and no greater blessing than a soft, dry, and warm bed. – Ancient Cālenyena saying

The bed felt strange; it felt stranger to be sharing it with his captor. Girey had taken a long time to fall asleep and, from the sound of her breathing, so had his captor. There hadn’t been many actual beds for them on this journey, and both of them were soldiers; there hadn’t been that many beds for them in years.

There was a mounded blanket between them, the night being relatively warm for this far North and this early in the rainy season. Neither of them had spoken about it; they’d just pushed it there, making a final hurdle that they weren’t quite ready leap.

When Girey had finally slept, it had been a deep rest, with dreams of warmer times and sunnier skies. He had been deep in conversation with a blue-eyed girl when a commotion from downstairs wrenched him out of his sleep.

He grabbed for a weapon he didn’t carry anymore, and heard her do the same. She came up with a dirk instead of her sword, her hair tousled but her expression sharp.

In lieu of being useful, Girey lit the lamp. “Did you hear…” Another loud shout interrupted him. “…that?”

“I did.” Her smile twisted, amused for a moment. The dead had heard that; the gods had heard it. They listened in tense silence for a moment. Crockery crashed. Shouts rose. Something smashed with a high tinkle. Rin chuckled, finally. “Bar fight.”

“It sounds more like an invasion.” Not that there was anyone left to mount one.

“Full-scale invasions have less shouting.” Her chuckle quickly slid into a sigh. “Won’t be getting back to sleep for a while now, will we?”

“Doesn’t look like it.” And on the first night they’d had a bed since Ossulund. “At least we’re not on a schedule.” That was, not one he knew about, at least. She hadn’t shared her plans with him further than “going to Lanamer.”

“We can sleep all day if we want.” So, apparently they didn’t have too tight a schedule if they had one. “There is, however, always the risk of someone trying to requisition you again.”

He studied her face in the flickering light. It wasn’t always easy to tell what she was thinking; her expressions weren’t the same, and her use of the language made phrases sound strange. “You didn’t seem too happy with the idea.”

She studied his face in turn. He wondered if she had as much trouble figuring out what he was thinking. “You had a chance to make me really work to keep you, and you didn’t take it.”

“I wasn’t sure you would.” He adjusted the lamp until the flicker leveled out. “Or if you’d leave me here.” And he’d had no belief the Legate would have been a kinder master than his current captor.

She was silent while he fiddled with the light. When she did answer, she did so slowly and quietly. “If I was going to let someone take you, it would not be a shiny-button book-officer who had never gotten mud on his boots and thought the language was called ‘Bithrain.'”

Her sneer caught Girey by surprised. He barked out a laugh; she’d even managed to get the man’s high-Northern accent down. “I was wondering. I haven’t met many of your soldiers, at least not to talk to. If those people are the sort that beat my country…” His pride, among other things, had been pricked.

“They are not. They are reserves.” She paused, searching for a word, and repeated it in Bitrani. “Emergency troops.” She shifted back to her own language. “Tail-end Tebers, follow-along recruits.”

He was more relieved than he wanted to admit. “Other than the legate, they don’t seem like bad sorts. But to travel all this way, with all those prisoners, and not have any sort of translator-” He could have added “and not inform them of their fate,” but that part, at least, he shared with his countrymen. All he knew was where he was going, which he supposed was more than they knew.

“It seems that, all unwitting, he did bring along a translator.” She was looking at him oddly, her face shadowed. “There are several women in the ranks of their prisoners. I thought that the Bitrani didn’t have women in their army.”

“We don’t. They didn’t.” He had seen the women, of course; he’d talked to that one who had recognized him. But it was one thing to see them, and another to have his attention brought to their presence, to have to contemplate why they were there. “The girl that knew me, back in Ossulund – obviously she wasn’t a soldier.”

“Obviously.” Her voice was dry, dismissive. He felt stung on []’s behalf, but now was not the time. The women here were more important. “The woman here, they’re not like here. A couple of them were just near the Bitrani army when your people went through sweeping up.”

She nodded, thin-lipped. “We both know that happens.” He had assumed, after all, that she was a camp follower.

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Welcome, a continuation of FaeApoc/Addergoole (@kissofjudas)

After Decision, after ID.

Ora watched the decision flow over Silas’ face and body, his fangs vanishing, his smile coming back. There wasn’t that much to watch, but after this many years, she knew her mate well enough to see the shift.

A blind man could have seen the possessiveness as he welcomed her former Kept into their house. Ora didn’t mind. Silas had a right to be possessive when someone was challenging his right to their family.

She looked Adder up and down as he entered their property. The boy looked thin, wan, grubby. Worn down. “You said the world was falling to hell.” She would never have the arch skill with language that Silas and his late family did, but she could put make herself sound calmer and more innocent than she was. “What about yourself?”

~

Adder tried not to look as relieved as he was when Ora’s… what, husband? Keeper? Nobody was wearing a collar… when the man calling his son son invited him in. Act calm. He didn’t mean them any harm. He wasn’t sure he could do them any harm.

Ora’s question threw him right off his calm. “What?”

“Falling to Hell?” She was laughing at him. Damnit. She’d always found him funny. Adder swallowed and reminded himself that funny was better than a threat and a lot better than useless right now. He wanted her to remember she liked him.

He twisted his lips in an aping of a smile. “Oh, well, you know. I’m surviving.”

“Just surviving?” It was the first thing Hunter-Hale had said in a while, and Adder found it stung how disappointed his son sounded.

~

“I do all right for myself.” The boy who said he’d given Hunter-Hale his name shrugged. Hunter didn’t know what to think about him. He looked like a refugee, like one of the lost ones that wandered through sometimes, like a drowned rat just looking for a hole.

Hunter stopped in his tracks and stared at the man for a moment.

“Dad wasn’t kidding. You really are a charity case, aren’t you?”

The man flinched. He couldn’t quite meet Hunter’s eyes, either. “Those were your father’s words.”

“That doesn’t mean they’re not true.”

“No… I suppose it doesn’t.” Mom and Dad had stopped a few yards away. Adder looked over at them, and then back at Hunter-Hale. He shrugged again, looking young and lost. “Yeah. Some people didn’t end up as lucky as others.”

Mom’s voice carried, and she was back in Queen mode. “Luck had nothing to do with it.”

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Deaths in the Faerie Apocalypse, a side note.

[personal profile] clare_dragonfly asked: How/why did all of these gods end up returning at around the same time, anyway?

The exact thought process moving those that we call the Returned Gods cannot easily be divined, because those that were questioned often chose to die or lie rather than divulge too much.

However, what can be determined is as thus:

When the Gods Above All chose to lock themselves in Ellehem with many of their wayward children, they did so quite against the wishes of those children. The children liked Earth; they liked worship; they liked having all those humans to serve them.

And so they fought, in a long and bloody war that lasted nearly a thousand years. When they were done, they had killed several of the Gods Above – as enough humans can take down an Ellehemaei, if they know the right weapons, so can enough Ellehemaei take down one of their forbears. They had imprisoned several others. And they had lost many, many of their own, as well, in numbers equivalent to the loss of human life during the time of the departed gods’ return.

It took them time to lick their wounds, to restore their numbers, to fight to a holding point between themselves and the Gods Above All. It took centuries – millennia – all the time telling themselves and their children and grand-children how wonderful the world would be, when they could return.

It took all of that, and another battle, a battle not directly against the Gods Above All (although there was quite a distractionary battle going on at the time, between the recalcitrant children and the Gods Above All), but between those who would return and the wards themselves. But in mid-2011, on the day of solstice, which was a day of strong belief, they manage to burst the wards and, all over the world, old gates between the worlds opened up.

Losing track of terms? Check them all out here

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Next: http://www.lynthornealder.com/2017/11/30/the-children-of-the-gods/

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