Archive | February 21, 2014

February is World Building Month. Day Twenty (Yesterday): Dragons Next Door

[personal profile] piratekitten has declared February world-building month.

Every day in February, I will answer one question about any one of my settings.

The question post is here, please feel free to add more questions!

The twentieth question comes from Kelkyag and is for Dragons Next Door

How did a magic-ignorant to magic-averse race of technology users wind up the clueless dominant race in a world full of magic, some of it not at all subtle?

Nobody is quite sure! This goes well with How do dweomers originate?.

The problem is, humans showed up. As far as anyone can tell, they showed up already knowing how to hurt dragons and ogres and centaurs, how to fight against spellcasters, how to do more damage than anything that small and seemingly-helpless ought to be able to manage. They showed up already deadly.

Well, that’s one theory.

Another theory is that the humans, by their sheer mundanity, seemed to hold off the other races, who didn’t know what to do with something that small and that helpless and still determined to push on.

Another theory is that they’re the pet project of some ancient spellcaster of one form or another, and that they are protected from being overrun by said spellcaster’s, well, spells.

What is true is that humans aren’t entirely clueless. They’re just used to living in their areas, while the magic things live in theirs. They’re used to thinking of many of the magic races as lesser, smaller – in terms of, ah, enlightenment, they’re back at least fifty years from IRL, possibly closer to a hundred and fifty. Dweomers, of course, and in other ways tinies and pixies, have always existed alongside humans when they chose to – and, indeed, dweomers don’t even have their own cities (Unless you count the region in which the Black Tower resides, but that’s a story for another day). But most of the strangest races have lived in their own places and only within the last fifty years begun co-existing with humans in the same cities.

After all, the tiny fragile things have such interesting toys.

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A Phenomenal Description of Addergoole and a lovely post by @KOrionFray

(Okay, I’m biased, the post talks about me)

Then there is the apocalyptic world of Addergoole and the faerie, as written by Lyn Thorne-Alder. Here are a race called the Ellehemaei, fae of old kept on Earth after their gods departed and closed the gates to Ellehem. This is magic at its core, borne of three main lines: the Mara, protectors and strong; the Daeva, inspirers and muses, the incubi and succubi of legend; and the Grigori, sharp and beautiful, the pinnacle of perfection and teachers of their own ways. Faced with the prediction of seers that the end was nigh, a lone Grigori by the name of Regine Avonmorea gathered who she could and arranged that a school be made—one to both teach fae children how to survive in the oncoming storm…and to ensure that said children would come to bear more children, in hopes that the fae would survive. It was not a perfect system, and came with its flaws—which the now-professors would learn all too soon—but it was something, which was more than the void they feared.

From The Ones We Love & the Worlds They Live In, by K Orion Fray.

I’ve been waiting since last night for Ri to be able to post this so I could quote and link it!

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Tower, a story of post-apoc Ag for the OrigFic Bingo

This is to @inventrix and Sky’s twitter prompts to my December OrigFic card; this fills the “Tower” square.

It is set in post-apoc Addergoole-world, not in the school, sometime around year 50 of the school, with new characters.

“What do I do, what do I do?”

Leontyne was in the habit of talking to herself. It wasn’t a particularly good habit, but it wasn’t her worst habit by far, and her children were fond of it, as, they said, it telegraphed her pretty darn well.

Her children. Addergoole had gotten the first two, because that’s what happened. And it wasn’t as if Leontyne’s experiences there had been horrible. But now her third child was coming of age, the first two still in Addergoole – and her third, Jerome, had been born outside of the auspices and breeding programs of her alma mater.

“What to do, what to do?” She had very little faith in the Tarot, not like the woman who’d raised her had; she wasn’t a precog, as far as she could tell, wasn’t a seer of any sort. But she used it the way she used the dice and sometimes even the Bible, as a randomizer for decision-making. She tapped the edge of the deck on her small table. “Where to go. Where to go.”

“Mom, you’re doing it again.” Jerome poured her a cup of tea. He was a good boy, when he wasn’t getting into trouble – so, for about fifteen minutes awake, and then when he was asleep, much like her older two. He’d be a hell-raiser in Addergoole or anywhere else. “What to do about what?” He lifted the Tarot deck from her unresisting hand and pushed a scone in front of her.

“You.” She sipped the tea; once they’d got the hang of growing it, they’d been in business. “This is the new – what?”

“Me?” He had the lost-kitten look all of her sons learned from birth (no surprise there). “What did I… hunh.” A card had fallen from his hand onto the table: the Tower.

It wasn’t a card Leontyne could remember seeing before; it wasn’t one from her deck. A tall edifice twisted into the sky, three-sided, surrounded by interlocking circles of walls.

She’d seen that before, in a brochure left by a travelling salesman.

“Doomsday Academy.” The card sat on the table, making change and transformation and chaos. She quirked her lips up and smiled at her most chaotic of sons. “Think they’re ready for you?”

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Unwelcome Guests, Part the Second

To [personal profile] rix_scaedu‘s commissioned A continuation of Unwelcome Guests.

(I should pay a little more attention to my list; this was for longfic)

Baram and his family are part of the “Baram’s House Elves” sub-series of the Addergoole ‘verse, which can be found here; Baram is also a background character in Addergoole.

Delaney snaked her way in front of Ardell, grinning, all sweetness-and-light and innocence. Baram didn’t budge, and he didn’t miss the three weapons she was carrying openly. Spear, sword, gun.

“We heard you were running a safe house, Baram. We heard you had some Addergoole girls working for you. We heard you had weapons, had food.”

Ardell slunk to the side of Delaney. No smile, more weapons. He often pretended, but he wasn’t pretending to be sweet, at least. “We heard you were living the sweet life here, surrounded by pretty things. Like the girl who answered the door. And we figured we’d pay an old friend a visit.”

Baram looked at the two of them. He glanced over his shoulder – very briefly – at Alkyone. He looked back at people who had been, if not his friends, his allies.

The next words came easily to him. “Who are you?”

They shared a look. A look, and then Delaney’s shoulders shifted, and Ardell took a step backwards. “We’d heard…” Ardell frowned. He looked actually bothered. “We’d heard you forgot things.”

“Did you really forget us?” Delaney did a believable pout. “After everything we went through together?”

Ardell picked up on the cue. “Yeah, man, all that time together in school, we were like crew. We were solid friends. And you forgot all of that?”

How much of it did they mean? Baram shrugged. “Forgot most things. Jaelie remembers for me.”

“This is Jaelie?” Delaney waved her fingers. “Hi. We’re old friends of Baram’s, like we said.”

“No.” Alkyone’s voice was hard. “I’m Alkyone. Jaelie is elsewhere.”

“Elsewhere.” Delaney sneered the word out. “Aren’t you cute? And I bet you think you’re smart, too. Move over, chica. We’re here to visit our old friend, Baram.”

“Alkyone is a new friend.” Baram spoke slowly, the way he could remember talking, sometimes, when he was having a bad day, “one of those episodes,” Jaelie called them. “Alkyone lives here.”

“Well, of course she does.” Ardell took Delaney by the shoulders and pushed her out of the way – carefully, Baram noted; there was no violence in the way they handled each other. “And you do, too, right, buddy? Remember how we said we’d always open our doors to each other?”

“Don’t remember you.” He remembered the conversation Ardell was talking about. Ardell and Del, Ib and Rozen and Baram. Baram remembered saying nothing, shaking no hands, just sitting back with someone pretty curled on his lap and watching them talk.

Baram wondered how much of the rest of his Addergoole experience he remembered differently, like the spider-girl and her horrified memories of him. But this was different; this was lies.

“Of course you remember us.” Ardell’s voice was getting sharp. “Of course you’re going to let us in. Baram, come on, think of all the things I’ve done for you. How much fun you had with my Kept over the years. How much fun you could have with my Kept now.”

“You have Kept?” That was a different matter.

“Boss. Trouble on the horizon.” Viatrix came up on Baram’s other side. “Looks like bad trouble, too. The alarms caught seven.”

The alarms had been the girls’ idea and mostly their implementation; Baram’s house wasn’t the only group of people still living here, but they were the most combat-ready and, in other ways, the most vulnerable. Kids made you weak, but in weird and strong ways.

“First alarms?” The first alarms were four miles out. Plenty of time.


That was harder; the second were two miles out.

A glance back at their unwelcome guests showed Ardel’s shoulder’s tense and Delaney trying to press herself as close to the threshold as possible. “Come on, Baram, you’ve got to let us in. For old time’s sake. For when we were friends.”

“Boss. They’re trouble.” Alkyone’s voice held warning. “And they’re bringing trouble here.”

Del’s voice shifted to nasty again. “And do you think they’ll care if you have actually helped us? No, they will take you down one way or the other.”

“You brought enemies to our door?” Baram didn’t need to look to know that Via and Alkyone were now holding their weapons. Via’s voice told him everything he needed. “You brought hunters here, to our safe haven?”

“It’s not yours, bitch.” Ardel had lost the last semblance of courtesy and niceness. “It’s our friend’s. Baram’s.”

“I think you’re under a misapprehension-” Alkyone began, but Baram had had enough of the back-and-forth, especially with potential hunters on the way.

“Their house, my house, our house. Not yours. Get in back. Basement doors by apple tree.” Baram pointed. “Stay there if you want to live.”

“So you remember us, buddy?” Ardel’s smile was back as fast as it had left.

“No.” Best to keep up the lie. “Get in basement. Fast.”

The door by the apple tree didn’t lead to the house basement, but the hidey hole there was safe, protected by Baram’s threshold…

…and a bit of a trap. Another thing Ardel and Delaney didn’t need to know until they were in there.

Luckily, nobody expected that sort of thing of Baram. They moved – fast.

On the horizon, Baram was beginning to be able to make out an oncoming enemy.

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Friday Show-And-Tell: What have you been up to?

Shamelessly copied from [personal profile] jjhunter:

Friday, every Friday, I invite you (yes, you!) to share with me key Dreamwidth (or LJ, or Tumblr, or anything else) posts from the last week. They can be one or more of your own posts, posts of others you’d recommend, interesting discussions, linkspams, tiny delights, whatever stands out to you from the last seven days that you’d like to highlight. Assume that I’ve been away and pining too true and catch me up on what matters to you.

In return, I will make a point of commenting on at least one post of those you share, and I encourage others to do the same.

Newcomers, lurkers and long-time commentators equally welcome

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How Do We Manage?

This is to [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon‘s prompt to this January card for [community profile] origfic_bingo.

It fills the “management” slot, and is in Addergoole, which has a landing page here

Warning: discussion of incest.

“You have it easy.” Aelgifu sighed and flopped against the back of her chair.

“Easy?” Shahin raised one perfectly-shaped eyebrow in question. “I’m not arguing that I don’t have a hard life, although I miss Emrys – although I had him here a year longer than you had Io.”

They were sitting in one of the cozy visiting rooms in Lady Maureen’s voluminous creche and child-care center, Ayla’s daughter and Shahin’s three-and-a-stepchild playing around and with them. Shahin managed to look simultaneously matronly and adorable while nursing young Belladona; Ayla had never managed to feel anything but half-naked and frumpy.

“Well, you don’t mind the preliminaries.” How much could you say around two-year-olds? What would babies Niobe and Arturo remember?

“I don’t recall you minding the preliminaries with Ioanna.”

“That’s was different. And the baby-making parts were, ah, separate. Dr. Caitrin helped with those.” Dr. Caitrin had been necessary for the complex Workings that had turned part of Ioanna’s female DNA into sperm and then impregnated Aelgifu with that sperm – Ayla was a bit fuzzy on the details, but the end result had been Niobe.

“Well, it’s not as if Dr. Caitrin couldn’t help you with a nice boy’s consent.”

“Finding someone I can stand enough to bother with is half the problem.”

“I really doubt you want to go the route of magically-and-inexplicably-attracted-to-your-brother.” Shahin seemed to have no problems at all talking about such things in front of her children. Well, with her relationship with Emrys…

“That’s it.” Ayla sat up straight. “Shahin, you’re brilliant.”

“I know, but… how, in this case, exactly?” Her friend was watching Ayla with both eyebrows raised.

“Brothers. I have an inordinate share of brothers, and I know at least two of them have no interest in women.” Their father had said all my kids turn out gay, but nobody was going to take Aelfgar as an expert in anything except fighting. “That’s brilliant.”

Shahin shook her head, but she was smiling, not scoffing. “It is. I’m glad I thought of it.”

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People Talk

So, the writer in my attic, K Orion Fray, has a writing-inspiration e-mail that she sends out, which includes a writing prompt.

This writing prompt was: Take a piece of gossip you’ve heard lately, or think of something that could likely be gossip. (The boss is sleeping with his intern, a coworker is stealing from the till, John and Nancy are seeing each other behind John’s wife’s back, Carol is having a baby—but with who?) Flesh out the details that you “know” about the scenario. Then take ten to fifteen minutes and write a story told from the point of view of the gossip’s center. (For example, if you are writing the last prompt, write from Carol’s point of view.) Decide if the rumor is true or not—or if they started the rumor, and why!–and run with it.

This is what we got

People talked.

It was part of the nature of people, Brida supposed. They got together, over the coffee pot, over the water cooler, over a pile of papers, and they talked.

And, while their talk might start out being about what happened at the Super Bowl or do you think it’s going to flood this weekend, eventually, they ended up talking about other people. Like I hear Kevin’s wife’s pregnant again. Do you think it’ll be a boy or a girl? and Judy’s still sick? Really?

And, eventually, why do you suppose Brida moved into town? Do you think she and her husband…?

She and her husband had, of course. Or, rather, John had, and Brida had, as a result. She’d come home after fifteen months away, noticed the signs within a week, and been gone within a month.

The paperwork had taken longer, of course. John had tried arguing, but Brida was rather done with all that arguing. Fifteen months in desert and swamp will do that to you. She’d done everything through her lawyers and, several months later, the whispers had started.

Brida tried ignoring them. It’s not of their business, she told her therapist. Why won’t they just stop talking?

They care, her standard-issue therapist had tried. Brida had just laughed.

They’re bored.

Her therapist had tried again. They’re human.

And what am I?


They’d gone back and forth for a while, back and forth in something that sounded too much like arguing for Brida’s sake, back and forth week after week, while people at the water cooler murmured and she’s so thin and Still sick? Really?

People talked.

It was part of the nature of people, Brida was coming to understand. They talked about things that worried them, things that excited them; they talked to connect.

“I hear Kevin’s wife’s pregnant again,” she tried. “Do you think it’ll be a boy or a girl?”

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Things I want to play with in the Addergoole verse

Things I want to play with in the Addergoole verse, page one: a feral child comes to Addergoole.

Things I want to play with in the Addergoole verse, page two: the slave markets, before and after the apoc. Um, this one is likely dark.

Things I want to play with in the Addergoole verse, page three: the kids in cohorts 14-17: they come into school with the world in varying stages of okay and normal, and come out with the world a disaster.

Things I want to play with in the Addergoole verse, page four: the human, American government during and after the apoc. A kid raised with that government.

Things I want to play with in the Addergoole verse, page five: What if there’s, like there’s the American gvm’t over there, handwave, a small nation of fae-only? What if an Ag grad takes her kids there?

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Locked In, a story for Trope Bingo/Bonus Round

This is to [personal profile] rix_scaedu‘s prompt to my [community profile] dailyprompt here.

This fills the “locked in” square in the Trope Bingo Card.

Names from Fourteen Minutes‘ generator.

“All right. This is looking bad.” Richan frowned at the door.

“Looking. Looking.“ Cathuyet shook her head. “I’m not sure looking bad is the phrase you’re looking for.”

“Would you shut up and let me work?”

“No. No, I won’t. And I’ll tell you why.” She pushed the lantern into her partner’s hands. “Because we have twenty-five minutes to get out of here. Failure is in no way an option.”

“I know, I know.” Richan paced around the room for what had to be the seventieth time. “There could be another way out.”

“There is most definitely another way out.” Cathuyet’s voice was level, but she wasn’t paying her partner much attention anymore; she had a small ball of light floating over the lock mechanism and was tapping at things with a tiny hammer. “I can think of at least four.”

“What?” Richan paused in the pacing to stare at Cathuyet’s back. “Then why- Oh. That hardly counts.”

“Well, they’re exits.”


“At least the first one would dump us into the lake. We’d almost certainly survive. Can you bring the lantern over here and look at the top left lock? I think we need to focus on that one and the bottom right one at the same time.”

“We might survive, but what about everyone else?” Richan obligingly hung the lantern on a hook in the ceiling and began examining the lock in question.

“Well, that’s why we’re not taking those routes.” Cathuyet peeked up. “Richan, do you hear that…”

“Grinding sound? Yeah. Yeah, that sounds… shit.”

Richan reached for the lantern. “That hook – damnit, rookie mistake.”

Cathuyet stopped Richan with a grab to the wrist. “No, leave it. Remember what happened back in the labyrinth.”

Richan froze, and then, very slowly, nodded. “Right. Once you’ve set something off, minimize other factors. Like in the lake trap. Blasted waters, I hope that Edmose got out all right.”

“It’s a lake. Right now, Edmose has as good a chance of survival as we do.” She tilted her head and leveled her breathing.

“I can’t believe…”

“Richan, stop beating yourself up – this place is made to cue mistakes like that – and act like the safecracker you are. Listen.

The younger thief did as instructed; soon the only sounds in the room were very measured, quiet breathing and the creaking of the mechanisms. Creaking. Everything here was relatively new; nothing should be sounding that decrepit. That meant…

Richan jammed a stiletto into a hole just as it opened. The gear-creaking sound clicked, clicked again, pushed against the knife… and stopped. With no sound at all, a door slid open.

“Richan, you’re a genius.” Cathuyet used a mirror on a stick to check out the passageway ahead. “Clear in all directions. And so are we. With twelve minutes to spare.”

“Only if we get the idol and get out of the final chamber before the time tips over.” This entire set-up had been built on a balance board, with only the hour-timer keeping it from flopping sideways.

“Right.” She wiggled through the entranceway – and stopped.


Cathuyet was choking, soft laughter that shook her shoulders. “There’s another blasted door. We’re still locked in.”

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