Archive | June 14, 2017

Worldbuilding Day Four: History

4. History

Aunt Family

In World History, the Aunt Family ‘verse parallels our own. The magic that exists here is mostly personal magic – it can change a single person’s timeline, or a single family’s, but rarely the world’s.
(Yes, I know that there are ways that A can change B, but this is not so much an AU as it is a world in which personal problems sometimes have unusual solutions).

The Aunt Family themselves… their history is lost in myth and fuzzy retellings, and every branch of the family tells it a little bit differently. What we know is that, at some point, the strong personalities in a long-ago family decided that their thin but interesting powers could best be handled — and family feuds avoided — if they kept the power in the hands of a single childless woman.

And as the family grew, so did the power.

Portal Bound

Many centuries ago — nearly a millennium — portals opened between an untouched planet and several other worlds, and a few people came through, a farmer and his family.

You said that already, Lyn.


That farmer’s settlement became the basis of the capital town. He brought through others from his home village — which was in chaos at the time — and, when the portal opened somewhere else, brought through those people, too.

Other portals formed their own settlements. Over time and trade and more than a few battles, over quests by Key-bearers from other worlds and mighty adventures, the settlements on these islands/small continents settled into a few nations.

The nation our story is set in became a monarchy with a very strong bureaucracy . Which was fine for quite a while.

And then the Crown Prince vanished.

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oh, Riiiiivvvaaaa…

MARKED – 8.12

Riva looked suddenly excited. “I do! I have three, actually. So we could put everything we know into the book, and nobody but us will be able to read it! Oh, that would be fun! Think about it! She was nearly bouncing. “So, we could put in the story of Nilien, and being a Wild Rune, and then we could talk about what Ember told her, and compare it to what our familiars first said to us, and then-”around slowly, looking at the room with new eyes now that they’d cleaned it up and showed it to other people.

read on…

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The Hidden Mall Part V

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

💸 💰 💸 💰 💸

Abigail frowned at the woman. “There’s a price for leaving something. A price for making something, and a price for taking something?”

“Oh, there always is. I’m just more honest about it than most.” The woman smiled cheerfully. “I’m not out to get you. I can assure you of that. I will return you safely to whence you came when your time here is over, and never will you say that I did not give you a good deal. That is not the sort of shop that this is – although you have the smell of you that you may have gotten too close to one of those. Not Anto, no. Anto is mischievous and difficult, but that is all.”

There were too many loopholes in that little speech. Abigail wanted to say this is where the villain will end up saying ‘ha-ha, but I did not say when your time here would be over.

Liv had other ideas. “I want to make a book!”

“Liv… Liv, come on. We’ve got to get back to the mall before your mother calls.”

“Oh, worry not. You will get back in plenty of time for your mother’s visit.

“I’ve seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you know,” Abigail informed the woman, feeling a little silly. “Time can take a long time here and nothing at all there, can’t it?”

“This is not a Hell Dimension, although that was a very clever reference,” the woman informed her gently. “No, this will take no more than five or six minutes. The trick is, then I will have the book.”

“I can do that! I love this sort of thing. I watched a PBS Special on it! Come on, Abigail. Come on.”

Abigail sighed. “You make a book, I’ll leave a book. How’s that?”

“Oh, you’re no fun. Fiiiine. How do I make a book?”

“Here are the end-boards and here is the book block, all ready for you. Now pick out a color of cloth for the covers, there, and one prick of blood, and end papers, those are good, yes.” The woman slid the prick of blood in so smoothly that Abigail nearly missed it. Liv, caught up in the picking of the cloth – lavender – and the papers – a lavender and silver swirl – barely noticed. “And now we glue and we put together and you say over it, operishlian, ja-ren-thisial, Olivia, operish-ial.

“Operishlian, ja-ren-thisial, Olivia, operish-ial,” Liv repeated dutifully. “There, it’s done, already?”

It had been a little more than five or six minutes, but not all that long. Abigail had pulled the Nancy Drew book out of her bag – and it had been just long enough that she’d started to regret the choice. She’d been so thrilled when she picked it up at the book sale! She’d read all of these when she was little, but sold them back to the book store, and then they’d been gone by the time she changed her mind.

She was not going to chant anything at a stack of paper, though. And she didn’t like the looks of any of the books on the shelves.

What kind of bookstore made you do something? That seemed a little pushy, a lot questionable.

“And there.” The blue woman bowed. “Thank you for your contribution to my library. And you, miss, for yours. If you would like, you can go further in, or you can venture out through Anto’s door.” She tilted her head behind her at the doorway.


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Funeral – Debrief

First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Best-Laid Plans

It was nearly a full day before the team made it back to the house. It’d been a short reconnaissance and information-gathering job, at least according to the brief, but she had three holes in her dress that had been holes through her until Allayne had thrown a healing at her. She’d had to do some interesting running to get her prey where she could subdue them one by one, and then even more interesting running to get to their backup-backup meetup spot without being seen.

Ezer was still cursing in her earpiece when they pulled into the driveway, their second nondescript rental car returned to its proper location. “Those fucking bastards. Reconnaissance. Reconnaissance does not mean getting my people fucking shot at.”

“Awww, Ezzie, I didn’t know you cared.” Even when Senga knew what Allayne was doing, that purr through the earpiece still sent shivers straight down her spine to her groin. And it did the same thing to Ezer a hundredfold. “Chitter, did you get what we needed?”

“Got it all and a couple soupcon of extras, too. If we don’t get hazard pay for this, I’m posting nude photos of the client to a photo-manip contest.”

“The client is anonymous,” Ezer complained. “Chitter, do you even know the meaning of that word?”

“Of course I do.” If Allayne was all purring and sex, Chitter sounded like an unrepentant twelve-year-old. “It means that their data is hidden under a hankie or maybe two and I just have to lift it to figure it out. Anyway, there’s a tall sulking angry person in the kitchen, and he’s between me and the Mt. Dew. Senga, are you nearly home?”

“Coming in the door now. How did you even beat us home?”

“Magic powers, of course. Senga, he’s a giant. How did you end up with a giant?”

“I can hear you, you know.” Erramun’s grumble came loud and clear through Chitter’s earpiece.
“Ack, it talks! He talks, he talks, Senga, you did give him orders about not killing me, right?”

“Nothing about not shaking you, though.” Senga headed into the kitchen and dropped her earpiece in the bin Chitter held out. “Erramun, why are you looming at Chitter? Erramun, Chitter, Chitter, Erramun. Stop glaring at him. It’s not his fault he’s tall.”

Erramun shook his head and looked away from Chitter. She, in turn, kept glaring up at Erramun.

“I’m not looming at her,” he muttered. “I didn’t know who she was and she – you’ve been shot.”

“Three times,” she agreed. “I hate being shot. It ruins so many dresses.”

He looked her over, moving away from his looming position to brush his hands over the dress, feeling the blood-soaked places and running his fingers very carefully over the healed wounds. “Someone did a good job. You can’t even tell there was damage here. To you, I mean. Your dress makes it pretty obvious.”

“Allayne is really good at speed healing. She has to do it enough.” She didn’t move away. His fingers were cold but his touch wasn’t unpleasant at all.

“You get shot enough that this is an issue?”

“We all do. Well, okay, both. Chitter doesn’t get shot much at all.”

“That’s because I, unlike you two, am clever and stay out of the line of fire.” Chitter stuck her jaw out and glared at Senga. “What were you thinking?

“Well, let’s see,” Senga retorted, “’Ow, fuck, ow, ow, fuck, ow.’ Or did you mean before the guns came out? I was thinking ‘that door was way too easy and this place is way to quiet. If this isn’t a trap, I’m going to eat my hat.’”

“We were set up.” Chitter’s expression went strange, blank the way it did when she was looking at the numbers in her head. “It wasn’t bad intel, it wasn’t the sort of thing where they say ‘low threat’ because they’re not in the threat radius. If you thought it was a trap…”

“What are you into, Senga Monmartin?”

“Me? Everything I need to to get the job done. This was supposed to be an information-gathering mission, meet a nice man, talk to him a bit while Allayne did her thing and Chitter did hers. Like Chitter said, it was a trap. Someone figured out what we do and decided they wanted to set us up.”

“Not just for dying, either. Think about the way that part in the bathroom went.” Chitter was frowning at her phone. “If you had done things just a little differently, you would’ve ended up trapped with two corpses with the cops on the way.”
“Setting me up to be arrested is not exactly the same as setting me up to die,” Senga protested.

“But it might be enough to protest the will results,” Erramun pointed out.

“My cousins can’t put anything together that fast. They’re not their mother, not by a long shot.”

“So who else has a vested interest in seeing you dead or inconvenienced?” He leaned back against the counter, looking relaxed for the first time since she’d taken ownership of him.

“Who says it was her, tall, dark, and broody? Who says it’s not you? Come on, you’re her Bond Servant, if she dies, you’re miserable for ten minutes; if she ends up in jail, you’re miserable for years. Unless she releases you, and then you’re both eff-you-sea-kay fucked.”

“Are you always this eloquent?” he glowered down at her.

“Yep! That’s why Allayne and Senga do the social things and I sit in the van with my toys and keep them out of trouble.” She grinned up at him, unrepentant and pleased. “Could you move, by the way? I want some more soda.”

“And you do such a good job of keeping them out of trouble, too.”


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