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A New World

Kael was one of the most-know potion-masters of her time.  Too well known; she spent far too long dealing with would-be heroes and others who didn’t really need her help.  So she brewed up a potion to put her outside of the world for a while.

It would prove to be one of a very few potions on which she made a mistake.

All The Stories

The World

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A New World 21: Preparations

First: A New World
Previous: Drinks

Kael let Mr. Vibius show her where “her quarters” was after the meal.  He gave her a key that she wouldn’t (she hoped) need, told her a bit about the area, and then left to close down the museum.

She looked around “her quarters.”  Someone had taken some effort to do what she presumed was modernizing on the rooms, including a bed that looked wider than she remembered and thus a little tight for the space, but it was – or it had been – Joaon’s sleeping quarters.

They had not been his first.  She had built the room for a woman named Glerine, but she had, after five years of serving Kael, run off with a fur-trader who presumably had a more interesting life than a woman cloistered high in a potions tower. Continue reading

First 2/3 of May on Patreon

Posts marked * are free for all to read. 

Stories
Lost Niece – Lilac woke up in the middle of the night with a strange feeling of loss and, at the same time, like something had just made her stronger.
The Expectant Wood Chapter 23 — A Lesson in Plants – She nibbled on the nutmeat, finding it as described. “You really are quite good at plants.”
Run – a trunk story – “Run.” Sona grabbed Ree’s hand and, matching actions to words, began running. 

Reposts
Two Concurrent Stories of Zenobia *
Family Magic Revealed  Demifiction written in the Aunt Family by  dialecticdreamer, back in 2014.
Kingmaker Cake *

Map: Kael’s Tower

Misc. And Meta
Mer-May and Tarot *
The Aunt Family House & Victorian Awesomeness *
Aunt Family Tree-in-Progress *

Bonus
With a Cage * It started with a cage, the way such things do. It was a very nice cage, as such things go…

A New World 20: Drinks

First: A New World
Previous: The Hoija

Kael didn’t need the potion to tell her what he was asking; what she did need was some way to tell her if she wanted to agree to his proposition.

“Maybe not tonight?” she offered, hoping that would go over as she meant it.

From the rueful look on his face, probably not.

“I just moved in here,” she tried.  “And I don’t even know where everything is yet.  In a week – next Yorday? – I’ll have drinks to offer you that aren’t potion reagents.” Continue reading

A New World: The Hoija

First: A New World
Previous: Two Kael

Everyone knowing about the Hoeraija is your fault.

Kael raised her eyebrows at this scholar, this Dennor. (Hightower.  Had his family been potion-masters? That was something for another time.)

“I beg your pardon?”  she demanded archly.

He flapped his hand, amused.  “That’s ‘your’ fault.” He dropped quote marks in the air. “Your namesake.  Because she settled among the Hoija, because she built her tower there – here, because she, foremost among the old wizards -”

“Wizards?”  Her potion provided a meaning, but it wasn’t one that made any sense to her. Continue reading

A New World: Two Kael

First: A New World
Previous: Dinner, and Things to Chew On

She ate her food slowly, but with gusto.  It may have been only one long night to her, but it still seemed like a long time since she’d had a taste of home.

Dennor Hightower was staring at her.  She looked up from her food and waited, patiently.

“Kael,” he repeated slowly, “is not a Lerienoijen name.  You said Lerienoijen.  How many scholars know that word?”

“I don’t know.  How many?”

“I know three.  One of them is me.  And I’ve never heard of you.” Continue reading

A New World: Dinner, and Things to Chew On

First: A New World
Previous: The People

The lay-out of food was almost exactly as Kael remembered it, with the addition of what had to be a couple modern foods.  Everything was set up on one long table, with three tables for eating at – Joaon had built one of those tables by hand, she remembered.  She could still see the adze marks.

There were several people sitting at the tables – the gift-shop man and a woman in a smock and loose pants, another girl in the same outfit as the gift-shop man, and one person who caught Kael’s eye immediately.

They were not wearing clothing that marked them as part of the staff, but they were so utterly the epitome of Hoeraijen handsomeness that they – he, had to be male – took Kael’s breath away.  He was wearing what she thought were modern clothes, sitting by himself at the end of a table, and he was reading while he ate. Continue reading

A New World: the People

First: A New World
Previous: Taking Stock

Half Yordiy off was better than she’d expected to get, if she was being honest, and all she had to do was draw up a safer version of things she’d been doing for years.

“Thank you, Mr. Vibius.”  He reminded Kael strongly of the people she had known before she’d become a potion-mistress and ruler of her own domain.  She knew how to act around him, but that didn’t make it the least bit pleasant. “You said the food was on the third floor?”

“Yep.  It’s always there.  I don’t get it, I really don’t, but it’s always there.”

Kael suppressed a smile.  Jaoan had been working on that for years.  She wondered how long it had taken him to perfect it.  “Thank you. If nobody is here to ask me about potions, I will go and eat now.”

“You’re really taking this seriously.”  He looked at a small glowing piece of glass for a moment.  “There’s three people in the museum, but they’re taking their down  in the Lives of the Ancient Natives and Potions Then and Now displays.  The Lives one really gets a lot of attention,” he confided. “People like going through how people lived back before, uh,” he coughed, “before the modern era.  We get a lot of yelling, too.” He smiled grimly. “People who say there’s no way things could have been like that.” Continue reading

A New World: Taking Stock

First: A New World
Previous: An Arrangement

Caron and Hallsey had left, leaving Kael alone in her tower again but with far more to think about.

She had, she realized, spoken more words to other people today than she probably had in a week back in her old life.

And she knew nothing about the world outside.  She was only managing as well as she did because of the translation potion, and when that failed her, she was going to be left looking blankly at people while they talked about matters that were ancient history to them and still far in the future for her.

She inventoried her ingredients slowly and began a list.  Some of these things were incorrectly labelled; she added a tiny notation to the bottom of each label in her own script.  Some of them were getting stale. A few were missing altogether. Continue reading

A New World: An Arrangement

First: A New World
Previous: Experimenting with History

Kael looked between Caron and Hallsey, wondering exactly what she’d said that was getting her such strange looks from both of them.

“Are you offering… to teach us?  On something like a regular basis?”

“But not potions,” Hallsey added to her friend’s question.  “But like… how to find out history?”

“That depends.”  Kael was feeling out her answer as she went,  but she was pretty sure she was on the right track.  “Do you want to learn potions, history, or both?”

“Are you for real?” Caron stared at her.  “Are you really – I mean, what would you charge?” Continue reading

A New World: Experimenting With History

First: A New World

Kael cleared her throat.

“Assume for a moment that I am who I am pretending to be.”

They both turned their attention back to her.  It was Caron who spoke first.

“Okay.  So.” He hemmed uncertainly. “You want us to pretend that you’re Kaelingrade Torrent-Step.  And… that you lived for a thousand years?”

“No, no, that would be silly.” She smiled broadly at him.  “Let’s say that a potion went wrong and I suddenly landed here, in this tower, where I was, ah, pretending to be someone pretending to be myself.”

“Okay,” Hallsey leaned forward.  “This is a fun game. So you don’t know anything that happened in the last… oh.   Like the, um, colonization.”

“Conquest,” Caron offered. Continue reading