Tag Archive | giraffecall: april2013

S is for Summary – an annotated summary of the last Giraffe Call

This is my alpha call’s summary in whole.
Those marked with an ** are Addergoole setting; those marked with a * are in the greater fae apoc setting.

A is for Alpha
B is for Beryl and her Boys (Aunt Family)
C is for the Cats’ Cruise *
D is for Dances Down in that [Dystopic] Underground School **
E is for Euphoric
F is for Friendly Fiend Forgetting
G is for Great Deals!
H is for Holy Hot Hell Night, Batman **
I is for the Individual
J is for the Last Jubilee *
K is for Stolen Karma
L is for Llama Lawyers
M is for Mimosas in the Morning ** (Shahin & Ty Post-apoc)
N is for Notice
O is for the Open Order
P is for the Possum Postulate (Science!)
Q is for the Queen’s Quilt
R is for Runaway (Tír na Cali)
S is for Shahin (see Mimosas first) **
T is for the Impossible
U is for Under the Weather Unexpectedly
V is for Vindicated (Viatrix, Baram’s House-Elves) **
W is for Whisk(e)y (Ninefold)
X is for Xeno-Everything
Y is for Yoshi (Boom, apoc-era) **
Z is for Zoology Sparks (Aunt Family, Zenobia)
A is for Antlers (Tilden, 3rd generation Boom) **
B Bizzare Beetles
C is for Creation
D is for Dungeon
E is for Emrys – Harder than Diamonds (Post-apoc) **
F is for Feisty Friend Felines of the Family (Aunt family, Beryl, DamnCat)
G is for the Gate (Facets)
H is for (I don’t know why you say Good-Bye)
I is for Icarus Fallen (Third generation)**

K is for Kleptēs(after Karma)
R – Running Away (Tír na Cali)
I – is for the Interloper (After Individual)

Þ – The Þorn-Giants (Aunt Family)

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/538350.html. You can comment here or there.

The Þorn-Giants, a story of the April Giraffe Call

To a number of prompts, starting with Þ. Set in the Aunt Family universe.
“Once upon a time.”

“And long, long ago.”

“And long, long ago.” Rosaria smiled at the children around her. The smile was as much a part of the story as the beginning, as their responses, and the pictures she could see forming in her head.

“How long ago, Aunt Rosa?”

“Long enough ago that the histories have faded into dust. That the stories have been retold until their shapes are lost. That the retellings have been repainted and made into movies.”

“Really long ago, then.”

“So very long ago. Once upon a time, or so we’re told, there lived two brothers. Not just any brothers, no.” Rosaria felt the shape of the story and was intrigued. It wasn’t so often that her tales were of boys. “These brothers were giants. Þurs, thorn-giants. And they loved each other more than anything in the world.”

One of her nephews started to say “eww,” almost as a knee-jerk. But before he could say anything, he caught a look from two of his cousins. Ahh. Aaah, that’s where they were going.

“And they loved each other,” Rosaria repeated, “the way that the best of friends love each other. They trusted each other more than any other at their backs. And they listened to the other when they needed advice.”

“Besties.” One of Rosaria’s nieces smiled, and squeezed her friend’s hand.

“Besties.” It wasn’t a bad word, as such things went. She waited for the children to finish their giggling, and then continued on. “And so it was all meet and good, until the brothers reached their time of adulthood.”

“Grown-ups ruin everything.” That from one of Rosaria’s favorite nephews, and one that would need watching.

“There are times when growing up can ruin many things.” Rosaria smiled at that nephew in particular, as if sharing a private joke. And perhaps they were. “I myself have found that the trick is to not, quite grow up.”

“But you’re old, Aunt Rosa.”

So she was. She continued with the story, instead. “And certainly do not grow up too fast. Which was the problem, you see, with these brothers, the Þurs. They were growing up, I’m afraid, faster than they could. They were growing out of their childhood before they were ready to fit into adulthood.”

“What does that mean?”

“It’s like being too big for your size six pants, but not yet big enough for the ones your mom bought for the next year.” That niece ought to know. She was growing like a weed.

“Oh. Hunh.” And that nephew wasn’t growing much at all. Rosaria continued. “The brothers reached the time of adulthood, as we all must do. They were still best of friends, still the closest love two brothers could find, until they were tested.”


“Tested. Because, in this land, all must be tested to become adults.”

“Like the standardized exams?”

“Something like that. But, because they were thorn-giants, the testing was to be of their mettle, not of their spelling ability or their skill at matching tiny shapes to one another.” She waited for the giggling to subside.

“Their metal?” One of her nephews frowned. His sister whispered something in his ear. “Oh! Like what they’re made out of.”

“Exactly. They were going to have to prove what they were made of. And to do that…”

The children chorused together. “There would have to be a quest.”

“Exactly. A quest. So, as they were about to reach adulthood, these two thorn-giants, best of friends and best of brothers, began their quest. The one went north, the other south.” Rosaria pointed without error in those cardinal directions.

“What were they looking for?”

The children were so good at cues. “They were searching for a symbol.”

“A symbol? Who sent them after that?”

“Why, their village, of course. For the village are the ones who live with the children, who raise them, and who will work with them when they’re adults.

“Like picking an Auntie.”

That was interesting indeed. “Like growing up in our family, yes.” She folded her hands back into her lap. “They were told ‘go find the thing that most represents you,’ and so they began walking.”

“One to the north and one to the south.” The children pointed.

“Indeed. And the northern brother, he walked up the mountains and down the mountains. He walked around the lake and swam through it. He walked through the snow, and through the rain. And what do you think he found?”


“Nothing indeed. And yet…”

“He found mountains.”

“He found lakes!”

“He found rain!

“And muddy boots.”

“Very much so.” Rosaria was proud of her students. “He found many things, did he not. But none of them were, he thought, the thing that represented him.

“Meanwhile, the southern brother walked down the beach. He walked through the swamp and around the bay. He walked through the rain, and the storms, and the sunshine that beat down upon his shoulders. And what do you think he found?”


“Bird poop!”


“He found the ocean and the storms!”

“Indeed. He found all of this, and yet…”

“Nothing that was his symbol.”

“Very true. And what do you think they did next?”

“They kept walking!”

“Indeed. They kept walking, the one north, and the other south. When they had to, they swam. When they must, they took boats. When they could, they road trains. They found the warmth and the cold, the wet and the dry…”

“But nowhere their symbols!”

“Exactly.” Rosaria made a circle in the air. “And the one brother kept going, North and North and North, and the other, South and South, and South, unerringly, always the same way, until…” Her fingers met in a loop around the other side.

“They ran into each other!?” The children bounced.

“They did. And they looked at one another. They had been walking for years, by now. Walking forever, it felt like. And what did they find?”

It was one brother who spoke, quietly. “They found their symbols.”

“Very good.” Rosaria loved all of her nieces and nephews, grandchildren and borrowed-kin, but these particular ones, today, she loved more than most.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/537414.html. You can comment here or there.

Magic Items in Faerie Apocalypse, a Setting Piece for the Giraffe Call

Magic Items in the Faerie Apocalypse World

In the Addergoole series, two magical collars have shown up to date: Conrad’s, originally worn by Carter, and Garfunkel’s, originally worn by Sylvia. They were created in two different ways, which nicely indicate the different sorts of magical items in Fae Apoc: Carter/Conrad’s by Working, and Gar/Sylvia’s by an innate.

The Thorne Girls created Carter’s collar to respond to a certain emotional state (Hugr) and vocal volume (Kwxe) with an electrical shock (Hiko); they did this in a complex multi-part Working using Words that they had, in conjunction with Unutu (Worked things) which each of them also had as a Word. I.e., a Thorne with Hugr would lay down a working, and then one with Kwxe, and so on.

This sort of complex team Working takes time, energy, and the ability to work as a team, something the three Thornes had in spades. If a single person were to do a Working like this, they would need to possess all the Words to create a long-term if-then sort of thing (If the target’s Hugr reads snotty, then zap Hiko If it reads actively antagonistic,, then ZAP Hiko). It would obviously take more energy, as well.

Sylvia’s collar, on the other hand, was created by someone whose innate power is, essentially, to enchant objects. She could only inlay into those objects Workings she can herself do, but the person who made the collar has Intinn, Mind, as one of her best words. Creating an artificial intelligence of sorts took a great deal of time, even for her, but far less than doing so via Workings would have done (and she can do it without speaking, an added bonus).

As for longevity: both sorts of collars are very durable; impregnating Workings into sturdy Worked goods is effective and long-lasting. The sort done with Words, however, can be dismantled more easily than the sort done with an Innate. It would take use of the Word Frodelikr to take apart Gar’s collar’s enchantment, whereas Carter’s can be taken apart by simply reversing the Workings done to it.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/536006.html. You can comment here or there.

R is Running Away, a Continuation of Tír na Cali for the Giraffe Call

For Rix_Scaedu‘s commissioned continuation of R is for Runaway.

If you dislike the Tír na Cali setting, this is going to be everything you dislike and more.

Rique woke up in a cold room, half-covered by a blanket.

He remembered the woman, the hot dog – he knew better, damnit, he knew better – then falling over into her arms. He remembered waking briefly, tied up and in some sort of moving vehicle. He remembered the prick of a needle.

Drugs. He’d done his damndest to avoid anything remotely drug-like in the three months he’d been out on the street – not so much as an aspirin had crossed his lips, and he hadn’t let a needle get anywhere near him. After his dad… that wasn’t important now. What was important was getting out of here before things got really fucked up.

More fucked up. A quick peek told him he was naked under the blanket, a quick exploration of the room told him that there was absolutely nothing in there except him, the bed, and a dresser. No clothes. Not even a water glass. And no window.

The door was locked, but it took him five minutes to take apart a bed spring enough to make a lock pick. The bedroom outside the first room – which could have been a closet, really – revealed clothes, women’s clothes but they would fit, and he wasn’t in any state to be picky.

They also revealed that his head had been shaved while he slept. Not just his head – his hair was a finger-thickness long now, but he had no hair at all from the neck down anymore. Not even stubble.

What kind of sick fucks had he ended up with?

A glance in a mirror answered that, too. In addition to his stolen clothes, he was wearing a collar. A metal collar, skinny, light, and locked around his neck.

Five minutes with his lock pick left him shaking his hand, swearing, and convinced that fucking with the collar was going to take different tools and a pair of rubber gloves. He was also damn certain that he was in California.

California. He stared at the mirror. Shaved head. No beard, but he’d barely had one of those to start with. Slave collar. It all looked like he was getting sold into the sex trade.

But he was in someone’s fourth-floor walk-up, which really wasn’t the place you tended to stash sex slaves, as far as he knew. And he’d been left unguarded and unrestrained.

The collar would be tricky, but the woman’s closet revealed a supply of high-necked things, including one that didn’t make him look quite so much like he was covering up a collar. He slipped on the shirt, stole her jacket, and tried the front door.

Unlocked. These people had to be the most inept kidnappers ever. Rique bopped down the stairs, took the back door, and headed out onto the street. He could lift some cash, get a set of bolt cutters and be in the wind before they even noticed he was gone.


Reggie glanced at her phone. “He’s on the street. We’ll give him twenty minutes.”

“You are one sick fuck, Reg.” Roberts was grinning at her; he liked this as much as she did.

“Of course I am. Do you think I made it too easy?”

“Maybe a little. Next time make him work for it.”

And, taking a page from Rion’s book:
If you want to see more of this scene (And there’s more just itching to be written), it can be unlocked for a $5 donation!

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/535800.html. You can comment here or there.

I for Icarus Fallen

Rion prompted “I is for Icarus fallen,” and ri has a character in Addergoole named Icarus. [profile] stryck prompted “Infamous,” and thus it had to be THAT Icarus, too. Thus… this.

Icarus goes to school in Year 44. See the other Luke/Myst stories for his parents’ romance

Why Akakios had chosen to name his son Icarus, Luke had never known, and probably would never try to ask. Talking to the alpaca-boy made Luke irritable on a good day; talking to him about his son made everything… so very Mara.

Icarus. The name was infamous, the story known even now, even twenty-five years after the world had ended. “Icarus?” a stranger would say, and then ask, every time, “has he fallen?”

Ha, ha.

Luke had considered Icarus his own since he’d built the boy’s mother Mystral a house, his in parenting if not in blood. And, as with every other son he’d raised he felt it in his bones when the boy fell. Tripped and fell when he was running. Slipped out of a tree and broke his arm. Playing Superman, fell from the barn roof.

He was a boy. Boys fell. Luke reminded himself of this every time the boy came home with a new scrape, cut, bruise. Doug had fallen. Aleron had fallen all the time. Sons fell, grandsons fell; centuries ago, Luke had done his own share of falling.

None of them had been named for that tragic, fucking infamous fall.

It made Luke hover, and he hating hovering. Every time Chavva came running, “Dad! Icarus fell again!” his heart stopped. Every time he ran out to check the boy over, to pat him and Idu Tlacatl him and reassure him that it was all right, branches broke sometimes, every time, he worried it would be the last time.

It wasn’t until the boy was ready to go to Addergoole that Luke wondered if Akakios, the fluff-for-brains, had been being metaphorical.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/531946.html. You can comment here or there.

H is for (I don’t know why you say Good-bye)… a story for the Giraffe Call

For Rion’s Prompt “A hello in a goodbye,” along with some others for color.

“So this is goodbye.”

He lingered by the door, hand on the doorknob. Waiting for… he wasn’t sure for what. Something.

She nodded. That hadn’t been, not really, what he wanted, but he supposed it would have to do. “Goodbye. Sayonara. Hasta la Never. Au re-not.”

He flinched. “I get the point.”

“Are you sure? You’ve always been hard-headed.”

“I just don’t understand why.” He had meant not to sound plaintive, not to beg.

“And you never will. I could carve it in hieroglyphs on your forehead, and you would still not understand. Save us both the trouble, and leave.”

He left.

The door swung open, and he stepped out of her life. “Good-bye.”

She didn’t answer; he hadn’t expected her to. He turned his back on her, her room, and everything she entailed, turned around to face the hall and a new life.


She could have been the twin of the woman behind him, dressed in black instead of white, her eyes blue instead of brown, the same nose, the same hair, the same chin.

“Hello.” Her voice, too, was the same. “Can I help you?”

“I was just leaving.” He gestured at the door behind him, only to see that, where the door had been were only hieroglyphs on the wall. He looked back at her. “But this could be hello.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/530743.html. You can comment here or there.

K for kleptēs, a continuation of the Giraffe Call (@rix_scaedu)

For Rix_Scaedu‘s commissioned continuation of K for Stolen Karma.

Kyrie was in a panic. A true, honest-to-goodness freak-out panic. He pulled against the ropes, even though they were cutting into his wrists, tugged and yanked and just gave in to the hysteria. He shouted at the woman, incoherent nonsense that really boiled down to “let me go, let me go, I’ll do anything, just let me go.”

She stopped his screams with a kiss that left him almost choking on her tongue. “If you are not quiet, I will make you be quiet.”

It took a moment for that to get through the panic, and then Kyrie shut his mouth and nodded. When she seemed unlikely to rip any part of him out (She had claws. And when she had kissed him, her teeth had been far too sharp), he swallowed, and tried words. “You stole me?”

“I did.” She rested her hand possessively on his stomach, the tips of her claws just beginning to pierce his skin. Kyrie fought to hold still. “As I said, Karma is a bitch.”

“So… when I steal things.” He swallowed, and tried again. “If I stole things, I would sell them. Fence them, I guess.”

“There are people I know who move stolen goods – and stolen people. I could, indeed, fence you.”

Kyrie had gone still, and not just because of the claws breaking his skin. “You don’t sound like that’s what you want to do.” Please, don’t let it be what she wanted to do.

“No. You’re correct. But I’m not sure you wouldn’t prefer being fenced.”

Kyrie swallowed. This was not going well. “I’m sure we can work out some sort of deal…” When in doubt, bargain. “Did I steal something from you in the past? Something you want back?”

“Honey, if you’d manage to steal from me, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. You’d be trying to negotiate with worms, if anything.”

He couldn’t help but shudder, driving her claws deeper into his stomach. He’d had marks get angry before, but that was nothing like this. They’d yell, they’d swear, they’d threaten to call the police. Nobody had ever told him, cold-blooded and entirely serious, that he could be dead.

Then again, he’d never been stupid enough to steal from a Kin before, as far as he knew.

She was watching him, licking her lips. He had to say something. He had to keep her talking. If she was talking, she wasn’t eating him. “What are you going to do with me?” That, he considered, might not have been the best choice of conversational topics. On the other hand, it was near and dear to his heart – and the intestines her claws were getting closer to.

“You’re a very good thief, are you not? And, from what I’ve heard, an even better blackmailer.”

“I do those things.” No use in denying it.

“It’s a rush for you? Like the kill?” Her tongue kept darting out, brushing against her lips.

“You could call it that.” He shrugged, barely a twitch of his shoulders – he couldn’t do much else, but he wanted her thinking of anything but the blood on his stomach. “I think of it like base jumping, or any other extreme sport. It is a rush, yeah.”

“Very good.” She leaned down until her lips brushed against his throat. “Then, little thief, you are going to work for me now. And I’ve got the adrenaline rush of a lifetime for you.”

Watching her, feeling her sharp teeth against his throat, Kyrie was pretty sure he’d have preferred being fenced.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/530235.html. You can comment here or there.

G for the Gate, a story of Facets of Dusk for the Giraffe Call

Another take on [profile] cluudle‘s prompt. I didn’t want to start another Facets story when I have so many hanging out there, but this just called to me.

“That. Looks ominous.”

The team stared up at the gate.

“It looks beautiful.”

It had to be at least a hundred feet tall at its apex.

“It seems rather expensive.”

It was either made out of solid gold – unlikely – or gilded over the entire edifice.

“It seems rather gaudy.”

The whole thing had been sculpted or molded with flourishes, pineapples,
arches, and scrolls. There was not more than a six-inch span of straight line anywhere in the entire structure.

“Not to mention shiny.”

There were cabochons set into the gold, mostly yellow stones, reflecting light even more brightly than the metal did.

“And imposing.”

It was, after all, a gate. The doors were not solid, but they were made of some sort of woven mesh. The largest holes through the mesh were the size of Alexa’s fist, the smallest not wide enough to allow a hair through. The gate was set into an equally-shiny but black-silver fence, every bit as tall and every bit as impassible.

“Not to mention impossible.” Peter’s instruments did not seem to like the thing.

“Well.” They stepped up to the gate, studying it. Glaring at it. Contemplating it, as were their wonts. Cole cleared his throat. “I say we knock.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/530014.html. You can comment here or there.

F for Feisty Friend Felines of the Family

To Rix_Scaedu‘s prompt and Kelkyag‘s prompt.

After Kitten Troubles and Auntie Kitty

Aunt Family have a landing page here.

“Well?” The Siamese kitten sat primly down on the edge of Beryl’s bed and began grooming a paw.

“Well?” Beryl stared at the kitten. Physically, she looked like any other kitten. But her voice, such as it was…

“Well?” Radar echoed. He seemed as uncomfortable with the whole thing as Beryl was.

::Well?:: Her necklace wanted to get in on this, too, and that was just too much. Beryl took the necklace off and put it – him? – in the silk-lined box she’d found for moments like this.

“Well.” The kitten looked between Beryl and Radar. “What can you do for me?”

Before Beryl could manage to respond to the small thing’s giant arrogance, Radar had arched his back and hissed at the kitten before batting her hard three times with his paw.





The kitten cowered, ears flat. “We’re cats.” There wasn’t much fight left in her voice, and she was mewling unhappily out loud. “We’re cats.” She repeated herself as if the words meant more to her than they did to Beryl.

“We are their friends.” Radar sat back and began washing his paws. “We are more than cats, my feisty daughter.”

“Don’t call me that.” Her ears were raked back again, and now the kitten looked as if she would try hissing at her father.

He was unimpressed. “It’s what you are. A feisty feline.” He seemed to like the sound of that. “And their friend.”


Radar glanced at Beryl. She, other than getting her hands out of the way of two angry cats, had chosen to stay as still as possible. This wasn’t really her business, not yet.

“That’s what we were made for.”

“You might have been made. I was born.”

“Well.” Radar did the cat equivalent of a shrug, and washed another paw. “Someone made you. Someone made you, and you were made from a kitten I sired. I was made to be their friend. And thus… you are their friend, too.”


Radar showed all his teeth to the kitten. “There is no or.”

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