Tag Archive | innercircle

Landing Page: Inner Circle

In the world of the Circled Plain, most of humanity lives within walled cities, protected from the monsters outside.

The cities’ walls are nested, circle within circle within circle, and the richest and most powerful live the deepest in the city.

They call the social and economic climb from the outer rings towards the inner the Ladder. The climb is hard, but there are always ways to jump rungs.

Jumping Rings
Taslin and Valran have both knelt in service to climb the ladder.
But they will have to make it through their ten years before they’ll see the fruit of their labor.
Jumping Rings updates every other Tuesday.

Chapter One: Taslin (LJ) Kneel
Chapter Two: Valran (LJ) Kneel
Chapter Three: Taslin (LJ) Duck
Chapter Four: Valran (LJ) Duck
Chapter Five: Taslin )LJ) Thrust

subsequent chapters posted here.

Other Stories
…This turned out a little creepy… (LJ) Marri & her Patron, Biccon
Meeting (LJ) another Servus
The Flow and the Fountain (LJ) – why one doesn’t use too much magic
Remembering the Fallen (LJ) – how the Flow changes one
Now Hiring (LJ) – fic around demific
Meeting the Archmage (LJ)

Teswarnen Eshmarn, the Second Circle Deputy Oligarch of New Indapala
(LJ) – character information
The Lands of the Circled Plain (LJ) a setting story for 3WW

Worldbuilding 1: Architecture (LJ)
Worldbuilding 2: Inside and Outside (LJ)

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/773360.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

A Tale of the Circled Plain (beginning): Meeting

The woman who bought Saffron had sat behind a screen for the questioning and auction process. She had insisted Saffron be blindfolded once purchased and bound, wrists to thighs, so there was no chance of messing with the blindfold as she led Saffron by the arm to her home.

Thus, Saffron had very little to go on. Her voice was smooth and sweet, her laughter easy and not so unkind as some. Her diction was easy to understand, her words simple, not the convoluted mess many inner circle people spoke. And she lived close enough to the auction center to walk home, which meant she was either in the Second circle or very close of the walls in either First or Third.

Most importantly, she owned Saffron now. She’d bought the contract, and for the next ten years, Saffron would be her Servitor, to do whatever she wished, whatever she commanded.

“Stairs,” she murmured. They were the first words she’d spoken since leaving the auction hall. Saffron let a shin hit the first stair and climbed up carefully, trying not to lean on the woman. “Just a couple more. There.”

Was she going to leave the blindfold on forever? The inner circles had some odd habits, Saffron had heard. The Flow changed them, the way it changed everyone, but some people said that the Inner circles were more twisted, far further from normal than the outer circles. Was she afraid he would freak out? Afraid he couldn’t handle her? It was far too late for any of that now.

“And here. And a few steps.” She steered Saffron down a hallway, or what could be assumed to be a hallway at least. A door opened. “Here, sit.”

Saffron sat. There was a chair there, soft and cozy. From the sounds of things, the woman sat as well.

“Saffron Techon. Normally by the time people get to four syllables, they’ve picked a gender for at least one of them.”

Saffron coughed. “Hadn’t decided yet.”

“Well, I suppose that’s a sort of decision in itself. Tell me, Saffron, why did you decide to become a Servus?”

Saffron’s gesture was cut short by the chains. “Like this, I wouldn’t survive long out on the Tenth Circle. Too skinny, too weak.”

“Mmm.” Her tone of voice suggested she agreed with that assessment. “And do you think, then, that the Second Circle will be that much safer for you?” There was danger in her voice that hadn’t been there before.

The blindfold was suddenly a shield, suddenly all that stood between Saffron and terror. A swallow did nothing to clear the lump in Saffron’s throat. “Ma’am?”

If only running was an option.

The Circled Plain has a landing page here

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Remembering the Fallen, a story of Jumping Rings

This story is set in the world of the Circled Plains and the serial Jumping Rings, but stands alone.

It is written in reply to [lifejournal.com profile] Rix‘s suggestion to this request for questions, after the successful Domain Name Fundraiser.

I still need more questions! I have answered the two asked and need three more.

Retsharra Koy remembered her mother.

There was no room in the Circled Cities for graveyards; the citizens of the Circled Plain gave their dead to the plain itself, to the desert and to the Flow.

But in her Third-Circle apartment, Retsharra kept a small plaque hung below a portrait. Kollandrin Teschar, Gladiator, the plaque read. Died in service of the City, for which we are eternally grateful.

The portrait showed Kol at the height of her Gladiatorial career, before the Flow had eaten her. As always, she had fought in minimal armor – a custom-made mail shirt and coif and the world’s most elaborate greaves and vambraces – preferring to use Flow-pulls and straight-out spells to protect herself.

It showed, even in this picture. Kollandrin Tes had long ears, the points hung with gems and draped in chains. Her skin had taken on a bluish tinge, with long gold-yellow lines, the way her greaves and vambraces were patterned with gold over the silver. Her legs were longer than they had been – Retsharra remembered well when the second knee had come in. Her feet could have been shod – people were falling over themselves to be Kol’s Patron – but she had preferred to let the changes show, to let her wide, rabbit-like feet splay out on the ground and lift her over her opponents’ heads.

When the portrait had been painted, Kol had been five years into what was supposed to be a ten-year stint in the Pit, and Ret had been seven years old. She’d lived with her mother in her Gladiator’s apartment and grown up playing with valets and swinging old wooden practice weapons.

Ret remembered when her mother had looked nearly-human. The memories were fuzzy, enhanced by early portraits, but she could see in her mind’s eye the tall, slim woman, her hair long and silky. They had documented every Change together, Ret and Kol. The knees, of course. The lines in the skin and then the blue tone. The extra toe, the extra joints in the toes, the claws at the toe tips.

There were conversations in Ret’s memory, too: Kol’s valet, Charnee, fretting at her about yet another Change, worrying at her about the amount of Flow she pulled. Kollandrin Tes was known, not just in New Indapala, but across the Circled Plain – she fought more brightly, more gaudily, then any other Gladiator. She won more rounds than many, and even her losses were spectacular. But it came with a cost.

Ret looked down at her own hands. Seven fingers on each hand, and claws like her mother’s. She remembered when those had come in, too. She’d been nine, and watching her mother during a practice bout. It was a random surge, everyone said. Ret knew better.

At the height of her fame, Kollandrin Tes had looked like a stately creature more than she had a human. Huge horns protruded from her head. Long claws extended from her fingers. The gold patterns on her skin gleamed like metal. And her smile was sharp with filed metal teeth. At the height of her fame, the best bet-setters had Kol at a year until she became a Fountain, maybe two. And the best bet-setters had no qualms about placing those bets in hearing of a nine-year old.

It hadn’t come to that, or, at least, it hadn’t come to that in the middle of a bout. Dozens of people had lost fortunes on that bet, but not one of them had ever complained in Retsharra’s hearing.

Gladiators did not normally fight in defense of the city. But when raiders and Flow-monsters had attacked New Indapala, Kollandrin Tes had plowed her way to the front lines. When the Flow had rebelled, the magic spitting back against its users as the Flow-monsters shifted the current, it had been Kollandrin Tes at the center of the storm.

Ret touched two fingers to the portrait’s forehead, seeing Kollan Gladiator. Let the city remember Kollandrin Teschar, hero of the Last Incursion. Retsharra Koy remembered her mother.

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Domain Name Costs MET! Thank you!

The Domain Name Fundraiser reached $40 – covering my costs for domain names.

That’s also FOUR stories.

So tell me, what do you want to know about the worlds of Edally Academy and/or Inner Circle?

For Edally, could we have something from the older students’ point of view about the first years?
For Inner Circle, something about their Change?

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/898046.html. You can comment here or there.

Jumping Rings: A Story of the Circled Plain Chapter Sixteen

Valran – Here

“Here.” Keldra Dre stood up and strode away from Valran. He swallowed until his throat no longer felt too dry to speak again.

“Here, ma’am?”

“Stay there.” She called it over her shoulder; if Valran hadn’t been so confused, if his legs hadn’t been falling asleep, he would have been grateful. As it was, he held still and hoped it was the right thing to do.

read on…

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Domain Name Renewal Time – Help Requested


It’s the time of year where I renew http://www.edallyacademy.com/ and http://jumpingrings.com/ (Which is being difficult at the moment), which ends up being… slightly more than the two serials have earned in tips since I started posting them.

If you’ve been enjoying either serial and have the wherewithal, please put a tip in the Author’s cup:

For every $10 raised, I’ll write an story, answering in character a setting-relevant question, asked by y’all and picked by reader poll. I.e., a targeted bonus story.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/894478.html. You can comment here or there.

Jumping Rings: A Story of the Circled Plain – Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Fifteen – Taslin – Here

“Here.” Reshnel pointed at a spot on the contract. “Sign here, and here; and you, Jervennon of Cecby, there, and there. It is done.” The Master of the Gladiators stood. “I will leave you two to get acquainted. Your next match is the day after next, Taslin. Sir, I will send a runner for your bank note.”

He left the room, leave Taslin and Jervennon sitting across a table from each other.


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Jumping Rings: A Story of the Circled Plain Chapter Thirteen (Choose)

“Agree. Or don’t. You have to be agreeing to it, Taslin, you know that. They can’t force you to take a Patronage.”

“But they can make my life very difficult if I do not. They can make everything unpleasant. They can lean on the owners of the pit. They can Patronize someone else and encourage them to hurt me, or just hire people to attack me.”

“That’s illegal.”

Read On…

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Inner Circle is Up! Chapter 12 – Valran – Choose


“Choose, ma’am?” Valran blinked at the ancient, terrifying woman who owned him. The car had gone quiet for a little while, almost entirely silent, as they wended their way into the heart of New Indapala. And then… that.

“I’m sorry, I got lost in my own thoughts…” Read on…

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Jumping Rings: A Story of the Circled Plain – Chapter Eight


Chapter Eight: Valran



The female voice, again. Valran didn’t move.

“Come, Valran Servus. I am buying you.”

He risked looking up, now. It didn’t seem like the wisest idea, but there was something about her voice that demanded attention. So up Valran looked, into eyes like amber.

Keep reading on the webpage!

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