Maelstrom and Mage, Desire Thine Darkling

Maelstrom and Mage, Desire Thine Darkling
by Thevina

Story Notes

Editor\'s PickAuthor’s Email: thevina33@gmail.com

Web page: http://www.thrihyrne.net

Pairings: Ashmael/Vaysh, Ashmael/OC

Overall Rating: NC-17

Word Count: 49,000

Spoilers: The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit

Summary: Genesis. Paradise. Illumination. Exodus. Before they went to Immanion, before Thiede manipulated their destiny, before death and despair, Ashmael and Vaysh knew and loved each other. This is one way their story may have been told.

Disclaimer: Ashmael, Vaysh, and the harish world all belong to Storm Constantine; I’m merely playing with great abandon in her sandbox.

Author’s Notes: I fell in love with the tragedy that is Vaysh/Ashmael; the desire to write a gap-filler from Ashmael’s POV up through the point of Vaysh’s death became overwhelming, and these are the fruits of that obsession.

Sequel: Down the Whispering Well

Maelstrom and Mage,Desire Thine Darkling

Vaysh burned.

I’d watched him ride into our collective, and steered away as any sane sentient being, whether human or har, should do around open flame. He would burn and scorch; he was seared into the very marrow of this mutant blood that flowed in my veins; from sight alone my cells were branded. Of course I briefly tried to keep my distance, knowing as instinctively as a plant turns to the sun, or a drowning man clings to anything to keep him from dying in watery depths, that to get close to him would cause an elemental transfiguration.

I was stone: solid, yet porous when necessary.

But you know what happens when rock is punished by relentless heat. Lava. Liquid, destructive, transient.

Could anyone ever look back at our lives and not marvel at our exploits, our so un-refined, un-controlled, Wraeththu-anathema love for each other?

* * * * *

My first thought when the small entourage came riding in was that some har, somewhere, had made a grave error in judgment. All of us, we Wraeththu, are this mutated amalgam of the sexes, two combined into one, yet presumably not both at once. Ever the enthusiastic pioneer, however, I’d vowed to myself to try and find out, which I did, successfully.

The hara who approached wore leather of rich chestnut, designed scored into them that resembled constellations. They looked heavenly, quite easy on the eyes, but also as haughty and distant as the stars, radiant and far off. We’d known they were coming, as the one who seemed to be their leader had sent out a thought-call. Our clan head, Monarch, had replied and warily bid them approach. Wraeththu hadn’t been in existence all that long then. We were still actively hunted down though of course we fought back with deadly vengeance.

Their horses were as well fashioned and groomed as their masters. I wondered if they had some kind of occult or spiritual connection to equines. Each tribe and splinter group I’d come across or heard about appeared to have taken on its own unique personality, passion, and/or perversion. I didn’t know, philosophically, what I thought of that, as it reeked of humanity to me. We all came from different backgrounds, though, had been incepted in myriad ways with tales of bliss and horror (or both), so I supposed it made sense that each small stronghold would have a very different culture shaped by their respective leaders.

A willowy har with long hair the colour of burnished sand dismounted, his presence commanding despite his fetching, sinuous body movement. Before I had become har, I’d of course been a human male, with raging hormones that had churned and bruised me though I’d not had an outlet aside from solo release. My fantasies hadn’t involved men, back when the decaying world still boasted of its male and female polarities. I’d had a love affair of sorts with the insatiable creature between my legs, dreaming of burying it in a silken heat of some secretive, foreign darkness. A flare of my former self, the insipid human part I’d hoped had been scoured away forever, raised its regressive head when confronted with Vaysh, as I soon learned this compelling har was named.

“He’s flaming.”

The ancient slur blindsided me, some dormant, pre-har wire in my brain tripped by the sight of him. Perhaps back in the past this Vaysh had favoured his own gender, and been flamboyant about it. It wasn’t for me to ferret out of him, or care. We were Wraeththu now, beyond such banal and reductive concepts of she and he. This har evoked more of the feminine in outward display, but I soon discovered he had balls of steel. Vaysh was a sword, clothed as a sylph.

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Butterflies With Guns

Butterflies with Guns
by Karen Chahbi

Story Notes

Spoilers: Bewitchments of Love and Hate

Contact: karenchahbi@yahoo.com

Credits: Thank you to Storm Constantine for creating this universe and letting us play with it.

The characters are mostly ones I made up, although Ponclast makes an appearance, and Cobweb, and Ithiel. Also Swift and Terzian are alluded to. It’s about a couple of Uigenna who run away from their tribe and find a life in a secluded valley somewhere between Galhea and Fulminir. One of them has a secret, and his past comes back to haunt him after they find themselves in Fulminir, having signed on as Varrish soldiers. It takes place during the time I guess Swift is growing up, and culminates just as the Gelaming are about to take Fulminir

Butterflies With Guns – Teaser

My home stands atop a hill surrounded by hardwood forest, and from the kitchen window I can see our little valley stretched out before me like a painting. The late afternoon sun reflects off the orchard gate, which in turn casts its long shadow across the gently sloping lawn. The apple trees have already shed their leaves, and I can see past the orchard, even as far as the little stone steps, and beyond them, the stream. From there the landscape drops into the valley below, and I can see out across the tops of the tall oaks and pines in the distance. If I close my eyes and stretch my mind out, I can skim along the forest floor, down the hill through the trees, along the golden carpet of leaves, and by doing so bring back lucid memories. I can float past the tall white obelisk in the town square, and look back, up into the hills toward my house, and beyond, to where the forest becomes nothing but a dark mass, and a pale mist covers the mountaintops far away. The sky is pink and those mountains are purple, and the mist encircles them like a gauzy shroud. It’s a lovely sight, but as I look I’m reminded that somewhere on the other side of those mountains I had another life, a long time ago. If I think about it, piece by piece, I can recall some of it in vivid detail. And still, some is lost to me. Somewhere on the other side of those mountains I lost my innocence, and crossing them, found it again. The journey from there to here was a long one. Along the way I learned to kill, to love, to hate, to forget. And sometimes to forgive. Somewhere along the way I buried someone I loved, and with him, a great part of myself. My story is all tied up in there somewhere.

Butterflies with Guns – Download as a PDF!
File is over 200 pages, single-spaced, so it works much better as a PDF than as a web page.

The Seducements of Chaos and Order

The Seducements of Chaos and Order
by Tessa

Story Notes

Editor\'s PickDisclaimer: All characters, the universe and concepts belong exclusively to Storm Constantine. I receive no profit and no gain from this amateur story. No harm is intended in any way.

Rating: NC17 – For adult themes and m/m content. Profanity. Violence. Rape. Please be warned. If you are under age in your area, or this subject matter offends you, please press the ‘delete’ key now.

Credits: Warmest thanks to Storm Constantine for creating these wonderful novels and characters.

Author: Tessa (tessa_5000@yahoo.com)

Please Enjoy.

The Seducements of Chaos and Order.

Chapter One.

The Present

Straightening his silken collar, Calanthe cast an apprehensive glance over at his son. Jaden.

Jaden was just over seven now, and he was about to go through his formal Feybraiha Celebration, which would mark him as a Har. Would mark him as an adult. And for some reason it was making Cal nervous. He released a breath, moving to stand in front of the long wall mirror. Its reflection only mirrored the concealed ache – confusion and pain in his soul. The knowledge that …

So much had happened in the last seven years, most of it good, but some he wished he could erase the memories completely. Forever.

It had now been almost eight and a half years since his whirlwind arrival in Immanion: since his confrontation with Thiede, and his transformation to Tigron with his heart’s desire, Pellaz.

Almost a life time ago.

So much had happened, and he could look back on the early memories now with pleasure, remembering how awkward and unreasonable both he and Pellaz had been during his first year in Phaonica. Initially they had accepted each other, not really knowing if their dreams of love were still valid, which ultimately had led to arguments. Yet as Tigron there had been no doubt of their unity, of their strength and power. Neither could deny the rightness of what Thiede had attempted, just his methods. And as a whole the Wraeththu nation had, and was still, benefiting.

Yet personally, he and Pellaz had lost their way. Thinking about it now brought a half smile to Calanthe’s lips, and he looked at himself in the mirror again.

Vividly, he recalled how things had gone wrong, how they had fought and argued privately, neither wanting to concede. It had amazed him as to how contorted Pellaz’ view of his life had been. How twisted the other’s memories had become. How well Thiede had manipulated them both so that when they finally did reunite, the dream had faded and bitterness had blossomed. He had moved out of the Tigron’s official rooms and into his own suite within the first month. The Hegemony had breathed a collective sigh of relief with his move, just as sick as he was of their private bickering. He just could not reconcile the image he had of his Pellaz with the creature who inhabited the body he desired. Pellaz’ cold, business-like attitude and finely perfected art of manipulation had initially horrified him until he forced himself to look under the facade. He found shock… Pure and simple shock at being faced with the past, and being given the unobtainable had devastated Pellaz’ exquisitely honed sensibilities.

It had taken them both a while to come to terms with everything that had happened, initially forcing them to remain apart. Ashmael had delighted in the change and seized upon him to tour in order to reinforce the new rulership changes. Ashmael and Arahal. Those two Hara seemed to be always working toward some hidden agenda which neither he nor Pellaz were privy to, and it had not taken him long back then to learn how to sidestep the strategist and exert his own control.

And of course, inevitably to add to the confusion already crowding his life, Tyson had arrived in Immanion to search out his Hostling. Even now Cal found himself cringing in memory as he looked around for a cigarette. Lighting it, he sucked in a deep breath, obscuring his image in the long mirror as he exhaled.

Tyson. His son to Tersian. A Harling he had consented to have for purely selfish reasons. Because Tersian wanted it so badly… Because Cobweb feared it so badly… Because he no longer cared.

Caeru, predictably, had had hysterics, feeling threatened by this new arrival. He had not felt too comfortable himself about Tyson’s presence, yet…. Yet it was Pellaz who had taken a perverse delight in the chaos created by the pure-born’s visitation. And that was only because Caeru had bitched to him about the Parasiel Har, making him curious. From there things had degenerated as Pellaz deliberately charmed his son. But what had started out harmlessly as another personal dig at him by Pellaz had turned out affecting them both more than either cared to acknowledge.

Just another spark in their privately created hell.

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The Entrapments of Passion and Pride

The Entrapments of Passion and Pride
by Tessa

Story Notes

Editor\'s PickAuthor contact: Tessa Rae tessa_5000@yahoo.com

Disclaimer: All characters, the universe and concepts belong exclusively to Storm Constantine. I receive no profit and no gain from this amateur story. No harm is intended in any way.

Rating: NC17 – For adult themes and m/m content. Profanity. Violence. Please be warned. If you are under age in your area, or this subject matter offends you, please press the ‘delete’ key now.

Note – this story was written before ‘Seducements of Chaos andOrder’ – and is more light-hearted, and silly Sap alert -huge SAP alert, so please be warned.

Warmest thanks to Storm Constantine for creating these wonderful novels and characters.

Please Enjoy.

Additional Note from Web Site Editor:
Despite the “sap alert” given by the author, this story contains some very disturbing content, including violence and torture.

CHAPTER ONE

There’s an orchestra of voices trapped inside of me,
With a storm approaching both of us spilling out blinding voltages of memory,
And I am reaching out, hunting out and digging up every skeleton in front of me.

BCO.

Calanthe woke as the cool breeze caressed all the way down his barely covered side. The large, high ceilinged room was airy and touched with a faint chill as Cal blinked sleepily up at the muslin canopy of the sumptuous four poster bed.

The large glass doors had been opened, probably by the over attentive Attica or Cleis, the identical twins who serviced the Tigron’s rooms. Cal could never keep their identities separate when they fussed around his dark counterpart.

The cool breeze feathered across his chilling skin a second time as the silk curtains moved sluggishly in the westerly wind. The doors faced the sea and the only disadvantage Cal could find with these rooms had been that the morning sun never touched them. Just another flaw in the greatly overrated Phaonica.

Flexing his spine and wriggling his toes, Cal stretched his chin up as he contemplated the dark muslin. Lying with his arms over his head in his customary position, he suppressed the exhaled sigh of regret and growing frustration as he thought about last night. They could – no should – have so much, yet in some ways now they were further apart emotionally than what they had been six months ago.

Thinking about it, he scowled. The last six months had moved so fast and he had learned so much. His confrontation with Thiede had resulted in him becoming Tigron with the illustrious Pellaz, and Thiede becoming the Aghama he had always subconsciously craved. His coronation had followed immediately and the Gelaming had accepted him wholeheartedly, pushing Pellaz at him as if on a plate.

Theoretically it was perfect, and the Wraeththu, as a young nation would ultimately benefit from their union, but intimately and emotionally. Cal pulled a face at the thought, shunning it.

As a unit they worked as one, hand in glove, perfecting their spiritual communions until he had mastered the channels of power so now they flowed as easily as breathing. Even Caeru, Pellaz’s headstrong Tigrina, had succumbed to his charms, accepting his place next to Pell and bending to the Aghama’s will.

The problem lay in their personal lives, and Cal tried to view the trouble through unbiased eyes. Pellaz was his soul mate, as he was Pell’s. They both knew it, yet when he looked at Pellaz he still sometimes saw a Har he didn’t know and worse, didn’t want to know. It was as if a monster inhabited the mind and body of the Har he loved and desired. It was confusing and he didn’t miss the hurt that washed through the large, dark eyes as he turned away again and again, unable to cope with the suffocating surge of power Pellaz aimed at him. It disorientated and scared him. Scared him shitless if he was honest, so that he ran, choosing to lose himself in another’s arms. Hoping to avoid the painful memories and images of what they had – could still have – if only they lowered their barriers to each other. Barriers that had become like forged steel.

If Pellaz was possibly having the same trouble with him, Cal was unaware of it. Yet his counterpart seemed to go out of his way to make life for them both difficult at best, or an unbearable hell at worst. They argued over little inconsequential things, and Pellaz would always go on the defensive as soon as he appeared. It was unnerving and always guarantied to infuriate him and their verbal arguments would escalate. Then the backlash of mental anger would cripple him. What it did to Pell he didn’t know, but the amount of damage they could do to each other was phenomenal as they were permanently locked soul to soul. Desired – and hated.

Lying in bed as he was, Cal shuddered at the thought. Last night had been a perfect example of the potential danger. What the bickering had originally started over he didn’t know, except Caeru had walked out on them both in disgust. Pell had then retreated to his bedrooms, sulking and studiously ignoring him and that had angered Cal further.

He had then brooded for the next couple of hours, allowing the anger to eat at him until he couldn’t have stopped his actions if he had tried. The air between them, as he entered Pellaz’s bed chamber, had been electrically charged and both house Hara had vanished. Pell had been sprawled on the bed, sensually appealing and half drunk, hiding behind a facade of indifference. Cal’s control had snapped. They were killing each other emotionally, and it hurt. Hurt painfully.

Cal sat up in bed abruptly, fists clenching at his side as he banked down on the deep seated pain. They needed each other. It was as simple as that. His body itched to touch and meet Pellaz’s and the physical ache built each time they saw each other. Why Pellaz denied the need, he couldn’t guess.

At the twisting knife-like pain in his center, Cal screwed his eyes shut and bent his legs up, taking large gulps of breath. Did Pellaz feel like this? He wondered. Or was it only him? Did Pellaz even care that they were destroying each other slowly?

Shaking his blonde head, he looked at the bed next to him. The silk sheets were cold now, but last night they had embraced them both. Pleasure and pain. And the nightmares returned.

Having been unable to hold back the driving need any longer, he had entered Pellaz’s bed chamber knowing his dark haired lover was awake. Not saying anything, he had slid beneath the sheets, blocking the mental waves of anger that had hit him from his silent bed mate. They’d embraced, and if there had been anything else coming from Pellaz he had ignored it, as their coupling had become urgent and brutal.

It was not what he wanted from Pellaz, not what he needed or desired. But the mental, emotional and spiritual exhaustion, was bone deep and Cal’s instincts had taken over, knowing and finding what he needed and taking it.

That Pellaz was nowhere to be seen this morning was mute testimony to the fact that they were still poles apart in understanding.

“Would you like to dress before breakfast or after my Lord?”

The quiet hushed voice startled Cal and his head snapped up. One of Pellaz’s house Hara stood nervously at the side of the bed. He had to suppress a grim smile as the little, blonde Gelaming took an instinctive step back. If it was Attica or Cleis he couldn’t tell, didn’t care really as he took a deep breath. He wondered absently if he looked as haggard and drained as he felt. “I’ll dress first.”

“Yes my Lord. Would you require assistance?” The voice faltered a little and Cal toyed with the idea of accepting the offer.

“Where’s Pellaz?” he asked instead.

“I do not know my Lord. He was not here when I woke this morning.”

Cal grimaced and swung his legs over the side of the bed feeling all the muscles pull. He didn’t need to look at the house Har to see the disapproval, he could hear it and it annoyed him. So he ignored the servant and wiggled his toes.

Where had it all gone so terribly wrong, he wondered. Aruna should not be a battle, not like rape, or as the Gelaming would call it, pelki and chaitra. Aruna was about making love. Oh that forbidden word! Cal chastised himself mockingly. The Gelaming had a lot to learn and he didn’t care what anyone tried to tell him, love still existed in this world. He had felt it, tasted it, embraced it wholeheartedly once, and he would not let anyone convince him it no longer existed. It was what he and Pellaz had once felt, still felt, and he knew that aruna should be about desire and love. Last night had been far from that. He wondered how Pellaz felt this morning after their embrace had turned into a struggle of wills with him winning and forcing his tormentor’s submission. The memory of it sickened him, reminding him too much of Fallsend, and his stomach soured.

Standing abruptly, he looked up remembering the silent house Har and saw the servant hovering uncertainly. “You may go.”

Pellaz’s attendant still looked hesitant.

“Just go,” he said tiredly as he rubbed the back of his neck, not surprised to feel bruises there.

Alone again, he stiffly made his way into the bathroom and stepped down the stone steps into the large, round hot tub. He pushed the floating lilies out of the way and sighed as he submerged into the welcoming water’s warmth. It eased his stiff muscles and went a long way to improving his temper. Looking around, he admitted he adored this room, liking the way the sun warmed the alcove through the oval window, and the plants climbing the lattice. Like its owner, Pellaz, the room was exotic. His own bathing room was no way near as nice and if he and Pellaz could only work out their problems, then they could share these chambers. He sighed at the thought. If only Pellaz would be reasonable, it was a wistful thought and brought a sleepy expression to his face.

If only.

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