Death Gifts the Unimaginable

I thought I’d posted this back when I wrote it, but apparently I didn’t! This is a sequel to my story contained in Paragenesis, “The Rune-Throwing.”

Title: Death Gifts the Unimaginable

Characters: OCs

Word count: 6,044

Author: Thevina

Death Gifts the Unimaginable

 

Ottar cursed his friend under his breath. Hroth had gone off on another vision quest, deep in the woods near a fjord a couple of leagues away from Freygard. It wasn’t that Ottar was worried per se, but usually Hroth sent at least a whisper-light thought his way, a picture or glimpse of the places he was travelling in the far reaches of harish dreams and mysteries. He kicked against the sides of his horse as he called out repeatedly to Hroth via mindtouch. His cries went out into a vacuum, and that worried him more than anything else. He guided his horse, anxiety creeping insidiously in his blood as he began calling Hroth’s name aloud. After cantering through a particularly dense copse of trees, Ottar saw the edge of the water. He let out a sigh of relief. Hroth was there.

 

As he drew closer, Ottar’s dis-ease returned. Something was wrong. He hurried his horse along and then hastily dismounted. Hroth sat in his usual crossed leg position, but he was far from still.

 

“Hroth? What’s wrong?” he asked with rising panic.

 

Hroth’s fingers dug into the cold earth around him, muttering all the while. Ottar listened intently, but whatever Hroth articulated, it wasn’t a language that Ottar recognized. It was guttural and seemed ancient. But for all Ottar knew, it was total gibberish.

 

“Hroth?”

 

He gently ran his fingers through Hroth’s hair. His thick braids were dishevelled, and sacramental ink was smeared across his strong features. He’d drawn symbols on the back of his left arm, and his one hand was in a state of constant motion, scrabbling at his stump, then the pebbles on the ground, then in his hair. It was Hroth’s eyes that made Ottar gasp aloud and his hands tremble like aspens. Hroth’s warm, ageless eyes were glassy, though he seemed to be focusing on someone or something not far in front of him. There was nothing to be seen save the dark water of the fjord, ambitious fingers of ice stretching greedily from the shore.

 

“What do you see? Where in Thor’s skies are you? Talk to me!” he begged.

 

Hroth’s muttering went on. He turned to look at Ottar, whose smile approached his lips and then slunk away. Hroth did not appear to recognise him, instead he continued to speak in some language that seemed to Ottar like some ancestral human tongue.

 

“I’m getting you out of here,” Ottar murmured fervently.

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Saltrock Odyssey

Thevina Editor's Pick

Saltrock Odyssey

Beta: Thevina/Thrihyrne    Any remaining mistakes are mine.
Rating: NC17
Spoilers: The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit
Synopsis: This is a story of four hara, their journey to Saltrock and their life there.  It is set in the time of Saltrock just before and while Cal and Pellaz are there.   It’s also a story of their journey to self-discovery.
Disclaimer: All the characters, their world and all things Wraeththu belong to Storm Constantine, to whom I am very grateful.

It was another beautiful desert sunset.  We sat, as had become our custom of late, on a shelf of an outcropping of rock, gazing westward to view the sun making its descent, splashing in sequence its yellows, oranges, reds, blues and purples until at last the colorful display was replaced by the deepening hues of an indigo then black sky, dotted with bright stars in myriad number.  It was a dome of sparkling points, so infinite, yet seeming close enough to touch.

We sat there, night after night, my friends and I, with a bottle or two of liquor, taking in the desert night‘s splendor.  There was laughter, camaraderie and maybe even love in our conversation and banter.  We had come here by our own volition, to this dry and desolate place.  There were four of us in our little group; my best friend, Nyala, our other two friends, Sola and Lon, and me, Taj. We’d grown up together as humans and had been incepted together close to a year ago.  We’d lived in a city, so we had no tribe.

We had drifted until we’d found a place where we felt comfortable staying.  It was an outpost of sorts of the Kakkahaar tribe.  We were located close enough to an area where provisions could be procured and then sent on to the large tent city where the Kakkahaar leader, Lianvis, dwelt.  Because of this, and I assumed other outposts, Lianvis and his elite hara never had to leave their tent city unless they chose to, and they were still able to have all the necessities and luxuries they desired.

Lianvis and his entourage had deigned to visit our humble, and I do mean humble, outpost, Solarumn, once, since we’d been here.  Though he was very beautiful, he’d impressed me as being self-involved and dismissive of anyhar he thought beneath him; and he seemed to think most hara beneath him.   I remember there was much running around and many short tempers just before his arrival.  He came with his own luxurious tent which his servants set up at the highest point in the camp.  We couldn’t resist sneaking a peek inside one time when we thought no one was there.  It was lavish with beautiful materials of colors I didn’t even know the names of.  It was full of large pillows and ornate rugs.  There were flowing curtains,  shimmering fabrics and tassels everywhere. Nyala said it looked like the inside of a genie bottle.

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Fairy Tale

Fairy Tale
By Lusa

Story Notes

Author’s Email: rhapsodyingreen@cox.net
Web page: http://www.geocities.com/lusa_thul/ecrirehome.html

Pairings: Aleeme/Azriel
Rating: R
Summary: Aleeme reflects during his imprisonment.
Spoilers: For pretty much all of Shades.
Disclaimer: Storm Constantine was brilliant and thought of all this, not me, tragically.

Fairy Tale

My hostling told me a human story once, about a princess trapped in a tower. She waited alone, empty and tragic until a prince arrived to save her. They fell in love and the entire world, from that moment on, was perfect. It’s all backwards and wrong for me. I fell in love, I felt that way, and I actually understood and believed all those silly fairytales. But then it went wrong, somehow, for reasons I still don’t really understand. I don’t want to, anymore, because I’m scared to learn just what they might be. Now it’s me locked away in a tower, not some distant character. Now I’m the one who suffers.

Can I describe this pain? Words don’t really exist for it, because what my life has become is something too terrible for them. Even ‘pelki’ falls short. That first time Ponclast touched me I thought I could fight it. That I could be stronger than this. All I would have to do was think of Azriel and he could not hurt me.

I still love him, but I can no longer even remember his face.

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The Dawning

The Dawning
by Persephone

Story Notes

Author: Persephone100

Author’s email: persephone10034@yahoo.com

Characters: Cal is featured throughout in flashback, memory and focus of my primary original character. There are also several other originals.

Rating: NC17

Beta: Thevina/thrihyrne. Thank you so much for all your help and hard work! Any remaining mistakes are mine.

Spoilers: Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit, Bewitchments of Love and Hate, Fulfillments of Fate and Desire

Synopsis: A har who has had a several month relationship with Cal tries to deal with their inevitable parting and tries to heal his broken heart.

Disclaimer: All the characters, their world and all things Wraeththu belong to Storm Constantine, to whom I am very grateful.

This is the sequel to my first fic, Inception, Inc. You don’t have to read the first one for this one to make sense, but I hope anyone who is interested will read the first one, too. Many thanks to anyone who reads either one! Comments are very welcome!

Ch.1

Ilana sat at the window watching the droplets of rain collect and trickle down the window pane. His thoughts, as usual of late, ran to Calanthe. It had been over a month since he had left; he’d traveled onward following the guide of his heart and soul, continuing his journey to Pellaz, his chesnari and soul mate.

Ilana had so enjoyed his time with Cal, and had tried not to fall in love with him. But as many a har before him had found, it’s hard, if not impossible, not to fall in love with Calanthe. Ilana was no exception. Even though Cal said he’d felt love and had even given part of his heart to Ilana, his heart and soul belonged to his true, forever love, Pellaz. Ilana had known that from the first, for Cal had told him. He’d known that Cal had to find his chesnari and had to go to him and that it was his destiny.

Ilana had decided to take whatever time he could have with Cal and enjoy it to the fullest. They had been lovers, companions, friends and so much more to each other. But now Cal was gone and Ilana felt empty. He wished only good things for Cal and prayed that his dream of reuniting with his soul mate would bring him happiness and an end to his wandering.

Ilana was lost in thoughts of Calanthe when he remembered that he had an appointment. He was going to initiate another newly incepted har into Wraeththudom. He would be his partner for his first aruna; the one to complete the inceptee’s transformation. The har in question wasn’t a friend of Ilana’s. He was a client.

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Down the Whispering Well

Down the Whispering Well
by Thevina

Story Notes

Editor\'s PickAuthor’s Notes: This is a sequel to Maelstrom and Mage, Desire Thine Darkling. Several of the original characters from that are prominent in this, as well as my concept of how Vaysh died the first time. Toward the end there are a few direct quotes from Enchantments; it would have seemed quite odd to ignore those pivotal scenes but I didn’t wish for it to be a retelling, word for word, of familiar scenes but from Vaysh’s POV. Storm wrote them eloquently already; this is only a different lens through which to see those scenes.

Novella summary: Being brought back from the dead doesn’t mean happily ever after, especially if you’re Vaysh. Life has its costs, and he pays dearly. An exploration of Vaysh’s character in the years before and through Pellaz’s transformation, and the burdens he endures, because he must.

Author website: http://www.thrihyrne.net

Author email: thevina33@gmail.com

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

Pairings: Vaysh/Ashmael (historic); Vaysh/Velaxis, Vaysh/OC

Rating: NC-17 (rooning, drug use, angst, off-screen character death)

Spoilers: Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit

Down the Whispering Well

Succor my skin, beloved,
in sizzling drops of musky happenstance.
Lick gauzy flames, sear my bones,
Bathe me in fecund tears of myrrh and exaultation—
gnaw, ravenous, on my transmogrified soul.

I’ll dance with you, my firebrand,
Down the whispering well.

There, enrapt, we libertines
Will sing the stars indivisible, you and I,
suckling on voracious delight.

My heart, my drum—
Immortal, beat in me the tattoo of forever.

The air was different that day. Unseen wings beat a thrill of anticipation into the usual stillness; the wind-chimes tintinnabulated in silvery agitation. I was lifted from my cocoon, held up for the duration of the short walk to the bath. I couldn’t stand unaided, my legs had transformed from slender but muscled to white spindles. I grimaced as I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, though my heart seized with anguished joy each time I was able to do so. I had died. I knew it. My brain hadn’t surrendered the memory of the excruciating pain of the branch as it had crushed me, my sight and feeling seeping away, of Ashmael’s voice, so wild and full of hurt…

I let the warm tears spill over, as they always did, now that I’d recovered enough for these new eyes to work. I was here, and not-here; the silent, efficient hara kept me drugged after my initial screams of agony had been too much for them and my other keeper to bear. Thiede would bring order to this impossibility. He would come in with a serving-tray of coral, he would drape an amulet around my neck, a chambered nautilus like my hollowed soul and he would breathe life into this husk, this miraculous aberration, my somatic re-creation.

“Why?” I asked the unspeaking hara through my tears, but they didn’t pause. They bathed my weak body, rubbing my near-useless limbs with oil before artfully arranging my hair with ribbons of white, and tiny opalescent beads. I begged for more drugs, for anything to slow the panicked tattoo which threatened to overwhelm my re-made heart. Pity me, for God’s sake, the Aghama’s sake, pity…?

A quicksilver slide of the needle and my breath no longer thundered in my lungs like a thoroughbred racing across a field. Perhaps Tassia could bear me away…

I was an abomination, and yet, as I drifted into the languid haze of disembodied thought, I couldn’t help but love myself and the demiurge who had made me again. Head lolling, I peered dazedly at my arm— tears meandered down my face at the sight of flawless, pale skin. No inception scar marred my forearm; no vibrant braid of ink to boldly proclaim my love for my chesnari remained. Apparently the voice of all physical flaws was to have been silenced. This body, this mute skin, this was Thiede’s doing.

Did I captivate him only when voiceless?

Soft footsteps padded through the open doorway. He stood at the end of the bed, his palms pressed together, his long, steepled fingers pressed against his cheek. With his head tilted as it was, he looked for an instant like a child about to say his prayers. His eyes— a thousand sunlit mornings glowed there; I flinched under the shimmering, proud lanterns that shone in his face.

“You shall be above all others,” he promised, approaching me with the lethal, captivating grace of a lynx. There was no softness in his tone; the words rang in the air, a regal pronouncement. I was brushed with the scent of saffron dawn as attendants removed his clothes and I was laid bare for him.

“Thank you,” I croaked, my voice an elegy in dust. I was un-dead. I was moulded clay. I lifted my eyes as his lips hovered above mine, the faint scent of his breath enough to kindle an explosion of sparks in my groin.

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