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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Hara Malevery

Hara Malevery
by Gilda Mock

Story Notes

This is my first piece of Wraeththu fanfiction, the first part in a planned novel. I hope those who read enjoy it, and I also hope you’ll share your thoughts and suggestions.

Editor’s Note:

This story was originally posted to the “Pinkboard” works-in-progress in Feb. 2006. This was the only chapter posted but I thought it was worth rescuing and posting here.

Hara Malevery

The dehar reached out to him with his hand. In his hand was a scroll of yellow vellum, tied with red ribbons. His feet stood on air. Rushing, ripping, whistling air as cold as the beginning of the earth. The breath at the top of the world. The dehara’s smile was serene as the sun’s and more warm. His voice laughed like a thousand streams as he beckoned; the wind buffeted his hair back and forth like a writhing mass of golden-scaled snakes. The har, his tremelous feet perching atop the pinnacle of the tallest rock he’d ever seen, smelled the sickly salty smell of the sea wafting up from the base, too far away for him to see. The dehara before him was silent, but his eyes spilled words like water. Esoteric messages and furtive whispers whipped around the planes of his body like something he could reach out and grab.

“I can’t.” The har screamed. “I can’t, I’ll fall!”

The dehara’s smile opened to the gleam of pearly teeth. He cocked his head and pressed the scroll towards him.

Rock sanded away under the har’s toehold. Panic scrabbled in his heart.

“I’ll fall!”

The dehara spoke: “Sometimes you must fall.”

The har whimpered deep in his throat and tightened the thin sheet to his body. Tears stung his eyes and made him blind. Panic closed a choking fist over him and he fell to his knees, scraped them to the bone.

“If I take it from you…” He blubbered, “If I take it, will you keep me from falling?”

The dehara’s eyes melted from dark to light, then back, like watching the scales of a brilliant fish from above the water.

“Sometimes you must fall. When you land you will be a god.”

The har, heart hammering, swayed to a stand. He could feel the electric rush of blood through every vein in his body. His pulse throbbed in his ankles and wrists like stars. His feet were bloody. He dropped the sheet. It flapped once with a great boom like a dragon’s wing and disappeared in a shooting wind. The har was naked, and reaching. The dehara had a divinely victorious expression on his face. His eyes were closed, brown eyelashes casting dripping shadows; his eyebrows swept back like sparrow wings. The ribbons on the scroll made a tiny, silky, gasp; slipped out of their knot and flew away. The parchment fell towards the har in a cream-yellow trail. The polished wooden handle bumped his hand. He gripped it with clammy fingers. The dehar let go of the other end. The har felt his stomach flutter to his throat. His toes left the rock and he leapt into the sky. Banshees of air screamed past him. Icy fingers reached to touch him as he passed by. He heard birds. He glimped the dehar above him, a steadfast beacon of energy, burning like a phoenix. Somehow he knew he was laughing, joyfully.

The har smelled frying meat and eggs.

He broke away from sleep like a nearly-drowned from water.

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Silver Tears

Silver Tears
by Morgana

Story Notes

Part 4 (last) of the Fairy Tale Endings series. Part 3 was Changes.

Author’s Email: morganalebeau@yahoo.com

Web page: http://www.paranoid.nl/avalon

Main pairing: Ashmael/Silver (OMC)

Side pairings: Velaxis/Caeru, Vaysh/Phade, Pellaz/Cal and Cobweb/Snake

Rating: NC-17

Summary: Ashmael tries to focus on his own recovery, but when a young and damaged har arrives, he finds it impossible not to get involved.

Disclaimer: Not mine. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters belong to Storm Constantine.

Warning: AU of course.

Spoiler warning: Set after book 6.

Beta read by DA, thanks sweetie!

All remaining mistakes are mine.

Silver Tears

Cobweb’s nervousness showed clearly and Ashmael knew the reason why the other har was so upset. The skies had darkened with the ethereal lightning which announced the arrival of sedim. It must be Paran escorting Silver as promised.

Ashmael had decided not to get involved where the young har was concerned since he didn’t trust his reactions yet. At times, he still was in emotional turmoil and that made him the wrong har to be around Silver. Ashmael watched from the side as Cobweb and Snake walked toward the road that led to the house. Cobweb was fidgeting, but Snake seemed calm and in control of his emotions. Snake took Cobweb’s hand in his and lent his chesnari the strength he needed for the upcoming confrontation.

Cobweb tried to catch a glimpse of the har seated on the sedu in front of Paran, but he was wrapped up in a black traveling cloak to keep out the cold that attacked the travelers using the Otherlanes. This was it then. One of Terzian’s sons had found his way to Forever. Snake squeezed his fingers encouragingly and Cobweb drew in a deep, steadying breath.

Paran brushed off the ice that had formed on his clothes and sought out Cobweb’s gaze. He hadn’t been certain Cobweb would be interested in finding out that he had located one of the missing pearls, so when he had sent that message he had distantly thought that he might not get an answer. To his relief, Cobweb had replied almost instantly in offering the young har a home. Paran knew that a rocky road lay ahead of Cobweb, Snake, and Silver since the young har struggled with several issues which wouldn’t be solved in a day.

The har in his arms was motionless and fear poured from him in waves. “We have arrived,” he said. “Just one more minute and I will help you down.” He still had to inform Cobweb and Snake of the most recent discovery he had made where Silver was concerned.

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Even The Longest Day

Even The Longest Day
By Camile Sinensis (Teapot)

Story Notes

Editor\'s PickI was asked to write this by a fellow Wraeththu fan. It’s not something that I would have thought of doing, otherwise, because generally I don’t like to blatantly contradict The Author (tugs forelock respectfully), but I hope a little suspension of disbelief and/or intervention by the Dehara will account for it!

Characters: Caeru, Cal and Pellaz. Also the long-suffering Doctor Sheeva.

Spoilers: Major spoiler for “Shades”, and also for “Ghosts”

Summary: A memorable day results in serious repercussions for Caeru, and each member of the Royal Triad finds himself caught up in his own dilemma.

Author’s email: teapot@doramail.com

Website: http://red-shellac.livejournal.com, http://www.mudsharks.org/stuff/

Even The Longest Day

“Even the longest day has its ending”

Some days were so beautiful, so perfect, they could only be Almagabran days. Cal lay on his back staring up at a sky which stretched from one side of eternity to another in an arc of glorious blue. Not even the faintest wisp of cloud sullied those pristine heavens. The sun was golden and warm on his body and all around him the bearded stalks of grain whispered and rustled in the warm breeze. Poppy flowers trembled delicately, the paper-thin scarlet blooms scattered throughout the field like unexpected drops of blood.

He stuck a piece of straw in his mouth, and sucked on it rustically, because it seemed the appropriate thing to do. He could hear voices – comforting sounds of pleasantly unimportant conversations, but they were distant, and he could block them out if he wished.

His whole body felt completely relaxed, and he deliberately put from his mind all thoughts of work and responsibility. Today was Cuttingtide, and the entire Arilisan family had left Phaonica behind to indulge in the traditional outdoor festivities. An empty bottle of wine lay at his feet, together with the remains of some bread and fruit. He had nothing more strenuous to do than digest his lunch, or possibly even take a nap.

“Hello Cal.”

He tilted his head back to locate the source of the greeting, but the voice was instantly familiar, and he wasn’t displeased to have his woolgathering disturbed. He raised one hand lazily in greeting, and waggled his straw.

Rue laughed, a bright, summery sound that matched the glorious day.

“You look very relaxed down there. Mind if I join you?”

“Be my guest.”

Caeru sat down primly, pushing down some of the barley stalks with his hand, and Cal rolled over on his side to face his consort, propping himself up on one elbow.

The Tigrina was dressed all in white; a simple muslin shift which draped loosely around his body. The material was fine enough to flutter gently in the soft air currents. His hair was long and unbound, and matched the colour of the ripe grain perfectly. It too was stirred by the breeze. The sun was behind him, and the wispy material seemed to absorb the light making him look as if he was surrounded by a gauzy, glowing halo. A soft-focus vision of ethereal beauty. Cal gazed at him and felt oddly moved by the simplicity of the scene before him.

“What are you staring at?”

“You!”

“What for?” Caeru feigned innocence, with wide blue eyes, but Cal knew he enjoyed flattery

“Because you are the loveliest har in all of Immanion – possibly even the whole of Almagabra. Well, except for that cute red-haired creature who performs those exotic dances in the market square every evening….”

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Northern Lights

Northern Lights
by Morgana

Story Notes

Author’s Email: morganalebeau@yahoo.com

Web page: http://www.paranoid.nl/avalon

Pairings: Pellaz/Cal/Caeru and Rune/Galdra

Rating: NC-17

Summary: After receiving a head injury, Pellaz’ younger self takes over for a while.

Disclaimer: Not mine. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters belong to Storm Constantine.

Warning: AU of course.

Spoiler warning: Set after book 6.

Beta read by Patricia and DA, thanks sweeties!

All remaining mistakes are mine.

Northern Lights

Prequel

Pellaz-har-Aralis, Tigron of Immanion, was curled around his consort’s body and soothed Caeru who had suffered from a nightmare only a few minutes ago. Although Diablo’s attack had happened some time ago, Pellaz still felt like he had to fight for Caeru to stay with them. Holding Caeru’s hand in his, he rubbed the knuckles with his thumb.

“Pellaz, don’t do this to yourself. The attack wasn’t your fault.” Cal stroked Pellaz’ hair and tried to comfort his chesnari. “There were forces greater than ours at work at the time, you know that.”

Cal… What would he do without sweet, understanding Cal, who had become his chesnari in every sense of the word, thanks to the purification rituals and Thiede’s training the blond har had gone through? Pellaz shook his head. “No, Cal, I am responsible for this mess,” he whispered saddened and in a guilty voice. “None of this would have happened if I hadn’t coerced the two of you into creating that pearl.” Pellaz rested his weary head on Caeru’s shoulder. Feeling safe with Caeru and Cal, he voiced his unsettling thoughts aloud. “Cal, I made one mistake after another.” His latest mistake had been losing control and allowing Galdra to make him with pearl. “Why did Thiede pick me to be Tigron? I am a failure. I can’t even keep my consort safe – or you, Cal.”

Cal petted Pellaz’ hair, but the touch offered Pellaz no comfort. He felt like he had put both of them, Caeru and Cal, through too much pain. “I am the wrong har for the job, Cal. I wish Thiede had never found me – had never made me Tigron. Then you wouldn’t have gone insane, Caeru wouldn’t lie here more dead than alive and I wouldn’t be with pearl.”

Cal, lacking the right words to comfort Pellaz, remained silent. Pellaz’ outburst had taken him by surprise. Normally the dark-haired har oozed self-confidence.

Pellaz rubbed Caeru’s fingers and turned his head so he could study Cal’s face. “I wronged the two of you. I wronged so many hara – including Galdra.” Tears, which he had forced down most of his life, spilled from his eyes and flowed down his cheeks to drip onto Caeru’s chest.

Cal moved closer and enveloped both of them in an embrace. “Hush now. There is no need to doubt yourself, Pell.”

But Pellaz didn’t listen. He was lost in self-reproach and self-hatred. “I should…never have…been made…har…let alone…Tigron,” he whispered, as he slowly succumbed to fatigue. His eyes closed, his body relaxed, and he drifted off into sleep.

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