A Trobadour in Ferike

A Trobadour in Ferike
by Angelo Ventura

Story Notes

Author e-mail: angeloventura@iol.it

Spoilers: Wraeththu histories and chronicles. Set after Ghosts of Blood and Innocence.

Canon characters: Panthera, Zack, Calanthe, Caeru, Pellaz

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

A Trobadour in Ferike

First Chapter

As autumn regaled its lavish colours on the forests of Ferike, Loven was torn between the desire to wander in the woods of Castle Jael, feeling the carpet of leaves gently crushing under his feet, and the desire to roam the castle library. Jael’s was one of the largest in Ferike, comprising old volumes from the human era, even some centuries old .It was thus he learned of trobadours.

His hostling  Panthera didn’t know very well what they were.

“They were singers, I think.”, he answered one golden windy morning, leaves whirling outside the òiving room of he castle.

“Oh, they were more than that. They composed their own songs and they had a juggler who played an instrument, like a banjo or ukulele…oh, yes, a mandolin”

“Well, that would be very interesting”, said Panthera, who had never heard of those things. “But for now you’ve got to go to school”.

“Will they ever teach me how to play mandolin?”

“I doubt it.”

“Well, tell my preceptors I want them to teach me that, instead of that impossible “meditation technique”. It makes me fall asleep”

“Shh, don’t tell that to your grandfather .And hurry, now!”

“But will you give me a mandolin?”

“We’ll see, Loven. Now you go!”

Panthera was puzzled. What had Loven been reading?

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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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Ebony and Ivory

Ebony and Ivory
by Angelo Ventura

Story Notes

Originally written Sept. 20o5.

I was waiting for somebody to do this, but… guess I have to do it myself.

Featuring: Panthera and Zack

Ebony and Ivory

My chesnari Panthera, Crown Prince of Jael, urges me to try to write a story.
Here at Ferike all hara are very learned, almost nohar is without an artistic skill, be it pictorial, poetic or musical. Panthera is a very good painter, and he urged me to try that, too. Well, my efforts were labeled “interesting and original” by my beloved. I know what those words mean. He’s the most thoughtful and gentle har I’ve ever known. An exquisite person, who doesn’t want to hurt me with a frank appraisal.

Where do I begin, then? My inception? I don’t remember it very well, some white guy called Orion (or something like that) telling us we will finally rise over stupid white men who despised us.He seemed something of a white man, but he was more than a man..He seemed to glow with an inner light. He was beautiful, kind and gentle, more than any white man I’d known before.

Unfortunately, it was not he who incepted us. He left us with our already incepted leader, who shortly succumbed in an attack led by a brute called Wraxilan and his goons. His tribe was a motley very cruel band of a cruel tribe, called the Uigenna. The juice of Gehenna, they were, apt name. Their blood infected me, I was possessed by a savage lust for blood and revenge against white men. Still, a white har caught my young fierce heart.

Ah, Cal! Fair as I’m black, savage and fierce, my soul mate…at least so I believed.. I suffered exile from the Uigenna with him, and then it was only two of us, alone against a maddened, crumbling world. Cal, my lover, my addictive, poisonous pleasure.

I wish it had been different… Read the rest of this entry »

October

October
by LoLL

Story Notes

Author Contact: loll4000 (at) gmail (dot) com

Beta: marchwarden23

Series: Wraeththu (AU, sort of)

Pairing: Panthera/Caeru

Rating: NC17

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Wraeththu Universe and its characters belong to Storm Constantine.

Inspiration:
– Autumn, my favourite season
– U2’s struggling “October”
– Peter Greenaway’s movie “The Pillow’s Book”
– Edgar Allan Poe’s beautiful poem “Annabel Lee”

October

October
And the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear
What do I care

October
And kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall
But you go on

And on

U2 – October 1981

He had never belonged there. Never. Not when Cal was just a ghost hanging over his heads, even less now that he was back in all his flamboyant and carnal essence, throwing tantrums and whispering alluring images of a perfect threesome.

Not that he had ever fed himself some sort of illusion, but it had been nice, at the beginning.
But now, now that Pell had accepted to host Cal’s pearl, they had cut him out. Completely.
So he had begun to travel. Representation trips, they called it. Keep Rue away, he had secretly renamed them, but yet, he had obliged without a single complaint.

He was the Tigrina and nobody, especially his two so-called consorts, would have rejoiced at his discomfort.

In the last month he had visited more tribes and met more rulers than he thought possible: first Megalithica, with a brief stop in Galhea, then around to the Kakkahaar’s camps and then back to Jaddayoth, visiting the Natawni, the Kamagrian of Roselane, the Emunah’s markets, the Maudrah and his Archon, the Gimrah and now, the Ferike.

Compared to some utterly uncivilized and rough tribes, the Ferike and, in specific, their leader Ferminfex Jael and his enchanting consort Lahela were a regenerating and refined company. So he decided to extend his stay for a little longer, enjoying the relaxing ambience of the palace, the music, the art and the good wine.

It was the incoming of autumn, not his favourite season at all. He loved the sun, the warmth and the scent of the sea. Summers in Ferilithia where cherished and valued memories he still clung to desperately, especially during some bad days.

But this first October’s sunset was breathtaking. From the huge window facing the garden he could see the explosion of reds, infinite reds, dark like a stormy sky or bright like droplets of fresh blood, stained in yellow, or green, or orange, or purple. Hundreds and hundreds of leaves dancing all around in the orange light of the twilight, carried by the wind, tore apart from the trees that only few days ago had nourished them in proud luxuriance.

A sudden wave of melancholy enveloped him like a possessive embrace. Longing…and not just of summer in Ferilithia.

And suddenly he was crying. Not a dignified silent weep, but shattering sobs, that made him hiccup and cough.

It was in this pitiful state that Panthera, Ferminfex and Lahela’s son, found him.

“Missing home already?” he asked, throwing himself over a sofa just in front of him.

Rue shook his head, sniffing hard, and wiped his puffy eyes, hoping that the ground would open under his feet, swallowing him away from the irreverent and persistent stare of the young Ferike.

“No, it’s just…” He opened his arm and moved it, embracing the landscape behind the window, as if that explained everything.

The puzzled expression in Panthera’s eyes told him that, probably, the Ferike thought him insane, at best.

“They don’t deserve you.” Muttered the black haired har, and then “May I paint you?”

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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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