Ring out The Old, Ring in The New

Ring out The Old, Ring in The New
by Heartofoshun
(Heartofoshun@aol.com)

Pairing: All about Swift, Seel, Cal and Pell (in a foursome)
Words: 27,431
Rating: R
Summary: I began writing this Wraeththu fanfic story as my Christmas present to myself. It reflects self-indulgent time spent with some of my favorite characters, an AU resolution of an aspect of the original story that is unlikely to ever be covered in canon, and a nod to possible festivities and traditions of the winter holidays.

Ring out The Old, Ring in The New
(A Story of One Winter Solstice in Immanion)

Prologue

Almost any harling can tell you the tales of the four of us. Our love stories are the stuff from which Wraeththu legends have been constructed. People cherish the story of how the Tigrons had been separated for decades and yet each held the other in his heart until they found one another again. Cal’s journey from Megalithica to Almagabra, from murderer to beloved, finally restored to their adored Tigron Pellaz’s arms, has titillated and fascinated hara since the first rumors of it. The narrative of Calanthe’s quest for enlightenment rivals those of the ancient legends of humankind with its colorful supporting cast, the details of its twists and turns, tragedy, passion, exotic locations, and his unquenchable love for Pell.

Many even know the story of Seel and me, of how a wise and beautiful Gelaming intellectual, know for his reason and sound judgment, fell madly, inexplicably in love with young Swift, a rash, handsome, inexperienced Varrish prince. Together this oddly matched pair created by means of an amazingly potent Grissecon the magic elixir that would bring down the defenses of Fulminir and stop the bloodthirsty Ponclast in his tracks.

Fewer knew that Seel and Cal had been lovers even before they were incepted and remained chesna for some short time afterwards. Their early attachment had survived Cal choosing to stay with the Uigenna and Seel leaving him to join the Unneah. It even endured Cal taking another chesnari, the wild and dangerous Zack, and then turning up a short while later, no longer with Zack, but completely besotted by Pell. What their affection had not had not been able to survive had been that Cal, mad with grief and paranoia at the death of his beloved Pellaz, had blamed his friend and Seel’s mentor Orien and brutally murdered him.

By the time of that winter solstice, Seel and Cal had outwardly accepted one another for years. Yet they still watched each other with wary hawk eyes, afraid of discovering disapproval or mistrust lurking under a veneer of tolerance. Those who loved either or both of them knew that the continued estrangement was unnatural and ought to have ended years earlier. Other hara had long ago forgiven and pushed aside far worse crimes and betrayals dating back to those early days of cataclysmic upheaval. After Cal had passed through the crucible of suffering that burned away his anger and his guilt, after he discovered that Pell lived again, re-born and re-made, he would have welcomed reconciliation with Seel. It was Seel who could not let go of the past.

I had not the vaguest idea of how to break the deadlock. Seel refused to acknowledge the unbreakable ties of their ancient bond. Their festering lesions scarred over, leaving a dull constant aching. I understood that those wounds must be excised, cauterized, and salved in order for either of them to become completely whole.

Pell and Cal, occasionally accompanied by Rue, traveled to Forever from time to time. Cal adored Forever, the closest thing he had to a home in his life before reuniting with Pell in Immanion. Yet the effort Cal exerted to avoid a confrontation with Seel and not to impose upon him, made their sojourns tense. Only rarely, I think, did Cal completely relax during those visits to Galhea. Perhaps he almost did when he and I took long horseback rides together. As much as I loved Cal, I felt no guilt for bringing Seel there. Seel was my heart and my soul mate. But the few times at Forever when I saw Cal’s eyes light up with mischief, or heard him laugh, I could not but think it should always be that way and not only when he was safely out of Seel’s sight.

Sometimes Cal would tease me the way he had in my youth or call me “pretty Swiftling” and I would remember all that he had done for Forever, everything he meant to Cobweb and me. I suppose that the long afternoons that Cal spent tucked away with Cobweb and Snake, the three of them chatting over endless cups of tea or sheh, were a respite for him as well. But that wasn’t enough to satisfy me. I wished Forever could be a refuge from the politics and protocol of Immanion for Cal. Cobweb’s irruptions of irritation with Seel over ridiculously inane things when Cal was around told me that my hostling felt the same way. To his credit, Seel did put forth a sincere effort to be considerate of Cal, especially after his rescue of Azriel and Aleem.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon one’s perspective, Cal and Pell never stayed with us for long, only a day or two. Less frequently Seel and I traveled to Immanion. When we went there, we often stayed for several days, commonly for a week or even two. It was easier for Seel to re-adapt to Almagabra and lose himself among the multitude of hara and projects demanding our attention than it was for Cal to feel at home again in Forever.

It was to be Pell who at last would take action.

Not long before twilight, we arrived in Immanion at the beginning of the winter solstice. At Pell’s urging we had agreed to stay for two weeks, throughout the extended Natalia celebrations. As long as Seel and I had been together, we had always spent Natalia in Forever. But I liked the idea of leaving Forever completely under Cobweb’s care during those festival days for once. He would enjoy organizing the holiday gatherings again without the need for consultation or negotiation with Seel or me. Cobweb could act as the host of Forever and re-create the nostalgia of good times past however he chose to remember them. Natalia is one of those holidays that seem to place hara under a compulsion to romanticize their past.

* * * *
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Terzian’s Dilemma

Challenge Submission - January 2009Terzian’s Dilemma
by Persephone

Characters: Cal, Terzian, Pellaz & Cobweb

Beta: Thevina/Thrihyrne Any remaining mistakes are mine.

Rating: NC17

Spoilers: The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit

Synopsis: Cal presents Terzian with a challenging situation in the fateful night they spend together at Forever.

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

Terzian’s Dilemma

It was an awkward, tension filled dinner at Forever, the four of us at the table playing our roles. Cobweb poked at his food, shooting daggers at me with his eyes, Pellaz tried to eat as quickly as possible, and Terzian made small talk about his military endeavors and how many horses had recently foaled, pretending everything was fine. I seemed to be the only one having a good time. Why did I enjoy seeing these hara squirm? One of them I was very fond of, one I fantasized about rooning and the other, we all seemed to know, was having intense arunic thoughts about me. It may or may not have been obvious that I returned those feelings, albeit with a certain degree of trepidation attached. Terzian, trying to dissipate some of the stress, addressed a question to me.

“Have you been to the stables yet, Cal?”

“No,” I answered smiling. “I don’t do much riding in the winter. I prefer to engage in indoor exercise.” I winked at him.

Terzian cleared his throat, Cobweb slashed at his meat with his knife screeching it across his plate, which made everyone jump. Pell seemed to be wishing he was invisible.

“Maybe I should check out the horses,” I remarked. “An invigorating winter ride after this lovely meal might do me some good. You like to ride, Cobweb. Care to join me?”

He stared at me, swallowed and said calmly, “I’d rather be tied to a tree and gutted.”

“Well,” I said good-naturedly. “Maybe some other time then.”

Two house hara came in and refilled the wine glasses, leaving very hurriedly. The taut atmosphere must have been palpable, even to them. After we’d finished and they were clearing up, Cobweb swept haughtily from the room, Pell close on his heels. It only took a terse look and the speaking of his name from Terzian to send Pell quickly out of the room. It seemed they couldn’t get away fast enough. Cobweb, I assumed would head to his rooms to sulk in private and possibly busy himself with plans for my demise, while Pellaz would make himself as scarce as possible. That left Terzian and me alone at the table.

“Well! Another delicious and congenial dinner at Forever, eh Terzian?”

He didn’t look amused. He lit two cigarettes and passed one to me. I didn’t care for the way he made the decision for me. I would have preferred him to ask if I cared for a smoke. A small thing, but it made me want to say, “No thanks, I don’t care for one.” But I was tired of playing games, so I took it.

“Why do you want to antagonize Cobweb?” Terzian asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe because I want to see how far I can go. Maybe just because it’s fun. I like lively exchanges at dinner, don’t you?”

Terzian took a deep drag on his cigarette and sighed.

“I wouldn’t push him too far.”

I laughed.

Changing the subject, I asked, “What shall we do tonight? Chess? A good book? Or maybe torrid aruna in your room. What’ll it be?”

I could tell he didn’t appreciate my attitude, but he gave me a bit of a smirk and replied, “What do you think?”

“Probably the aruna.”

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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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Quare clausum fregit

editors_pickQuare clausum fregit
(Wherefore he broke the close)

by Thevina

Story Notes

Email: thevina33@gmail.com

Website: www.thrihyrne.net

Pairing: Vaysh/OC (kind of PWP; rooning and character study for Vaysh in his early years in Immanion)

Rating: NC-17

Summary: A story of hope for Vaysh, that he won’t remain forever closed off to the possibility of true affection with another har after Ashmael. That’s up to him, of course. 😉

A/N: Written thanks to a prompt from heartofoshun, who requested a story set within my “Down the Whispering Well” universe. This is set two years after the Epilogue.

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

Quare clausum fregit

“I really, really hate to see you go.” Pellaz’s voice was richly marbled, conveying entreaty, wistfulness and calm authority all at once.

He’s come a long way in only a few years, Vaysh thought to himself with grudging admiration as he, the Tigron and Yazdyar walked away from the banquet hall.

“All the reports I’ve heard — and they are many — say you’re superb in the healing fields you’ve studied.”

A smile bloomed deep on Yazdyar’s lips. “They flatter me. Everyhar here is amazing, it’s not just me. I came here to learn, and I have.”

“Then why go?” Pell asked, his robes whispering sussurative messages around his feet on the marble floor.

“We need healers in Ferelithia, too. And I don’t fit in here,” he said with an easy shrug.

“The reports I’ve heard say that you’ve fit in quite well,” Vaysh said tartly and Yazdyar snorted a laugh. “You’re not going home to escape some obsessed suitor, are you?”

Yazdyar gave Vaysh a sly look, gazing meaningfully from under his raised eyebrows. “Uh, no. It’s been a great experience, truly. But I need to get back to my roots. Immanion is splendid and entrancing, don’t get me wrong. Tigron, I am indebted to you.” He placed his hand on his heart and gracefully nodded his head, now that they’d stopped at the door to Vaysh’s rooms.

“Don’t be silly, there’s no debt. It was my pleasure to have you here these six months. I only wish you’d consider making Immanion your home.”

Yazdyar snuck an imploring glance to Vaysh, who took pity on him. While they’d not met up all that often during Yaz’s training at the healing centers, he knew that he really did feel out of place despite his exceptional ability to put others around him at ease.

“I’m sure he’ll consider it, Pell. Yaz, would you join me for some wine and conversation? You’ve been so busy I’ve barely been able to hear about all you’ve gotten up to. At least from your own mouth.”

With a grateful nod, Yaz accepted and then turned back to the Tigron. “Maybe in the future. I can’t thank you enough for your hospitality.”

He reached out and took Pell’s hand, both of them bronzed by summer and with study but slim fingers. Once he held it, however, Yazdyar suddenly seemed at a loss, like a lover presented with a baffling gift. After a few seconds, he raised it to his cheek, then kissed the back of Pell’s hand, apparently reassured by Pell’s fond look.

“Have safe travels. You’re welcome to return at any time. I know that your father and hostling mean a great deal to Vaysh, and he means a great deal to me.”

Vaysh only arched an eyebrow in response. Pell was being particularly effusive, no doubt due to a successful strategizing meeting with Arahal and no small amount of wine at dinner. No matter; Vaysh far preferred Pell when he was magnanimous and relatively at peace than when he was raging against some action of the Tigrina’s.

“I’d probably fall apart without you,” Pell told Vaysh, the unhindered affection drifting over Vaysh like morning mist.

“I highly doubt that. But thank you for saying so. I’ll make sure your papers are ready before your ten o’clock meeting with the shipwrights.”

Pell sighed delicately through his nose. “Oh, yes. Thank you. I think I need to see how our guests from Sulh are faring. One never knows with them.” He murmured another set of intimate good-byes and strode confidently down the corridor. He assumed his more formal, regal stance even as Vaysh and Yazdyar watched him walk away.

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Inception, Inc

Inception, Inc
by Persephone

Story Notes

Author’s email:  persephone10034@yahoo.com

Characters:  Calanthe and some originals

Rating:  NC-17- rooning

Beta:  Thevina/thrihyrne  Thank you for beta, help, encouragement and SO much more!!
Any remaining mistakes are mine.

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

Synopsis:  Cal has an adventure and encounter before he first gets to Immanion

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

This was originally posted in unbeta’d form on 3/2/08 at Raythoo LiveJournal Group

If anyone read this – thank you!  Again, I will appreciate your comments.

Also coming soon, a sequel “The Dawning”

Chapter 1

The sun was just setting, casting dark and peaceful shadows over the land.  Cal was able to make out the outline of the town he headed towards.  It was more of a city, really, or at least it must have been in the past before its decline.  He was grateful to be getting near some semblance of civilization, for that meant a drink, a meal, a bath and a bed, preferably in that order.  He’d had enough of outdoor living for a while.  As he’d been walking, in recent hours he’d noticed signs that indicated that he was nearing a town.  There had been more makeshift dwellings and a few abandoned cars in various states of decay lining the road.  Soon he saw a sign that read Welcome to Path’s Crossing.  As he entered the city, he decided to go into the first halfway reputable looking establishment he came across.  A sign hanging outside a fairly nice looking building proclaiming Pathway Inn caught his eye.

Hmmmm, looks good enough, he thought to himself, and entered.  As the door closed behind him, he stomped the dust from his boots, brushed it from his clothes and raked it from his wild blond hair.  He decided the first order of business was a drink. He went to the bar and ordered a double shot of very strong harish liquor.   He sat at a table just enjoying his drink and a smoke, and the fact that he was able to just sit for a while.  A   small commotion at the other end of the room interrupted his reverie.  A very tall, imposing har with long brown hair in a ponytail had entered with several others, who seemed to be some sort of entourage of his, and they were laughing rather loudly.  This har seemed to be someone important, at least in his own opinion, Cal mused.

After a period of laughing it up and talking to the other hara at the bar, they came sauntering over to find a table.  When they sat down, Cal immediately felt the tall har’s eyes on him. When he looked up, the har was staring right at him with a smug sort of smile on his face.  Cal quickly looked away, but it was too late, the har was already moving over towards him.  Cal continued to stare at the table top, thinking to himself that the last thing he wanted tonight was to have to fend off the unwanted advances of a super sized har with a probable ego to match.  Suddenly, another drink like the one he had appeared in the space on the table he was staring at.  He had no choice but to look up. His eyes met the other har’s.

“Greetings tiahaar.   You’re obviously new here, because I know everyone around here and I don’t know you.”  He paused and sat down across from Cal.  ”But I would like to.”

What a nerve. Cal thought. He’s completely full of himself. He wanted to tell him to shove off.   Cal had learned the hard way, however, that sometimes, finesse was the better way to go.

Before he could say anything, the tall har extended his hand in greeting and said, “I am Fariv and I’m pleased to meet you.”

“I’m Cal.”  He shook the extended hand.

“Cal, very nice to make your acquaintance.  Are you staying here a while?”

“Just passing through.”

“Pity. Where are you headed?”

“Wherever the road takes me, I guess.”

“Hmmm, a bit of mystery…most intriguing.   Well, can you tell me at least whether you’re running from something or going towards something?”

“Both, if the truth be known.”

“Ah, the truth, I’m not going to be getting much of that from you am I?”

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