Lessons of Fragility

Monthly Challenge SubmissionLessons of Fragility
Written by Kane
Illustrated by Kami

Story Notes

Written by: Kane
Homepage: http://kamukaneo.deviantart.com
E-mail: kamuikaneo@yahoo.de

Illustrated by: Kami
Homepage: http://turtlenishi.deviantart.com
E-mail: niku_shimi@yahoo.de

Lessons of Fragility
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The Longest Night (Ever)

Editor\'s PickThe Longest Night (Ever)
by Haylzee and En

Story Notes

Paring: Pellaz./Cal, Caeru with appearances from pretty much everyhar.

Rating NC17

Warning Drunken displays of affection, sap and fluff!

Spoilers: Nothing specific, although characters from as far through as Ghosts to appear.

Summary: After being separated for some weeks, Cal and Pell are reunited. Unfortunately, the reunion takes place at a formal dinner during which Pell gets drunk and roony. Will Cal be able to resist Pellaz? Will he want to?

Disclaimer: All characters and the world they inhabit belong to Storm Constantine, we are simply borrowing them for our own amusement.

Authors’ note: We wrote this to soothe our own self inflicted angst wounds.

EXTREME SILLINESS WARNING. If you are looking for something deep and meaningful, best to move on. After all the doom and gloom, we just felt like a bit of comedy…with some sex thrown in.

The Longest Night (Ever)

Part 1

Walking a few steps ahead of the Tigrina down an ornate marble corridor, Cal tried to ignore his consort’s last minute attempts to improve his outfit. When Cal arrived at Caeru’s apartment to escort him to yet another gathering of Almagabra’s finest, he thought his chosen outfit of simple leather pants and a black shirt were more than appropriate. Caeru, however, had other ideas. Rue had immediately attacked Cal’s hair with a brush, ignoring Cal’s protests that it had already been combed and quickly followed that by holding up various jeweled adornments for Cal to pick from.

Cal had eventually conceded to wear a gold cuff bracelet and a second pair of earrings before exasperatedly pulling the Tigrina out of his apartment and towards the banquet room.

Cal battered Caeru’s hand away from his hair before shooting a glare over his shoulder at the other har. “Would you stop fussing?” He asked, rolling his eyes at Rue’s innocent expression.

Cal sighed and stopped walking, turning to face his consort. “Fine. Fluff away.”

Caeru grinned before reaching up to smooth his thumbs under Cal’s eyes, smudging the kohl that lined them a little more. “I just want you to look your best,” He laughed. “You should be thanking me.”

Cal grimaced slightly, letting himself be pampered and polished by the Tigrina, while still attempting between attacks to edge towards the hall where the dinner they were already late for was being held. “I’ll thank you when you’re finished,” he muttered. He started when Caeru pulled what appeared to be a small jar of coloured eye dust out of nowhere. “What are you doing?”

Deftly, the Tigrina unscrewed the jar, which was full of sparkling gold powder. “Just some final touches!”

Cal was tempted to jerk away, but simply sighed as Caeru raised a gold coloured finger towards his eyes. “I don’t need any of that stuff,” he said uselessly.

As if reading his mind, which he probably was, Caeru grinned wickedly. “Resistance is futile, Calanthe,” he tutted. “Now, close.”

Cal grumbled, but complied and let the Tigrina pat the cosmetic onto his eyelids.

“You want to look nice for Pell,” Caeru said.

“Do I?”

“You haven’t seen him for weeks,” Rue said, standing back to admire his handy work. “Don’t tell me you’re not excited to see him.”

Cal just raised his eyebrows. “Will he even recognise me, one wonders?”

Rue rolled his eyes, then, ignoring the hara who stood around them holding glasses of bubbling wine, stepped forward and pressed his lips against Cal’s. He pulled back and smeared the lip gloss he had left behind neatly across Cal’s lips. “There. Perfect.”

Pausing just outside the door to the hall where the night’s festivities were to take place, Cal shook back his hair and held out his arm for the Tigrina. “Glad I’m presentable enough to escort you now, tiaharr.”

Rue smiled and took Cal’s arm. “Always presentable enough for that, Calanthe.”

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On The Cards

On The Cards
A Collaborative Effort

Story Notes

Created as a round-robin in 2001.

On The Cards

In the city of Immanion, no single event is so anticipated, so talked about and so dissected after the fact than the annual Tigron’s Cup race meeting. The elite of Wraeththu society go to great lengths to assure their presence, to compete for most elegant pavilion, to gossip over whom is wearing what and who is escorting who, while outside the members’ area, the lucky citizens who have managed to buy a ticket, spend their day watching the watchers. For the most part, the actual racing is secondary to the social shenanigans except, of course, when the racing becomes part of the show. The horses that race are not the legendary companions of the Gelaming, but ordinary steeds, without magical powers.

There was the incident two years ago, where it rained right before the flag fell on the Phaconian Two Year Old Handicap and the brown shoe polish on one of the entrants began to run, but no one cares to remember that, especially not the horse’s owner, a Gelaming har named Enron, who was mustered out of the Tigron’s guard and stripped of his rank.

But mostly, the ordinary citizens of Phaconia place their bets, drink their betica and wine and watch the goings-on in the filmy pavilions of the famous, or infamous, as the case may be. They comment over the arrival or non-arrival of certain prominent hara from the provinces and territories, discuss what they are wearing and whose tent is closer to the Tigron’s this year than it was last.

***

The day dawned bright and breezy. Flags and banners on the pavilions danced in the gentle eddies and the air was redolent of flowers, spice and all good things. Servants scurried about, filling ice buckets, washing strawberries and generally making certain that everything that was meant to be there, was there.

In the stables, the horses were being washed down, curry-combed and braided. Their wrappings were checked, their saddles oiled and their handlers had stopped for a quick breakfast before the owners arrived.

The crowds had begun to gather at the gates as soon as the sun rose, determined to get the best picnic spots beneath the perfectly trimmed trees that ringed the course. By mid-morning, most of the guests had arrived at the pavilions. . .

Most of the pavilions were flung wide open, so the little hara could have a good look at the goings-on among the great and famous (what joy is there in being a celebrity if you’re not stared at by the hoi polloi?), but one of the tents drew conspicuous glances by the mere fact that it was tightly closed. Something more important than mere society seemed to be going on in there, from the intermittent shouts that emerged from the closed flap.”Can you do it, you barbarian sorcerer, or can’t you? Or won’t you?” a grating voice was screaming inside. This was Fireblossom the Dark, Colurastes consort to one of Phaonica’s most highly-placed generals. “YOU told me to throw my lot in with the option that sounded least feasible – so I put all my money on that miserable beast, and now you tell me that you DIDN’T MEAN IT THAT WAY???”

“Ahem. I meant it more as general spiritual advice”, a glum voice with the most horrendous Thaine accent conceded.

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The Immanion Enquirer Archives

The Immanion Enquirer: Archive
A Collaborative Project

Notes

First posted 2001.

Morning Edition: EARTHQUAKE ROCKS CITY

In The News
by Ramestton Ara

Someone Tell Pell!!!

As Immanion slowly quiets down from the disastrous noise of the mysterious earthquake, the aftershocks of its significance are still trying to sink in to bewildered hara all over the city. The latest reports I have received from my sources is that the Tigron is blissfully asleep as his almost half of his magnificent city crumbles to the ground in utter ruins.

Nothing has been heard of him and some insist that he has gone on exile from the city, most likely to Megalithica, leaving the Tigrina in control.

This of course, is the latest news in a string of fast and ever-changing rumors that have been cropping up by the half hour. His press aides have just released a press statement insisting that he is not asleep but is meeting with the Hegemony behind closed doors. Curiously, Lord Cedony and Lord Glave have been sighted around their palatial residences in the posh, exclusive Thandrello area, supervising the clear up of debris and so has Lord Ashmael. Lord Dree is reportedly out of the city on official business to the north with one of the Tribe Ambassadors; and Lord Chrysm and Lord Arahal are with battalions of Gelaming soldiers patrolling the city to maintain peace and order. Sources have also sighted Lords Eyra and Tharmifex in the center of Pell’s Colossi assessing the damage to public infrastructure and are in the process of compiling together a relief package for affected families. So if all the Hegemony are busy attending to other much more pressing matters, who exactly, by the precious Agahma, is mighty Pell meeting with? That is the multi-billion spinner question we are all eager to find out.

This new development highly contradicts the first reports that were flying about that the earthquake was caused by the intense sensation of the aruna being performed by the Tigron and Tigrina as they tried for another child. This was dispersed within hours and replaced by a more disturbing rumor that the legendary Calanthe, who had been sighted arriving the city yesterday is more likely the cause of this disaster. My informants close to the seat of power have said that this Calanthe, known to many internationally as just Cal, possesses awesome power that rivals even the Tigron’s and had come here to oust the Tigrina and take his place. Labourers at the port had earlier reported seeing him with eyes of pulsing fire, storming his way first to Lord Ashmael’s residence and later this morning, to the Palace in the company of two strange looking hara of which one is reported to be the son of the Castlehane of Jael.

Some had also tried to start the scandal of him having murdered Lord Ashmael early this morning but the General’s assistant personally informed me that he was very much well and unharmed. All this had been swept aside with fresh news that it was the full force of Thiede, the Tigron and this mysterious Cal having an argument that had caused this earthquake. Events are still very hazy as most people at Phaonica have either eloped or gone into hiding.

Meanwhile, Prince Abrimel has been seen at the up-market, trendy Golden Unicorn Inn, drinking at the secluded bar with Lord Sorche (Lord Dree’s son), and stating that everything was under control but that his parents might abdicate the throne in favour of Cal, yet another stranger to us.

The very few who populated the bar frowned at his insensitivity to the disaster at hand but none had the temperament to voice the wrong of his actions.

After all, what were they too doing there in the wake of such a confusing development? Plus, he is of course the Prince. Waiters later inform me that the two disappeared into one of the luxurious apartments upstairs. This seems to confirm earlier snippets of grapevine news that the two are romantically linked.

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From Har to Maternity

From Har to Maternity
A Collaborative Round-Robin

Story Notes

This story was created as a round-robin back in 2001.

Here be parody and mayhem, caricatures and bejewelled livestock. Here be all manner of unsavoury ruffians and their wenches. Thou hast been warned. The characters in this ensemble bear no resemblance to any persons I know, nor do they bear that much resemblance to any of Storm’s characters; but that be a minor quibble.

From Har to Maternity

In the ballroom of Phaconia…

Cal twitched. Then he fidgeted. Pell shot him a sideways look. Cal sat still. When Pell looked away again, Cal scratched his crotch. He took another swig from the bottle he’d earlier purloined from a passing waiter, ignoring Pell’s dread look. He hated parties. No. Scratch that. He hated these parties. He liked good parties. This was not one of those. All the poseurs and wannabees preening and parading like prized bulls before the judges. How did Pell manage to keep a straight face. He watched one particular buffoon floating around amongst the guests, trying to impress.Rolling his eyes at the performance, he nudged Rue and indicated the overdressed har. Rue sniggered and Pell gave them both another of those looks. When he saw the object of their derision,however, Pell couldn’t contain himself and a tiny smile crossed his face.

All three of them felt the etheric blow as Thiede whopped them all upside the head.

-Behave yourselves.- He growled. -Or do I have to come down there?-

That’s not fair, Cal thought, idly rubbing his sore forehead. I’m forced to come to these things when I’d much rather be chasing Ashmael around the bed, and now, I’m not even allowed to think? The disembodied hand returned, patting him condescendingly on top of his blond head.

-Don’t think, Cal.- Thiede said soothingly. -You know it gives you a headache.-

Ah well. Perhaps Thiede was right. Maybe he should just go back to his second favourite sport, after Ashmael-chasing; people-watching. Cal pinched another bottle from the same waiter,who was returning from the distant kitchens where he’d gone for a reload. The harried waiter favoured him with a sour look on behalf of his sore feet and turned 180 degrees, heading back to the kitchens yet again. Now, Cal thought. Who’s who in Phaconia tonight?*

She was tall, that’s the first thing he noticed. Regal and aloof. Her black, wavy hair hung loose down her bare back, tied up at the sides with silver, ruby encrusted slides. Her eyes were black, with long lustrous lashes. Her garments were made of a shimmering, red material, that clung to her slender thighs and her ample breasts threatened to tumble out of their small covering. Her whole body was covered in sparkles, that reflected and shimmered in the bright lights of the ballroom. She came up to where Pell was seated and curtsied, never once lowering her eyes from his. Pell smiled and made a soft remark to Rue, who was completely unimpressed with this Kamagrian, who seemed to place herself above everyone else. Cal sitting on the other side asked who she was. “Parage. Her name is Celestial Firewalker.”

Hmmm, interesting. The Kamagrians were out of hiding. Ever since that little incident with Opalexian, the Garridan warrior and the stalk of rhubarb, the Kamagrians had been noticeable by their absence. It was good to see them back. Cal had begun to think they’d never get over the shame. As he took another swig, he noticed his waiter enter the room via another door. Cal decided he’d better slow down on the wine. He might not get a chance at another bottle.

Now, who else was here? Cal looked around.* He entered quietly, nodding courteously to guests as he passed them. Lithe, silent steps that sauntered coolly yet with purpose as he made his way towards the Triad. Calanthe’s eyes narrowed imperceptively………Thea?…….and then relaxed as he realized who it was and smiled wryly. This har always reminded him of Thea, he thought to himself and idly wondered whether Thea himself would be here tonight with his old friend Zack. The har made his way impressively towards the Trinity, turning heads as he went. He wore black leather trousers that hugged his lean hips sensuously and went on forever to disappear into thick, black, leather boots that reached just below his knees. A heavy but netted cream cotton shirt covered in silver embroidered symbols hung open at his throat where a necklace made of large opals nestled. The baggy sleeves of the shirt fluttered gently as he walked, clasped firmly around his wrists by large, sleek silver bracelets. He reached the dais and presented himself, bowing deeply, long luscious black hair falling forward. He straightened, looking up to see Cal grinning at him and he grinned back with mock annoyance on his face. It was plain to Rue that the har and Cal were obviously acquainted. Calanthe turned to Rue and Pell. “This is Ramestton Ava from the Ferike tribe. Met him when I was there with Thea.”

He then gestured for Rue to move in closer and they whispered for amoment while Pell’s attention was diverted elsewhere. The Tigron and Tigrina then glanced up, amusement glinting in their eyes and Cal addressed Ramestton, beckoning for him to come closer. The har smiled and came nearer.

Cal bent forward to whisper in his ear…. “Your zip’s undone, mate”.

Cal had the priceless joy of seeing the smile on Ramestton’s face collapse in double quick time.

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