Original Written Work Characters:Rylerion, Rannon, Kamiyeh Summary: Rannon’s sworn oath to never kill again was broken, and King Rylerion is forced to pass harsh judgment. For art and other works inspired by this, click here.
”Would you two care to explain to me,” said the King, intense anger tight in his voice, ”why in all gods’ everlasting hells my people just witnessed my two closest advisors hacking away at each other in deathly combat? Really, do explain, because I am very, very curious to find out.”
”Ask him, Sati-rama”, the old Shantu said, contemptuously indicating the man beside him with barely a nod. ”He killed one of my soldiers in cold blood.”
Rylerion transferred his furious gaze to his uncle, who stood stoically bleeding from a near fatal wound. While his stance was ever proud, at least he had the shame to avert his eyes.
Original Written Work Characters: Rannon, Azani, Edra Summary: Seeing the horrible, broken state her master is in, Azani takes the highest risk imaginable to help him heal. For art and other works inspired by this, click here.
Azani closed her eyes and drew several deep cleansing lungfuls of the salty evening air before steeling herself and entering the cabin.
Edra was leaned over their Sati’s lifeless form, dipping a cloth in clean water and washing away blood with endless care. She had to clench her jaw and force herself not to look away; the body under the healer’s hands was less a human form, more a lacerated slab of raw meat. Edra briefly looked up and she saw that same pain reflected in her eyes before she returned to her work.
Original Written Work Characters:Rylerion, Rannon Summary: While crossing the ancient forests of the great mountains, Rylerion decides to introduce his uncle to a couple of old friends. For art and other works inspired by this, click here.
”Come with me,” the King had said, tone hushed, ”There is something I want to show you.”
The day’s journey had been hard, and he would not have minded his rest, but duty was duty, and as his nephew led the way into the darkening woods, away from camp, he would admit his curiosity piqued.
As twilight smothered the mountains, the uneven terrain soon became hopelessly difficult to navigate, tree roots, rocks and unseen pitfalls at every other step. Rylerion seemed to manage quite fine, though, and kept a brisk pace that would have been much easier to maintain if not for the thin air. It wasn’t long before he tasted blood at the back of his throat, but he’d be damned if he would admit to being completely winded just from walking.
Original Written Work Characters:Narcissus, Lazuli Summary: After a near-successful attempt on his life, Lazuli passes suitable judgment on those he perceives have betrayed him. For art and other works inspired by this, click here.
The great halls seemed cavernous after the dazzling sunlight, and the echo of Narcissus’ steps over the polished marble sounded harsh and sharp in the unusual silence. He couldn’t remember ever having seen the luxurious palace so empty. The only living creatures in the normally so teeming halls were the guards posted at every corner, and their forbidding presence was everything but high-spirited.
He hurried his steps and once again resisted the urge to dab at his cheek with his sleeve. His escort had left him by the main entrance; with all guards about no one could move freely in the palace, and he knew he was being closely watched. Still, he appreciated the small illusion of courtesy.
Original Written Work Characters:Rannon,Maqaxha,Dagger Summary: Rannon visits the lowest levels of Machra-la in his hopeless search for Aurora, but finds an old friend-turned-enemy instead. For art and other works inspired by this, click here.
Of course it had been another dead end. Of course it had.
He should have known better than to dare hope, for a brief moment, to find answers after all this time, and it was with great frustration at himself he had to admit disappointment. A sharp and burning sting clawed at something deep within his chest, and it was unusually hard to find again the comforting cold indifference that had become his equilibrium long ago.
He had known he was unlikely to find answers here in the Floating City, at the filthiest lowest corners of decadent Machra-la – but unlikely as it had been, when the rumour had reached him of a name long unheard whispered in this wretched place, he had followed it desperately nonetheless.
Original Written Work Characters:Keelavata, Rannon, Karaon, Summary: Keela meets Rannon’s carefree son for the first time, and can’t help but be curious. For art and other works inspired by this, click here.
She came across the boy in the palace gardens below the council chamber, sitting on a bench with his face turned towards the flowering trees above, kicking his feet. His face was open and he was smiling, as though nothing could possibly make him more content in this world than just sitting in the sun and listening to the birds on the breeze.
Curious in spite of herself, she walked closer, and he turned his smile on her.
”You must be Karaon,” she stated, as though there could possibly be any doubt about his identity. A younger version of a face she hated, those same grey eyes, but softer, warmer. He nodded and stood, performing a rather clumsy, unpracticed version of a nobleman’s bow.
Original Written Work Characters:Maqaxha,Crow Summary: The enmity between Kitsune and Crow comes to a point after the fallen prince accidentally lets slip the truth of who he really is. For art and other works inspired by this, click here.
Silence spread between them, and he knew he had betrayed himself. His mind raced, he desperately tried to think of something to say, something to do that might miraculously save the situation. He found nothing.
“ So…” Crow breathed, “ You really are the traitor-prince…”
He laughed, that sweet silvery laugh that clashed so with his arrogant, drawling voice.
“ Should I be surprised? I suppose not. To think I have bedded a prince! What an honor…”
Kitsune stood straight and proud, but felt cold inside, sick with fear. All these years, how he’d dreaded the discovery of the truth… And now his most bitter adversary held his greatest secret in his hands.
Isokell sat cross-legged on the soft pillow and let her fingers caress the velvet-smooth surface of the paper in her hand. The feel of the coarser ink against the smooth surface was tangible to her sensitive fingertips and the meaning of the words was clear to her.
Who ever said you needed eyes to read..?
A mild summer breeze from the sea found its way into the little garden confined between the walls, and threatened to tear the thin rice papers from her hand, and she held them close until it had passed. The smell of sea and the sun-warm flowers of the garden followed in its wake; soon it would be too hot to stay outside during the midday hours, and she treasured the last exquisite days of spring.
Original Written Work Characters: The Jaguar King, Father Sun Summary: A legend from Ku’Ombos, as told by Maqaxha to the ZanTaoyaka children in his care.
“This is a legend from the land of Ku’Ombos…
Father Sun wanders across the sky and turns the night into day, and in His light, all His children are safe. But the great Black Serpent, who hunts in the dark, shuns His light, and always seeks a way to put it out forever…
One night, when Father Sun approached the horizon, the Black Serpent managed to capture Him. He imprisoned Him in his dark world underground, and the whole world became dark as a moonless night. The night never ended, and in the dark, the Black Serpent hunted the Sun’s children and ate them. Continue reading “The Jaguar King”