Anecdote XLVI. The Fog of Doubt

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At first, Lask did not want to hope for his wings– he dared not indulge in the excitement of “if it works…” and instead, busied himself with the science and magic of what it would take to resurrect the decades-dead flesh and reattach it in working order. He consulted his friends and allies, the Library, his contacts in the city, and eventually found the concoction he needed. It was the ingredients that would prove tricky. Some, he had on hand, some could be made for him, others would prove more difficult: the poison used on him, grown from a black more »

Anecdote XXXVII. Humanity is Contagious

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Before I turned 26, Lask killed an Ancient Demon. It was the end of January 2016, and the culmination of many months of careful planning, recon, and ally-wrangling. I imagine I’ll post the prose of their exploits at some point, so you can read for yourself how the island came to be under siege, how Stefin raised a mighty army of converted Demons, and how Lask stole the fire of an Ancient Demon from Times Before. It’s all very exciting, but there’s two things that stick out to me as personal, lasting, implications: One, in stealing the Demon’s fire, Lask more »

Anecdote XXXV. A Hall of Mirrors

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Many things were said recently that struck me, making panes of reflective glass vibrate in my head. “Can we do Monday instead?” “Why do you do that?” “Nothing I say is going to matter.” “That’s toxic.” “I don’t NEED you!” “Do you think she needs hospitalization?” “I guess we should sleep.” “She’s very unusual.” “See you Tuesday, then.” Spoken by various people, not all directly about me, but all things that somehow caused me to pause. I’ve realized what it’s like: it’s like living in a hall of mirrors. I, for some reason, pour my effort into reflections– giving people more »

Anecdote XXXIV. Just a Dream

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August 1st, 2016  It was dark as an inkwell when I woke to the sound of labored breathing. Something struggled nearby, shaking my bed. As I came to, I realized it was Lask beside me. He was asleep on his side with his bare back to me, twitching and tensing in his sleep. A low, plaintive sound escaped him as he curled himself, hauling on the covers. I turned to face him, realizing he was in the grip of a nightmare, and reached out to touch him. I had only brushed my fingers along his shoulder blade when he cried more »

Anecdotes XXXII. They Followed Me Home

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November 5th, 2014 • Avigdell  Giemm glowered through the bars of the gate at the gunslinger. Wyatt had one of his guns drawn and trained on the bird’s feathered brow. Behind the newcomer, two warmongers milled nearer the tree line, watching with bared teeth. “Where is he?” Giemm pressed. “He’s here,” Wyatt answered. “I’ve called for Lask. He’ll decide what to do with you. Don’t know about lettin’ in Demon cronies.” “Crony!” Giemm squawked, hackles bristling. “I am his Key Keeper, his right hand–” “Can it, Feathers,” growled Wyatt, hand staying toward his other gun. “Don’t shoot him!” bellowed a more »

Anecdote XXXI. A Demon Comes Home

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March 20th, 2014 • Avigdell Malstefin sputtered awake with a groan. Something was pawing at his foot, and he jerked it away on reflex. “Hey, hey, easy!” It was just Falient. “Easy, ol’ boy. You’re alright.” The Demon looked down to see Falient bandaging his tattered foot. His other foot was already wrapped, along with the wounds on his legs and arms. The stab wounds to his sides and belly had been cauterized– the farero’s fire, no doubt, he thought– and treated with a blackish green salve. He recognized the smell. “You have falstaroot here?” the Demon was surprised. “Aye,” more »

Anecdote XXX. The Fallen Emperor Flees

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March 20th, 2014 Malstefin’s massive feet slipped on the loose gravel, but he caught himself on an outcropping of rock as he scrambled up the ridge. The shrieks of the pursuing Runners echoed behind him. He had always been swift, but never had he needed to run for his life. He pushed himself to the brink of collapsing, racing northward toward his only chance at life. His chest swelled in gasping breaths, throat dry and ragged from dust. He had covered hundreds of miles in the night and the day following. As the second night descended, he entered the last more »