Anecdote XXIII. Kotora Eler Grymor

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September 28th, 1610 Malstefin’s growl sounded more like a wheeze as he tugged fruitlessly at the chains. He glowered at the manacles, and the bloody chafed skin under them. It was the one hundred and twenty-first day of his captivity in Jessair’s dungeon, assuming he’d been keeping a correct count. The Luminor seemed to return once a day, torture him for a few hours, then leave him alone. At first Malstefin laughed at him, for his naturally bulletproof hide had proven impossible for Jessair to break. Weeks of starvation and thirst had since robbed the Demon of his natural resilience, more »

Anecdote XXI. No Love for the Dark

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“But Tabo, I’m ‘ungry,” Falient pleaded, reaching for a bit of the meat on his father’s makeshift plate. “You ate earlier today,” growled Tiermond, swatting his hand away. “Some of us haven’t had anything in days.” Falient stood next to him, looking up at him with forlorn eyes. “Tabo–” he ventured again. “Don’t call me that!” snapped Tiermond, pushing him away. “Go on with you! You ain’t gonna starve.” Falient surrendered and trudged away, striking off up the hillside to sit among the rocks above their camp. He drew his knees up to his chest as the wind gusted, and more »

Anecdote XX. A Childhood Dismembered

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March 3rd, 1945 “Get in there, boy!” Tiermond’s rough hand shoved Falient back toward the leering Demon. The boy’s breath came in trembling gasps, but he dared not cry. He was already covered in bruises and cuts, but his father insisted he learn to fight. This was not the first beating he’d received in pursuit of this, but today the Demon Foko, who was overseeing his father’s expedition, offered to practice with him. It was hardly practice, as every time the boy came within reach, the Demon would smash him back to the ground. The handful of Warmongers and Lakvos more »

Anecdote IXX. Belara Remembers Tiermond

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2014 • Not long after her arrival, Lask began asking Belara questions. At first, she despised him for it, but he struck a chord one day when he asked her about Falient. It was clear she had cared for the boy, so Lask inquired about her relationship with him, and the boy’s father. Belara was silent a long time, and Lask wondered if she would answer at all. “I always felt sorry for Tiermond,” she said after a while, “I like Viatrians, and he was as good as any of them. He was kind, hopeful, young, and bright when I more »

Anecdote XVII. The Corruption of Tiermond

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October 8th, 1584 • Richmond, VA “If your mind dislike anything, obey it. I will forestall their repair hither and say you are not fit.” Tiermond smiled at the sound of his vessel’s voice as he wandered the crowded theater. The Viatrian wove through the rows, trailing his fingers over the heads of the audience. They were all riveted, watching the final scenes of Hamlet  unfold on the stage of the Richmond theater. He could feel their enthusiasm buzzing through him as his vessel performed, and relished in the warmth of it. He looked toward the stage again with a more »

Anecdote XIV. Keeper of the Keys

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April 8th, 1702 • Kotelgrym Malstefin had taken up wearing an eye patch again, something he had not done in decades. Before, the swelling had gotten too large and painful to bear the pressure of a patch and strap. In the weeks since Giemm had removed the splinter, the swelling had gone down enough he could cover the worst of the scar with a leather patch, though it was still not very comfortable. The right side of his face was still dominated by a large, grotesque mass of black flesh, and the Demon would snarl at anyone who seemed to more »

Anecdote XIII. To Trust a Dark One

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March 9th, 1702 • Kotelgrym Giemm’s hands worked with brisk efficiency as he gathered the maps and papers Malstefin had left on the table. The Demon sat in a chair by the window, surveying the courtyard. The Lakvos were shrieking and scrambling over the blackened cobblestones, giving a wide berth to the rumbling black dragon chained on the east side. “Look at that,” Malstefin motioned out the window. “Is that not the mightiest thing you have ever seen?” “Methok is an excellent acquisition, senierro,” Giemm replied. Malstefin had taken the Titan from a powerful rival less than a week ago. more »