The Wood King: Part Three


    Contains unpleasant language


    Flooding his ears through the rumble of the storm, the applause continued to rise. It was terrifying. There was nobody there! Though he spun round and round, Tancredo could see no figures in the trees. No contours behind the curtain of rain. He backed against the carriage.


    ‘Stop that!’ he shouted.


    The trees laughed back at him, delighted by the desperate flailing of his swords. There was a soft, unexpected squeak as the carriage door opened beside him, and with slow timidity, out stepped the passenger. Well-groomed and gowned in a gleaming silken toga of deep purple, the passenger displayed his noble lineage like a peacock fanning its plumage. He stared lax-jawed at the empty cheering forest. Then he looked at Tancredo.


    ‘You are not a wraith,’ he breathed.


    He gathered his toga and fled. Down the road he flitted like a great purple butterfly, but the plaudits grew only more frenzied, celebrating his escapade. Suddenly he flinched as if he had been struck, and slithered silently to the ground.


    Tancredo’s eyes widened.


    A swarm of small projectiles flew out of the forest and embedded themselves in his breast. Beetles. Giant, blue beetles. As they chewed viciously into his flesh, a most unusual sensation enveloped him. The world bloated and bubbled and convulsed. He felt that he was being absorbed into the fibres of the universe, merging with the sigh of nature until he no longer existed.




    He woke to a deep thrum in his brain, an ache rippling sweltrily through the severed threads of a dreamless slumber. Warm, gentle fingers caressed his chest. An orb of brilliant white light illumed a small tent cringing fretfully under the wind’s breath – and the shapes of two hideous creatures crouching over him.


    The sight spooked him terribly. He almost tried to scramble away. But he realised (with no small degree of disgust) that they were men. Black lines lacing their faces, jewellery of bead and bone hanging heavy from their ears, they were men. And they were barely dressed but for a thin wrapped cloth extending from waist to knee. Intently, they fixed their calm eyes with his as he curled into himself.


    There came a sigh from behind them. ‘Unfold him.’


    The men obliged. Tancredo was seized by the legs and shoulders and stretched out of his foetal position. It suddenly struck him that he was naked. His hands and feet were bound. He was so vulnerable; they could do anything to him. The thought quickened his heart and made his skin crawl.


    ‘Move aside.’


    The men moved aside. He who stepped forward was not a man but an elf, long and angular, soft of brow and bright of eye. He wore what looked similar to a pallium, pooling in delicate ripples around his sandals. Feathers and beads dripped from his hair. In one hand he held a metal goblet; the other was curled around an item concealed in the palm.


    ‘Welkemen,’ said he slowly, choosing his words with care, ‘I have heard you are very thirsty. Will you drink?’


    ‘Yes, yes!’ The words emerged as mere susurrus, so dry was Tancredo’s throat, so swollen his tongue.


    Smoothing the folds of his pallium, the elf knelt by his head and fed him a small sip from the goblet. But this was not water! Against his lips it felt like a thousand searing needles. Never had he tasted something so astringent, burning his mouth like liquid fire! He sputtered and coughed as the wicked poison tore down his throat, but the elf held him down and forced him to drink more, more. He was too weak; he had not the strength to repel this torture.


    Why so much betrayal? Did he deserve this?


    Another sip wet his mouth, yet strangely did not burn with such ferocity as before. Quite the contrary, in fact; it was cool now, soothing the fire. He gladly drank, and wanted more than he was offered.


    When he had drained the goblet, the elf handed it to one of the silent men. Then he placed a gentle hand on Tancredo’s brow. Suddenly the pupils of his eyes lit up with piercing whiteness, as if his very spirit was revealing itself. In a sharp explosion of sight and sound, this luminance struck Tancredo like an arrow and lodged itself in his brain. He could not even gasp, strangled as he was by the paroxysm of sensations.


    ‘What are…?’ he managed to choke out as his body arched and writhed without instruction.


    ‘Be calm,’ soothed the elf. ‘I know it pains you, but it cannot cause you harm if you hold your mind still.’


    Flashes of pure blindness ballooned in Tancredo’s eyes. Then an image emerged as the light collapsed. He could see the unloving faces of his mother and father trapped in the eternal winter they made for themselves. Three glints of silver slipped into their gaunt, penurious palms as they said their last goodbyes. A blanket of warmth fell over his shoulders and he found himself under Nicon’s wing, surrounded by dirty orphans and the poncy terrors of rich noblemen. And Corentin Mouth, with an arm around him, whispering slowly in his ear:


    ‘You and I, we are brothers in arms. Remember that, you cur-kissing filcher, because without me, the anus of Oblivion would be more appealing than the Thieves’ Guild.’


    A punch in the nose splashed him with blood and he was bent Crooked.


    And he met the most beautiful creature he had ever seen, a tall pointy-eared thing with a nose sharp enough to split his skull down the middle, and gold hair more valuable than the priceless stola of green velvet flowing down her thin frame. She lit her pipe and smoked nonchalantly when she caught him robbing her mansion. The air was soon filled with a sweet and spicy scent. It brought stars to his eyes. He alongside the rest of the foxes dropped like stones, paralysed and hypnotised by the dance of lights. The Smoker was endeared by their incompetence, and to show them how to steal properly, she joined the family. Crooked watched her with stars in his eyes for years after.


    But now his soul was filled with caustic bitterness. The mutters of hearsay passing over foxes’ lips did not go unnoticed. What were they saying?


    There is a plot, they said.


    A plot? they asked.


    Yes, a plot to have Nicon framed for robbery, or worse – murder.


    For murder? The count would have him hanged! Why would someone want this?


    If he is gone, the Smoker will take his place as leader. There is a traitor in our midst, a lovesick bastard. Yaruzhi found Crooked whispering in the ears of the Chorrol Watch…


    Yaruzhi! He ground his teeth with ire barely compressed. That filthy cat was lying! And everyone believed her! What had he done to deserve such a venomous claim? She would regret it. She would pay.


    And she paid. Large eyes rounding with counterfeit shock, blood gushing through her long mangy fur as the knife was withdrawn, she paid. Then he paid.


    He paid in abandonment. He paid alone.


    His vision cleared. His roiling mind settled, the ripples melted. The elf’s eyes lost their glow and he rose to his feet. He opened the hand that had been clasped and quietly observed the object within – a small blue crystal, swirling with otherworldly power.


    ‘You shall not be a risk,’ said the elf, smiling a hollow smile. ‘You have great potential, welkemen. I only hope…’ He trailed off with a rue-stricken look. ‘Oh, but I want not to worry you. I will do what I can, mark me. Oh, but you know not what I am saying… Ignore me!’


    Tossing his hand back dismissively, the elf moved to the tent entrance.


    ‘Burois, please watch this one while I visit his poor sleeping friend.’


    There was a small flash of the world beyond as the tent flap drew back. A dark evening shaded by the passing storm, wind-blown leaves whipping the air. Then the elf was gone.


    Tancredo looked up nervously at the silent men standing over him, those strange and unnerving sentinels. Black paint decorated their faces with a dizzying mosaic of spirals. Their bodies were smooth and hairless, even browless and lashless, and they carried the pleasant fragrance of flowers. Not even a woman would clean herself so well.


    Nor, it seemed, could a woman be as dense. Were they mute? Why would they say nothing? Had they—


    ‘You are very quiet,’ noted one of the men very suddenly.


    Tancredo had never been so startled in his life.


    ‘Uuy!’ He shuddered severely and fixed them with a haunted gawk. ‘You speak.’


    ‘Of course we speak,’ said the man, his eyes laughing. He was rather stocky, but with a large, round head.


    ‘Do you take us for idiots?’ asked the second man, who had full lips and a hooked nose.


    ‘Yes. What? No!’ cried Tancredo miserably. ‘This is not something that normally happens to me. I find it very upsetting!’


    The men smiled with placid humour.


    ‘Stop being happy!’ Tancredo was certain he might break into tears at any moment. ‘Oh, by Gods. How could this get any worse?’


    ‘You could have been an elf,’ said the stocky man. A fleck of darkness crept into his mirthful expression.


    Tancredo almost did not dare ask. ‘What happens to elves?’


    ‘Their higher dignity is respected,’ replied the man with the hooked nose solemnly, ‘and they are killed in righteous battle. But you are human and will be utilised accordingly.’


    Tancredo felt a pit of terror widen inside him. Chills stroked his bare skin. ‘You. You ambushed me on the road,’ he whispered. ‘Are you the forest wraiths?’


    The stocky man smiled slyly. ‘Oh, we are not the—’


    The voice of the elf shut the stocky man’s open mouth, calling clearly and commandingly:


    ‘Burois! Rebind him and bring him out!’


    Falling silent once more, the men untied Tancredo’s ankles. Then they tied them again, but with a foot’s length of rope between them to allow limited mobility. They dragged Tancredo roughly to his feet and untied his wrists as well, binding them instead behind his back.


    ‘What are you going to do with me?’ demanded Tancredo, but the men damned him with reticence. The knots fastened by their fleet, practised fingers were tighter than a miser’s purse. He would never be able to slip out of them.


    Taking him by a shoulder each, the men pushed him out of the tent and plunged him into the fold of the frantic, billowing wind. Awe seized him by the throat.


    Under the forest’s mantle stretched an unbelievable sight – tall, conical tents dappled the darkling duff in a vast complex. Makeshift streets were abustle with commotion, brightened by the gaze of dazzling magickal spheres hovering languidly in the air. Elves in elegant gowns and humans with downcast eyes swept hither and thither or stood locked in vociferous conversation. Everywhere was a scent, a scent with a voice, staining the earthy forest redolence with something mysterious and smoky, buzzing like white noise in the mind.


    ‘What is this?’ exclaimed Tancredo.


    ‘This is the Walking City of the Chis Elen,’ spoke the elf from beside him. He had emerged from a small tent with three more humans. One of them was bound and naked like Tancredo, leashed at the neck and held in the hand of the elf. It was Mister Murrius, the nobleman. Frightfully wan and ill-looking was his face, but what alarmed Tancredo most was the disturbing pattern of yellow-tinted puncture wounds spread across his torso. Murrius raised his gaze and glared grievously at Tancredo.


    ‘Ah, you!’ he both whimpered and snarled at the same time. ‘You are the miscreant who slaughtered the two gentlemen escorting me to Chorrol, yes? It pleases me to know that Stendarr has damned you with justice!’


    ‘Sepredia!’ cut in the elf sternly. ‘We shall not have that! You have both been equally damned. Burois, please secure the one of bent nose.’


    Tancredo found himself being leashed like Murrius and given to the elf.


    ‘And I have been most wrongfully demeaned,’ sobbed Murrius, wrapped inside his mental torture. ‘Being led around like—like a cow! Like a dog! And they cut off my hair! All of my hair!’


    ‘Oh,’ said Tancredo, noticing for the first time that his hair and beard too had all but vanished. But that was not the most concerning aspect of their entrapment. He angled his chin deliberately toward Murrius’ pocked body. ‘What happened to your… er…?’


    ‘The same thing as happened to yours, miscreant!’


    Tancredo looked down. Weeping wounds spattered his breast.


    ‘Er…’ he mumbled, unsure how to react to this development.


    The elf chuckled. ‘No, no, no, do not panic, welkemen. You were struck with the beetles of slumber. We have cleaned you of their venom and rubbed you with abavinda, a potion of sorts to numb your pain. The wounds will fade tomorrow.’


    ‘Why numb our pain?’ seethed Murrius bitterly. ‘The most scathing wound is humiliation, yet you deal that without inhibition.’


    ‘Oh, welkemen!’ said the elf in a violently affected tone. He sucked in his breath through his teeth, putting a hand to his heart. ‘Forgive me! It is not my intention to humiliate you. We must take precautions to ensure you do not fight us – or indeed flee us, which is apparently your preference. You will be out of binds and clothed soon, mark me. But please, I beg of you, do not bear grudge against me. I am only a servant to greater powers.’


    Murrius snorted.


    ‘We must move on. Keep your eyes on your feet,’ warned the elf, gently but insistently tugging them forward. ‘Do not look upon anyone.’


    ‘Why?’ inquired Tancredo before he could stop himself.


    The elf faltered and stared at the young man. Tancredo thought he would be punished for the question. However, the elf’s striking blue eyes seemed to form a film of thought which thickened until he no longer saw Tancredo curiously watching him. Softly, the human with the hooked nose stroked his master’s shoulder, snapping him out of reverie.


    ‘I beg your pardon!’ he exclaimed, bewildered. ‘I completely lost myself. Why must you not look upon us? It is for you are inferior beings, welkemen. To look upon us, especially into our eyes, is to behold something you cannot understand.’


    ‘Inferior indeed!’ barked Murrius abruptly. ‘I have seen more elves than I can count. There was nothing I did not understand!’


    The elf chuckled. ‘Oh, but you speak of cultured welkeiskynd. They know nothing of themselves. Dunmeri, sundered from the ancestors they have shunned; Bosmeri, dwelling for ever amongst the dead; Altmeri, aware but self-suppressed. They know nothing of their hearts and how to ascend beyond their mortal senses. Do you know why we are out here in the blank wilds, removed from our misguided kindred? We are searching for ourselves, with only ourselves for company, where there is peace and simplicity and no binds to this realm but the irrational fear of a rancid corpse.’


    ‘You make no sense,’ growled Murrius.


    With a tilt of the head and a patient, lopsided smile, the elf put his hand under Murrius’ jaw.


    ‘Then, child,’ he whispered, ‘look at me.’


    And he did, at first with obstinate, unwavering scrutiny. But something slowly began to change in the nobleman’s face. His eyes narrowed. His jaw clenched. Not even a minute had passed before he desperately wrenched his jaw out of the elf’s hand and threw his gaze to the ground.


    ‘What have you seen?’ he screamed. Several heads in the streets turned in alarm.


    The elf smiled at them and waved away their questioning glances. ‘I have seen… What have I seen? Oh, but I have seen more than you will in your short life, welkemen. I have seen more than sight can see, for certain. Oh, but watch me prattle and prate! Time to move on!’


    Steps bouncing, song rising, the elf set off with infectious good cheer, moving gracefully amongst the tents with the beads in his hair clicking. Elves he passed laughed melodically or lent their sweet voices to his song, and the wind itself stopped to listen. Tancredo did not understand the words they spoke, but the music swayed even his unartful soul and lit within him an inexplicable sense of ecstasy and anguish. He was reminded of the beauty of Meryanen the Smoker, and he suddenly longed for her company in a way that he had never longed for another before.


    Murrius, however, was not impressed in the least. His entire frame seemed to be sagging, his face flushing brightly as perspiration dotted his brow.


    ‘What is happening to you?’ asked Tancredo warily.


    ‘I have such a splitting headache,’ croaked Murrius. ‘I would not be surprised if I fainted.’


    The singing froze as the elf spun around.


    ‘Burois, support him,’ he commanded at once. The four servants milled around Murrius, wrapping their arms around him and fanning him. ‘Oh, I beg your forgiveness. You were both fed magicka poison and will be fed it for the rest of your lives; but you will grow used to its effects in time. The pain will fade. For now, try to quieten your mind. Focus on your physical senses.’


    ‘I am an educated nobleman, well-versed in the magickal arts,’ huffed Murrius. ‘I know what to do in such situations.’


    ‘What are you supposed to do?’ asked Tancredo, curious.


    ‘Meditate, retreating to the mind-eye and suppressing the thought-stem,’ sighed Murrius. ‘And not answer stupid questions, but I forgot about that one for a moment. My mistake.’


    They onward went with Murrius slouched in the arms of the servants, eyes closed, breathing deeply and measuredly. As they continued, the night grew heavier and the people of the Walking City began to retreat to their homes. Most of the humans did not enter a tent, and instead curled up on the wet ground or clambered into the boughs of a nearby tree. There was no more chatter; no more singing but the chime of crickets and the thrum of power in the air.


    Then the city of tents dropped away. The procession was approaching three isolated dwellings, patched to quilts and burning with an internal blue-white glow. An almost formless mountain of fabric paced sluggishly outside, a slender figure standing nearby.


    ‘Agea ye latta, Emero Ald,’ announced the elf, halting. He handed the leashes to his servants. The mountain of fabric did not show any sign of having heard him, but the slender figure turned around and lit up in a wide beam. He was also an elf, but a smaller one and browner-skinned. His dark hair was plaited and strung with hundreds of tiny colourful beads.


    ‘Enaylarin!’ he exclaimed, moving forward to embrace the elf tightly. It was a sincere gesture and full of love.


    ‘Mallariel,’ returned the elf happily. ‘How goes the hunt?’


    ‘Good, good,’ laughed Mallariel, ‘but would that I could boast of such an impressive catch! Acianarion is a lucky man, yes?’ He turned to Tancredo. ‘I have heard things about you, welkemen. You do not look quite as emaciated as I was told. That is good! And you truly killed two men whilst barely able to stand? Remarkable, indeed! The hunters have been talking to great lengths about your celerity in comba—Ah, Enaylarin, look at him smile! He is a sweet thing!’


    Tancredo was grinning and blushing bashfully like a stupid child under a fountain of praise.


    Enaylarin chuckled.


    ‘What are you doing here, Mallariel?’ he asked curiously.


    Mallariel took his friend’s hand in both of his own. ‘There is no man so free of material desire as Acianarion,’ he laughed with elation. ‘He has allowed me the jewel of his spoils! I was waiting here for you, that I may hear from you whether he is fit for duty.’

    ‘Oh, but we must hear it from Emero Ald first,’ said Enaylarin.


    The two elves turned to look at the tall mass of cloth still pacing slowly, obliviously, whispering sharply like a rustling bush.


    ‘When he is done,’ murmured Mallariel.


    ‘What is he doing?’ asked Tancredo.


    ‘He is pulling the magicka out of the air,’ explained Mallariel, ‘but what he shapes with it is not known by me. He has studied an archive of very old traditions, and it is through those traditions that the Chis Elen are protected. That is all I know.’


    Having said that, he lapsed into silence. And in that silence they waited. It was a restless silence and not altogether silent, in fact. Tancredo stole a sideways glance at Murrius and found him slumbering like a dead man, hanging from the servants’ shoulders.


    He noticed that the servants seemed to be listening intently to something – a something beneath the nothing. Tancredo listened as well. What was it? The crickets? The dithering leaves? The voices of the wind, the whispering man and the nightly creatures deepened to a resonant thread of crackling thunder, interposed by the drum of the pulse in his ears. Every note was in its place, and every vibration sent shocks of energy reshaping the smallest pieces of the air.


    Then the man in cloth shuddered, coughed and sniffed. Tancredo reeled back as the pattern shattered into a thousand dissonant pieces.


    ‘What was that?’ he cried out in horror.


    Everyone turned to him.


    ‘Th—that was m—magicka, w—welkem—men,’ shivered the man in cloth in a raspy voice. Tancredo could hear the smile on his lips. ‘Ah—Agea y—ye latta vinne tou, wh—welkeis—hk—kynd.’


    ‘Ye agea ye latta vinne ni, Emero Ald,’ said Enaylarin and Mallariel synchronised, inclining their heads humbly.


    Emero Ald shambled forward and embraced the elves in turn, kissing their foreheads affectionately. Stealing small upward glances, Tancredo realised the man was not quite as formless as he thought. He was merely buried under several layers of thick, tattered pallia, hooded and cloaked in woollen blankets. Beneath them he was trembling.


    ‘Th—the boy ha—as come wh—with a s—hst—storm, Enayh—lharin,’ he shivered. He wrapped his arms around himself and groaned as if freezing to death. ‘A ter—rible st—storm.’


    He laughed softly, but the way he was rubbing his hands together was frantic beyond normalcy. The wind bit into Tancredo’s skin and raised gooseflesh, yes, but he was not shivering. Not even while utterly naked. Enaylarin and Mallariel clearly did not feel this chill either as they exchanged terrified expressions.


    ‘Emero Ald, do you mean the human? With the bent nose?’ asked Mallariel. ‘He has brought a storm?’


    ‘No,’ replied the mass of cloth, shaking his head rapidly. ‘Hm-hmm… Let me s—hsee him.’


    With that, he shuffled over to Tancredo, took him roughly by the chin and wrenched his head up. Unwilling to ‘see’ whatever it was that lived inside the eyes of the elves, Tancredo screwed his own eyes shut.


    ‘L—lhook at m—me, weh—welkeme—ehn,’ stuttered Emero Ald sharply.


    ‘What if I see something I don’t understand?’ asked Tancredo worriedly.


    ‘I do n—not hold—d my h—heart in my ah—eyes,’ said the elf. ‘Look at me.’


    Tancredo steeled himself and obeyed. He peeled back his eyelids to see above him Emero Ald looming. He was like a tree, tall and ancient and stern. Beneath the hood his features could be seen. His nose was long and pointed, his eyes milky white, tiny pupils racing rapidly across them.


    Emero Ald sighed through his teeth, suddenly looking weary and drained.


    ‘In m—medita—htion, I saw—w a storm—m,’ he said lowly, and released Tancredo. The next words he spoke were not in Cyrodilic. They were of a fluid tongue, but fanned by the stutter in Emero Ald’s voice. As the words fluttered out of his mouth, Mallariel grew increasingly excited and bewildered.


    ‘This boy is… He is caryar?’ he hissed in awe.


    There was a strange look upon Emero Ald’s face. Great puzzlement raised his brows.


    ‘No,’ he replied quizzically.


    ‘What?’ said Mallariel. ‘I am confused.’




    Offering no explanation, Emero Ald took Tancredo’s leash from the servant and handed it to Mallariel. When he turned to Tancredo again, his pupils had vanished.


    He tapped two fingertips on Tancredo’s eyelids, then pulled them away. The young man nearly screamed. Though the action did not hurt in the usual sense, it felt as though his brain was being pulled out of his eyes. Emero Ald then tapped Mallariel’s eyelids with the same two fingers. There was a quick spark, a vision of intertwisted minds and permanent shackles, before Tancredo’s thoughts went still again.


    Yet now he felt drawn to Mallariel. He belonged in the sight of those gracious, amber eyes.


    ‘H—his name i—is Chibellan,’ stuttered Emero Ald. ‘Tr—hreat him wh—well. Go home n—now, Malla—hriel. And… and think noth—hthing of what I s—said. Agea yh—ye latta vinn—ne ni.’


    ‘Ye agea ye latta vinne ni,’ returned Mallariel thoughtfully.


    He and Tancredo left the company of the two elves and five humans, entering the Walking City once more. The city was darkening as the magickal orbs dimmed and sputtered. The silence was heavy, but heavier still was Tancredo’s miserable bemusement. What was happening to him? What would happen to him? Why was he here?


    All of a sudden, Mallariel put a hand on his cold back. Tancredo shrank submissively. He was naked. He was bound. This was as low as a man could stoop. It was terrifying to stand beside someone a foot shorter than himself, yet feel so inferior and subservient.


    ‘You have a good name, Chibellan,’ said Mallariel warmly.


    ‘I don’t understand. That is not my name. My name is—’


    ‘It is your name now,’ interrupted the elf. ‘I know this has been a very frightening day for you, but you must understand this: This,’ and he swept his arm wide, gesturing to the entire sleeping city, ‘is your home now. And we are your masters. Your people know us as “wild elves” or “Ayleids”, though we are neither wild nor do we ayleid – hide. We are not hiding. We are ascending.


    ‘We are Cyromeri; Elves of the Heart. We are Chis Elen; People of the Oak. And you are a slave. You belong to me. Whatever life you led before shall never find you again, nor shall you ever find it. We are joined now, you and I, for ever.’


    ‘Joined…’ Tancredo did not understand. His thoughts were a jumble of pure shock. ‘I… I am a slave? A slave…’


    Mallariel curled an arm around the young man’s shoulders.


    ‘Chibellan,’ he said plainly, ‘you are my slave.’




    The credit for all dialogue in Cyrodis/Ayleidoon goes to Hrafnir II of the Imperial Library.





  • The Wing
    The Wing   ·  June 19, 2016
    Thanks man! I definitely will keep writing. 
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  June 18, 2016
    For some reason this works very well with my imagination of Lore. So keep writing, Wing, because you really did fooled me. I can´t tell the difference if this is made up or lore-supported. Well done! 
  • The Wing
    The Wing   ·  June 18, 2016
    I'm really glad you're enjoying this, Karves! I will admit that pretty much all of this was pulled out of a hat; very little of it is lore-supported. I dug as deep into canon as I wanted to go, but I didn't find much of the information that I needed, so I...  more
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  June 12, 2016
    Alright, I´m not saying this often, but this is really awesome mind-fuck and I have no clue what the tusk is going on in here. 
    Ayleid, Cyromer...makes so much sense. This is absolutely amazing read, Wing!
    I have to ask, just to be sure. Lore-...  more
  • The Wing
    The Wing   ·  May 23, 2016
    Haha wow, you must have thought I was taking a massively long break if you didn't catch the posting of this part. 
    Thanks so much for reading and commenting! It's true; Chibellan doesn't seem the type to march to the beat of his own drum, does he? I...  more
  • Exuro
    Exuro   ·  May 22, 2016
    How did I miss when this was posted! At least I get two chapters to read back to back now
    The mystic fantasy feeling I get reading this continues to build. I like how you portrayed the slavery more akin to benevolent dog owners than task masters. In...  more
  • The Wing
    The Wing   ·  April 4, 2016
    Idesto, thank you so much. I've been really confused and unhappy in this past month and have barely gotten any writing done.  Your comments brought some light to my day, so thank you.
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  April 4, 2016
    Also, I love your use of slightly archaic language here too - it seems to complement the story and dialogue really well - of which 'breast' is an example. It's only relatively recently that it hasn't been non-gender specific, and to me has a more emotiona...  more
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  April 4, 2016
    Wow - great story! Intricate with its character interplay and its twists and turns. I love stories I can't predict, and I certainly didn't predict this. These elves and their culture are really well realised and portrayed, and I'm enjoying this greatly 
  • The Wing
    The Wing   ·  March 17, 2016
    Oh man!! Thank you, Fawn!  It was a lot of fun to basically reinvent the Ayleid race (I beg your pardon, I mean Cyromer - because obviously they aren't hiding in the deep dark forest kidnapping humans or anything ).

    I am so glad you like the w...  more