Dance on the Bones: One of the Good Ones

About two years ago. Dol Amroth. After all these years, Mbita Mbwana had never lost his love of it. When the knights had marched home from the war, exhausted, wounded, stricken by grief, Mbita’s heart had swelled at the sight of white the white towers rising from the earth, gleaming in the hot Belfalasian sun. He…

Dance on the Bones: Troubled Waters

Around two years ago. “You want to what?” The last word was nearly a roar as it escaped Dinenor’s lips. He stared in disbelief at the members of the council. They stared back, their expressions all maddeningly sincere. Master Asgarel, whom Dinenor could not help but notice had sat on the council for six months without…

Dance on the Bones: Vows

Around two years ago. The rush of the distant waves was barely audible today. In the absence of the ocean’s chant, Carmanadh’s ear picked up on the whisper of a hem on the polished stone of his balcony. He thought for a moment that it was Mredothyn come to check on him, but then the…

Dance on the Bones: The City Shall Burn

On a cool evening in late summer, three figures met in secret on a balcony overlooking the city of Dol Amroth. The first was Cirieldis of House Colagar, Headmistress of the Ivory Tower School for Girls. She was also the leader of the secret order of assassins called the Mormerili, though most people in Dol…

The Sailor’s Bride: The Last Failsafe

The cold rain assaulted Cirieldis as she flew. Though it soaked her feathers and obscured her sight, she paid it no heed. Even when the weight of it threatened to tear her from the sky, she kept her eyes only on the open doors of her office balcony. I have given you my answer, Ciri….

Vignettes: Day of Hearts

Oleander Hawthorn awoke, as he did most mornings, with a bright smile on his face. The early sun was warm as it shone through the window, coaxing him to rise. He lay in bed a while longer, enjoying the sound of carts and horses on the cobbled streets below. The house was quiet now, with…

Justify the Means: Cut Out the Heart

Several months ago. Opechancanough closed his eyes, and breathed in. It was there beneath the smoke, beneath the sulfurous twinge of black powder. Pine tar, dark and sticky, laced with the earthy rot of leaf litter and the freshness of mountain water. For a moment he was far away, home in Pattawomeck, racing the ridgelines…

The Sailor’s Bride: Teetering

When Cirieldis sat on the balcony outside her state room, she was not Lady Cirieldis, Headmistress of the Ivory Tower School for Girls. She was not the Orchid-class leader of the Mormerili Order. She was just Ciri, lover of purple, mother of swans, drinker of tea. That was why she escaped to the balcony every…

Vignettes: Midsummer

“Mama, did I get enough flowers?” Glory handed her little bouquet to Rosie, who took it and counted the muted wildflowers bunched all together. “Let’s see. Queen Anne’s Lace, daisy, buttercup, bedstraw, red clover, bachelor’s buttons, and forget-me-not. That’s seven. You’re all set, love.” She smiled at the bouquet, and held it to her nose….

Spirit Eyes: Snow Beneath His Feet

Chief Panja’s expression was unreadable. Light from the central fire danced across his face, deepening the shadows and making his eyes seem distant and strange. “You come back to the ice bay without permission, in defiance of your banishment.” Taja lowered himself into a kneel. His knuckles sank into the fur rugs strewn at the…

Grave-digger’s Daughter: No More Tears

Esthyr didn’t say anything as Morty opened the cottage door and looked out at her. Instead, she dropped a small pouch in front of him. The coins inside let out a metallic crunch as the pouch hit the stone stoop. “What’s this?” said Morty. He looked tired, but then, he always did these days. “I…

Black and White: The Living and the Dead

Hathlafel paced in his cell. There had been no word, no word for days. He had had no human interaction save with the boy who brought his meals, and the passing guards. They treated him tolerably, and the food was decent (at least more so than he had expected), but even the finest accommodations would…