58. Heaven’s Just a Block Away

Musical Score: Adam Ant, Shake Your Hips In late November, gray elves hold a 10-day festival for Corellon Larithian. Every spare corner — porches, street corners, bow windows, even vacant lots — becomes an impromptu shrine ablaze with votives, heaped with dried flowers and draped with crape paper cut in elaborate patterns. It’s traditional to […]

57. The So-Called Visible Spectrum

Once the house is ready, Valentine invites Inglorion to stay in the guest suite until the heat is off, not really expecting him to accept. Inglorion cocks his head, considers. “It’s not out of the question. It might be better to have a public, cousinly tie rather than to pretend we don’t know each other […]

56. Valentine Comes Home

Musical Score: Iron and Wine, Such Great Heights Today is November 1, All Souls Day. It’s been just over a year since Valentine emerged from the Underdark with a couple of rapiers, a brace of throwing daggers, a hand crossbow and ammunition, and clothing of Drow manufacture. A year ago this week, he was wandering […]

55. Animals, Not Angels

Musical Score, Adam Ant, Rough Stuff “Basically her family built a trap, and I walked right into it. They created this story about how I’m this violent, depraved, out-of-control monster. Her brother taunted me until I pounded the shit out of him — one of my army buddies had to pull me off of him […]

54. Honor and Responsibility

Musical Score: Beastie Boys, Body Movin’ (Fatboy Slim Remix) Sieia told Valentine to meet with Marcus, and now it seems like it must be too late. He doesn’t need to seek approval for anything. The whole thing is bound to be awkward. And yet, when Marcus returns to Liamelia, he sends Valentine a note indicating […]

53. What Did You Do to Your Hands?

Musical Score: Sugar, The Act We Act He masters an impulse to flee the house, ride up into the mountains. Instead, he forces himself to go to Sieia’s sitting room. He finds her seated by the fire. “Did you see her? What happened?” “I did. I don’t know.” He drops into the chair opposite hers. […]

51. Threats and Promises

Musical Score: Husker Du, She Floated Away Valentine returns home, exhausted, only to find the household in an uproar. A letter has arrived from Valykria’s grandmother. Her family is still pressing her to return, promising that all will be forgiven. Even Sieia’s equanimity has been shattered. “Good God, Valentine, where have you been? She’s holed […]

49. Eyes as Dark as Any Shelawn Could Wish

Musical Score, OhGr, porE Bonus Track, Download, Streaked A masked assassin bursts through the doorway. There are three more behind him, all armed with daggers. They must have been counting on some combination of surprise and weight of numbers to overcome their victims. Inglorion disarms his opponent with the first strike, sending a dagger skittering […]