An updates has happends!
Something I’ve been meaning to work on for some time, alongside the online stories I’m writing, is a history of Ayla. When we first meet Ayla in Over Witch’s Knee, she is already many hundreds of years old and has lived a full life. She is self-possessed and of a calm and at times, commanding temperament. She takes the thief Atrocious both under her wing and into her bed, regarding her initially as something like a cross between a student, a plaything, and a lover.
Much like Kira, Ayla is not necessarily a ‘good’ character. But she is well loved in spite of her flaws. So I think my next Lesbia book will tell some of the tale of her early years. There is some cannon backstory to her emergence into Lesbia, which you can read here: A History of Ayla , but I want to write a true narrative of the trying time which she faces after emerging from the prison of her youth into the mortal world of Lesbia.
Here’s a little of that tale in progress:
Ayla took her first steps into the world of the mortals, finding herself in a forest which was exactly the same as the one she had left, and yet nothing like it at all. Her gossamer robes were too light against the cold winds of the world of the mortals. She had never felt weather like this before. Her years in the prison were calm ones. Obsidian walls did not move, nor did the air inside them, lest it be fanned by some deliberate act. Out here the leaves and grass never seemed to stop waving in constant gusts and breezes, and above them the sky went on forever. It was foreign, this world, and the young witch desperately wanted to be back in the dark shadows in which she had been born.
It could not be. The prison which she had known as home had collapsed under an avalanche of hatred. Her mother was gone, taken by the walls. There was no going back to the elven realm in which she had been born a prisoner. There was only the way forward…. a way she did not yet know and could not begin to imagine.
but right now, here’s some fascinating geology from the recent earthquake, during which surface faults moved at 3 km/s and uplifted new landmass. Also, kiwi accent. So much aksunt.
Pretty sure we didn’t set the train tracks up to veer across the road, across what was sea bed until late last week, and under a massive slip. Perhaps the most unbelievable thing about this picture though, is the fact that you’re looking at the remains of what had been the major national highway in the south island. That was our good road.
So there was a large series of severe-ish earthquakes last night which sent us scrambling for higher ground in the wake of vague but ominous tsunami alerts and sirens which were activated about two hours too late, but blared until well past dawn to make up for their tardiness. There’s nothing quite like curling up in bed after a long night of evacuations with the horns of doom sounding in the mid-distance while being gently rocked by multiple aftershocks. Such a cozy feeling.
We’re fine though, so that is good. Lesbia to continue soonish.
Never cross a goddess…
“You,” she said in a voice which sounded like magma flowing from the caldera of an increasingly active volcano… “are trouble. Trouble is punished.”
“I don’t care if you punish me,” Nive said bravely. “I don’t want to be here, and I will not make it easy for you.”
There was a pause in which the dark lines swirled viciously across the goddess’ face, only her eyes remaining constantly burning into Nive’s indignant gaze.
“Do not forget,” Ariadne replied. “I tried to make this pleasant for you. What is about to happen, is entirely your own fault.”
Has updated! And we finally find out just what makes Nive so special… (aside from her rampant and cheerful promiscuity, of course.)
“Send me back,” she said. “Or I will handle you in a way only a princess can.”
Ariadne was not a large woman. She was a relatively diminutive figure in fact, and yet when Nive made the threat, the shadows gathered around her and made her seem larger than herself. The dark swirls which swam in her skin formed thick bands across her eyes and mouth and the very world seemed to bend around her. It would have been a frightening display if Nive were not so determined to take her fate into her own hands.
Her father would come for her, of that she was certain. But she was tired of waiting.
“The witch wanted me for a reason, the same reason you wanted me,” Nive said. “But I tell you now, you do not want me. Neither of you. If you knew what I was…”
Another Lesbia update, now with more ladies in more trees…
A shiver passed through the party as they passed through the invisible barrier between one forest and another. The trees did not change, but the world did. It became sharper. It became heavier. It became darker. The sun was hotter, beating through the leaves, a syrup thick wind inhaled in their lungs – and upon that wind, the scents of the animal world. Decaying leaf mold, insects and birds and hunting animals and scattered prey.
I updated Lesbia. With words, as usual.
Slow rays of morning sun crept through the leaves of the enchanted forest and eventually trickled down to the tent where Kira, Ayla and Hope were sleeping. Hope was in one bed by herself, while Kira and Ayla lay entwined upon a cot which was far too small for either of them.
Kira woke first, her eyes opening to see Hope splayed out on the bed looking about as comfortable as it was possible to look. Her dark hair was mussed against the pillow, the corners of her lips turned up in a gentle smile which made Kira feel almost… she pushed the word away before she could think it.
A goddess reflects….
Ariadne looked out over Lesbia, her golden eyes taking in the ancient vistas. The years in which she had been deprived of such a view had awakened her to an appreciation of it, and the elements which made it up. Perhaps she had been softened by loss. In the old days, it had been about the battle for magic. She had protected the witches of the land. Now witches were naught but legend and a new goddess had risen in the cities, a goddess with no eyes, no mouth, a goddess of levers and light and motion.
The world was forever making itself anew, but amid it all, Ayla was fighting the old battle.
Ayla. It always seemed to come back to Ayla, Ariadne mused. All mortals were nodes on the web, but some were more central than others. Ayla was easily the oldest mortal in Lesbia, and yet she was still not entirely mature. She was setting out to fight a ruthless king, not because she had to, but because she wanted to. The rage so carefully concealed in her was seeking an outlet and she was losing the battle with it.
Find out in the latest episode of Lesbia 🙂 This is a longer, larger, more bonusey update than usual, so enjoy! Click here to read Lesbia!
Nive realized that she was a fraction shorter than they were, and the result was that she felt overwhelmed and small as Jess reached out and ran her fingers through Nive’s curls.
“Very pretty,” she said. “I think you’ll fit in here.”
“I don’t want to fit in,” Nive scowled. “I want to go home.”
“Aw poor baby,” Jess said sympathetically. “Everyone feels that way at first. It passes.”
“I don’t want it to pass. I want to go home.”
“Don’t do anything too silly,” Trixie said. “Ariadne has ways of handling the girls who are too naughty. We’ve learned to be good, haven’t we, Jess?”
“Well, we’ve learned to pretend to be good,” Jess smiled. “You can learn to pretend too.”
“I’m not going to learn, I’m not going to pretend, I’m not going to stay,” Nive insisted, scowling. “Tell me the way out, please.”
“The only way out is the same way you got in,” Trixie said. “Ariadne has to let you go. But she almost never lets anybody go.”
“She’ll let me go,” Nive said confidently. “She’ll beg to let me go by the time I’m finished with her. That old hag has never met anyone like me.”
Trixie and Jess exchanged looks. “You’re going to end up very sore,” Trixie warned her. “Ariadne likes it when the new girls fight. It gives her an excuse to punish them harshly. When I first got here, she used a slipper on my bottom every day for a month. I didn’t sit for a whole lunar cycle. Do you know what it is like to be thrashed by a goddess?”
RaPal…. y u no crown this…