1.6.6 – Valediction

I felt heightened. My senses were sharper, my eyes were wider. The dreadful haze of fatigue in which I had toiled was lifted. The strains of the labors I had undertaken, instead of sapping my strength, invigorated me. I walked with an animated stride, blood rushing pleasantly in my veins, as though I enjoyed stroll […]

1.6.5 – Heavenly Design

Is God comprehensible? To think of God is to comprehend…him? Her? Ever had the pronoun bedeviled me.  Thus began my heresies. God, I had been taught, was all-encompassing. Why limit the infinite with the attribution of a singular sex? To discuss God, to treat of Godhood, to discuss Godliness, is to work purely within the bounds […]

1.6.4 – Fragment Iteration

I could not stop. The fear and flight kept my blood high, prevented me from too deep a meditation on what I had become. Even now, my limbs once again began to shake, the pain of my wounded shoulder seeped through, the thin scratch down my neck burnt like acid.   The Inquisitor did not move. […]

1.6.3 – Force Multiplier

Twice I had knelt before death. Once in my cloister at Saint Isaac’s, at the unjust mercy of an archbishop. Once in the hollowed-out church of Caer Fara. Now, this third and final time, that dark and familiar lucidity. Death. Bleak as the black face of the ring on my hand. Druids named it The […]

1.6.2 – Firebrand

The taste of blood was thick, a sheet of copper on my tongue. Strange and wonderful visions came in swift succession, a geometric motet that filled my head with splendor. Shooting pains ran through my head, and I winced, flinching back, pressing my left palm to my temple. Strands of trailing hair tangled through my […]

1.6.1 – Concatenate

I did not recognize the scene before me. All things seemed alien, transfigured. The walls of my home had started to burn. Flame sprouted to saplings where white-hot blood had touched the floor. Smoke filled the air. Thick, strangling, it stung in my lungs, even through the cloth that covered my face. I stood in the […]

1.6.0 – Carving Failure

“Priesthood of Cleansing,” the Inquisitor hissed, raising his sword. “To me!”   None of the three men in the hall beyond made a move to join him. Couldn’t imagine why.   Drops of glowing blood spilled from my left hand. With each impact, they hissed and flared to life on the rug. A single thin rivulet of […]

1.5.7 – Losing Temper

Mariead’s narrow shoulders darted down the corridor just ahead. I felt the walls loom to either side, like they were pressing in, ready to crush me, and I was very glad to reach the end of them, stumbling back into Lord Valraven’s more public study.   One of the Caer Lunan farmers stood crouched back in […]

1.5.6 – Fragmentation  

“Dear heart.” Lord Valraven took another step into the room. “Is that really you?”   “Papa–” At a run, Mariead caught her father in an embrace, a huff of breath taking the place of whatever words she might have intended. Sidelong, I looked to the lass, who stood with long fingers splayed over the tabletop, eyes […]

1.5.5 – Indexed Search 

The halls of Valraven Manor were dark and winding, claustrophobic, dimly-lit. Mariead’s guidance was unerring, a quiet voice over my left shoulder to match the lass whispering Her observations on my right. The floors were old and battered planks of wood beneath long strips of carpet. Shit footing for a fight, but we encountered no […]