aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Captive in the Bear Empire


Carrone was eyeing Deline oddly.  “You don’t like killing. The Deklegion paper-pusher told us you were a mass-murderer.  Then you put a blade to me and offered to leave me in the cabin.”

“I have killed a grand total of… three people and seven animals in Dekleg, not this trip, in my life, and two of those people were actively trying to kill me at the time.  I don’t like killing people.”

“But you would have slit my throat.”

“Sometimes…”  She sat down on the edge of their makeshift bed cross-legged, “the mission is more important than what I want.  And if I don’t make it home, the mission fails.”

read on…
aldersprig: (Shooting star)
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: An Inn in the Bear Empire


A movement somewhere outside her window woke her in the middle of the night.

It’s the storm, she told herself, but Carrone had woken, too.  The noise from the storm had settled down to a quiet rainfall. There was very little wind at all, no sounds of sleet - but something had scratched across their wall.

The walls were more secure than they had been, but it wouldn’t stop someone from -

She rolled to one side of the bed and off as Carrone did the same on the other side.  The wrong side, too close to the wall. Just as they rolled, a dart went flying over the bed - it would have hit Carrone in the neck, if he hadn’t moved.

read on…
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Prey in the Bear Empire


The town was a little closer than Deline had estimated - in part because they struck a rather quick pace, not trusting the clouds hovering over the mountains, and in part because they took advantage of two wagon-rides offered to them.

The first one didn’t take a large amount of distance off of their trip, but it was almost all uphill, and they were both glad to let the big draft horses to the climbing.  The farmer, a quiet woman with a distant look in her eye, didn’t ask many questions and didn’t provide much information - but as she was pulling the wagon to a stop, she told them, “if you’re going Ghomau way, Ewdin there might be running the wagon into town.”  She peered up at the sun. “You make a good pace here to there, you might catch him. He’ll talk your ear off, but he likes the company.”

They made it to Ewdin in time to help him load straw into his wagon and ride up with him.  Deline had been a little worried about what they would tell him, what they could tell him, but it turned out to have  been a vain worry.

read on…
aldersprig: (AldersGrove)
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Arrows in the Bear Empire


Deline counted down on her fingers.  Three, two-

“Oy, you in the old Pattane house!  Come out with your hands up. I know you’re trespassing there, and I’ve every right to shoot you, but if you move slowly and ain’t try nothing, I shan’t but warn you on.”

“That....” Deline whispered quietly, “is not a Deklegion bounty hunter, or if she is, she is very good at mid-Fox-lands dialect.”

“Ain’t try nothing?” Carrone muttered.  “Want to shoot him anyway?”

Deline stood up, to a chorus of swearing from Carrone.  “No harm meant,” she called. “The storm lit on us something fierce,” oh, it had been a long time since she’d tried this dialect.  “an’ nothing but our little tent to keep us from the cold. We ‘bout to take ourselves on to somewhere else, we were, when your arrow said hello.”

read on…
aldersprig: (Doorway to Clouds)
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Weather in the Bear Empire

They slept, not well, but dry and warm, pressed against each other in the tight confines of her little shelter.  The rain stopped pounding after a while; she woke at one point to see a half-moon illuminating snowflakes falling.

When the sun rose, the world was wet, branches were broken, and parts of the world were still coated in ice.  Deline pulled on an extra tunic and made sure her boots were dry and clean.

“It’s Spring,’”  Carrone complained.  “Don’t you people here know what spring is?”

“It’s the time when sometimes it snows and rains in the same day, and the temperatures swing from very warm to very cold without stopping to ask anyone’s pardon.  There’s a reason - there’s several reasons - we’re the bear Empire.”

read on…
aldersprig: (AldersGrove)
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Rainclouds in the Bear Empire

Deline hadn’t had time or the right environment to make her protective shield very big; she had spent the energy she had on making it strong instead.  The line of force, a wobbling red-orange from inside, gave them just enough room to lie down, if they lay very close to each other. Standing up wouldn’t work, except in the one spot where the half-wall went all the way up to the ceiling joists; she had used the walls as two of her delimiters.

“What....”  Carrone ducked as the first hail hit the outside of the half-house and bounced off of their shelter.  “What?” he repeated. “What is this devil-begotten place that you call home, woman? The sky is throwing ice at us!  And we - we are in-” He looked around. “It’s a magical tent, isn’t it? That’s all it is.”

read on…
aldersprig: (lock and key)
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Magic in the Bear Empire


That night, they camped under the dubious shelter of a quick lean-to in the middle of a dense stand of pine trees.  The weather cooperated in precipitation, if not in temperature, and Deline woke to find herself pressed against Carrone for warmth.

They were quiet as they walked, working out all of the kinks and sore spots from sleeping on the ground, and when a trader passed them, he left them well alone.  Deline imagined they must look like they were in a horribly foul mood, dangerous people you didn’t want to get too close to.

The gendarme who came upon them several hours later clearly wasn’t worried about that. He glowered at them and asked them questions about a recent robbery nearby and several other issues - thankfully, none of which they’d been involved in.

read on…
aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Sneaking Through the Bear Empire


“Shhh,” he murmured, and sat down next to her.  He moved his hands for a moment in military sign she didn’t recognize, and then, with a frustrated expression, drew in the dust on the ground.

She could read Deklegi script just fine: one man, hunter or farmer.

Not a threat - but right now they wanted nobody to know they had been there, much less to be able to give a reasonable description of their appearance.  She nodded and lay flat on the ground, concentrating on being as quiet as she could be. Next to her, Carrone did the same.

In the silence, she could hear the occasional twig snap as the man below them moved along.  He had the quiet step of someone used to the terrain, but she had the ears of someone who was being hunted and had been many times before.  From Carrone’s expression, his ears were nearly as good.

The man was tracking something - she hadn’t left tracks, had she?  It was too late to fix that, if she had. If he came up here...

read on…
aldersprig: (BookGlasses)
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Poaching in the Bear Empire


Deline woke to find herself pressed up against Carrone and his arm draped over her in turn.  She moved slowly, trying not to wake him. She needed to get her thoughts together and form a plan.  “Head off into nowhere” w

read on…
aldersprig: (lock and key)
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Dying in the Bear Empire


They left the wagon near the front of a farmhouse, making sure the horses were comfortable and had plenty of grass to munch on, and set off on foot, each of them carrying a bag.  As soon as they reached an intersection, they turned off the wagon-road, heading towards the foothills.

Dusk came on them sooner than they’d have liked, the air turning cool as the sun ducked behind the mountains. Deline began looking for a reasonable place to stop for the night.

read on…
aldersprig: (lock and key)
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Hiding In the Bear Empire


Carrone was unsurprisingly quiet as they left Teshone’s.  Deline let it go as they strode down the avenue, but when they got to the carriage house, where the next outbound carriage would soon be heading towards the Imperial Seat, she broke the silence.

“Do you know what happens if someone bound with a Bear-stone bracelet kills the holder of the bracelet - or if the holder dies through other means?”

She noticed the way his shoulders tensed.  She couldn’t bring herself to feel bad about that.

read on…
aldersprig: (lock and key)
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Caught, in the Bear Empire


Deline slept more soundly than perhaps she should have, with a bounty hunter in bed next to her and, presumably, several more on her tail.

She woke in the early morning to see Carrone pacing back and forth in the small floor space of the inn.  He wasn’t talking, but he was gesturing as if he was having an argument, and every few steps he’d glare at the Bear-stone bracelet and the bloody welts the spell-rope had left.

“Time to get on the road.  We can get a bath at the next inn.”  She was pleased to see that he was startled and more pleased to see that he didn’t jump but just twitched a little.  “I’m going to leave you with your weapons, because your job now is to keep me alive.”

He worked his jaw.  “I’d rather stab you.”

read on…
aldersprig: (lock and key)
First: Running in the Bear Empire


The bounty hunter took a couple breaths, studying her.  “You know what they say about the Bear-stone bracelet in Halor, right?”

“I can hazard a guess or two.”

“They say it eats your brain.  They say that when you take it off, there’s nothing left of you.  And they say only certain people in the Empire’s hierarchy are allowed to use them.”

“I did say I could kill you without compunction, didn’t I?”

“Who are you?”

read on…
aldersprig: (lock and key)
For Rowyn.


Someone was on her trail.

Deline knew it.  She could feel it in the prickle on the back of her neck, the way that sometimes it seemed like there was an extra shadow to her shadow, the unsettled feeling that left her leaving her bed in the middle of the night and hitting the road again.

She had been moving for days - no, weeks.  She had left Dekleg behind more than five days ago, and with it the laws that she’d broken.  And Deckleg did not talk to the Elherion Empire, nor the Empire to Dekleg, much less exchange prisoners.  Deline was not even sure if they had any laws in common - which, since she’d spent the last ten years before Dekleg in the Empire, was how she’d gotten in trouble in the first place.

But someone was tracking her, and she didn’t imagine they were doing it to ask her to work for them or to shake her hand for the fine things she’d done in deep Dekleg, where she had dealt with some frankly horrible things.

read on…
aldersprig: (AldersGrove)
Written to @InspectorCaracal's prompt, also the title of this piece. 


The tree stood in the middle of a blasted wasteland, and the one thing that everyone agreed on was that it was magic.

Whether it had been put up by one of the last mages in the great wars as a way to heal the wasteland, or whether its creation had formed the wasteland, nobody could agree.  Whether it was a blessing or a menace, no two people concurred on.  And thus there were two paths through the wasteland, one that ran right next to the tree, and the other which wandered almost a mile away to avoid it.

The tree itself loomed over its own oasis, a small circle of greenery in the middle of an otherwise lifeless expanse.  It was easily over thirty feet wide at the base, and it loomed two hundred feet in the air.  And yet its lowest branches were easily reachable from the ground. 

read on…


Dec. 2nd, 2017 04:50 pm
aldersprig: A Roman Gladius, with the words "Keep Sharp, Live Long" against a leather background. (Sharp)
Marlin had made a promise.

It was the last promise she’d ever make, even if she were still capable of making promises.  She had learned, since, to think about the nature of the words she said.

But she knew, no matter how many times she cursed her impetuousness, that she likely would have ma

read on…
aldersprig: (Side Quest)

Twenty: The Kitten

The gardener in front of them cut a strange figure, her pockets wriggling.

Raizel bowed politely anyway. If she had learned anything so far on this trip it was that she might find the god-touch or even stranger things in places she was expecting nothing of the sort. “I, uh. I offer apology? We were hiding from,” she dropped her voice lower. “We were hiding from a deserter who wanted to accost us, and this was the first open gate. I didn’t mean to trespass.” She might have said We didn’t mean to trespass, but she was fairly sure the Diamond Raven had meant exactly that.

read on...

Dream: The King’s Castle

Story based on a dream I had

The King was raving.

Not that anyone would ever say that; he was the king. You didn’t mention he was raving — or hallucinating, or having fits — if you wanted to hold on to your head, your soul, and your volition.

But the King had gotten it in his head that one of his trusted advisers and lieutenants had betrayed him, and was going around the castle, using The Voice that filled every corner of that huge edifice, declaring that when he found that Lieutenant who’d betrayed him, he would kill them, rend them, destroy them.

read on...
aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)
This was meant to be a comment fic like thus after this comment by Kelkyag, but it turned out a wee bit long. So... bonus ficlet?

After (Before) The Empire Falls, the Emperor Stands.


The young son-of-the-Emperor (they were all sons of the Emperor, although their fathers were all several years dead) waited until two of his cousins were making an appropriate fuss and two more seemed to have decided to climb the bookshelves all the way to the top.

There were seven nursemaids for the lot of them, but, from the things the nurses said when they thought their young charges weren’t listening, there were more of them, the sons, then there had been in recent memory — “recent” in Hildeh’s case and Galleh’s, at least, being a number that stretched back quite some time — and the bureaucracy that funded their employment did not seem inclined to send them any more help.

This particular son — whose name, like easily half of his brothers, was Eranodi, after Eroni, the first Emperor — was glad for the overwork and the subsequent distraction, because it gave him a freedom he was fairly certain young Emperor’s-sons were not supposed to have.

read on…
aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)
My Giraffe (Zebra) Call is open!

Written to kelkyag‘s prompt.


At forty, Gemma considered herself to be relatively practical.

She’d put aside the ridiculousness of her teens and the experimentation of her twenties.  She had staid hobbies and a staid job and, to be quite honest, staid

read on…
aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)
My Giraffe (Zebra) Call Is Open!

Written to lilfluff‘s prompt.  Definitely a beginning.  


“I don’t see why I should step down.  Everyone knows Winter is evil.”

There were four seasons and four courts.  There had always been, as long as the words went back and before that

read on…
aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)
My Giraffe (Zebra) Call is open!

Written to clare_dragonfly's prompt.  It wandered a bit from the prompt...

"Talen" is a (backhanded) homage to someone who will likely never read this...  And obviously the poem/song in this is an homage to 

O I forbid you, maidens all, 
That wear gold in your hair,
To come or go by Carterhaugh,
For young Tam Lin is there.


Do not go by the TalenHall
Where ruined Talen's Holdings Lie

read on…
aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)
My Giraffe (Zebra) Call is open!

Written to alexseanchai's prompt.


The problem with mad kings wasn’t so much the madness part, Iounia thought, as it was the shifting of the madness.

The only sign she’d had that she’d fallen out of favor with the king was a slight shift in his giggle.  If she hadn’t watched Maia be dispensed with the month before after just such a slight shift - and before that Abri, and before that Martia - she might not have known it was time to leave.  

But Iounia was known for her sharp eyes and her attention to detail, which was what had brought her to the mad king’s attention in the first place, what had sat her at his feet as his adviser, and what had led her to stop by Nueva’s room and suggest quietly that she might want to get while the getting was good.

Nueva made long-term plans.  Nueva was really, really good at long-term plans. Dessie was really good at making do with almost nothing.  Between the three of them - because Nueva’s plan had led to grabbing Dessie on the way out - they had gotten out of the palace without a hitch.  They had gotten out of the city without a hitch.

And now, rather to Iounia’s surprise - although she should have seen it coming - they were planning a rebellion.

“Not exactly a rebellion,” Dessie demurred, as they sat in an abandoned barn, cooking rats over a fire.  “More of a housecleaning.  Let the Mad King keep his crown.  We’re just going to - ah.  Work around him.”

“Why let him keep his crown?” Nueva countered.  “Why not let the crown sit on an empty throne?”

“An empty throne invites someone to sit on it.  A madman on the throne invites people to stay away.”

“Let him give orders.”  Iounia understood the plan now.  “And let him believe his orders have been carried out.  Meanwhile, the rest of the country can get on with - well, with being a country.”

Safe in his underground chamber, surrounded by his crowns, the Mad King never did learn that he had fallen out of favor.


And On Wordpress..
aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)
My Giraffe (Zebra) Call is open!

Written to @dahob's prompt.

It was the day past the Autumnal Equinox, and the Emperor wasn’t dead.

The Rothenkill Empire, a wide-spanning mass of bureaucrats, generals, courtiers, financiers, farmers, and clerks, waited with their collective breaths held.

The servants of the Emperor moved slowly and carefully, as if their heads might fall off if they went about their tasks too quickly, or if they said the wrong thing.

Everyone was waiting.  Everyone was confused.  And almost everyone was worried.

In the Rothenkill Empire, it was said that the Emperors fell with the leaves.  And, like leaves, it was known that sometimes, the Emperors needed a little push, a helpful shove.

So where was the shove?

“This is nor normal,” complained the Chief Financier in charge of budgets. “What are we going to do?  Someone should do something.”

“Someone has to do something,” complained the Head Bureaucrat in charge of law distribution, re-writing, and deletion.

“Won’t someone do something?” pleaded the General of the Imperial Armies.  “He’s starting to give orders that make sense and can’t be ignored!  What are we going to do if we can’t ignore him?”

The Emperor, snug on his throne, pretended he could hear none of this.  He hadn’t ascended to the Poison Throne by looking or acting particularly bright, after all.  None of his predecessors had, either, not in decades, possibly not in centuries.

“The problem is,” muttered a person serving as a handmaiden, “nobody remembers how.”  Her grandmother had once helped off three emperors in a row, but that had been when you got a class of emperor that sometimes needed a shove.  “And with this one, I’m not going to risk it.”

And the Emperor smiled as the empire - the mass of functionaries that had killed his father, his grandfather, and countless of his various uncles and cousins - began to crumble under its own confusion.


and on wordpress...
aldersprig: (Ciara)
Written to sauergeek's prompt, in a 'verse that I just created.  


Defekisal was running.

This was not an actually common experience in Kisal’s life, because when you did things right, you didn’t have to run.

But luck had not been with Kisal today, and so it was time for pounding

read on…
aldersprig: (BookGlasses)
The wedding had been a fete to be spoken of for generations; the entire capital city had been invited. The Princess Zsófika was resplendent in her gown of pearls and sapphires, and if anyone noticed that her vows did not allow for the possibility of refusal, no-one mentioned it.  She was marrying the Emperor, after all, poor girl.  She was marrying the Emperor and tying her natal kingdom finally and entirely into the Empire.

The celebration went on for a week, the Emperor and his new bride at every event, the bride in a shining new dress every day.  Later, women who knew who to talk to would fight each other for the rights to this dress or that, as they would only touch the Princess’ body the once, and they were, both literally and in the more common sense, a king’s ransom, every single one of them.

And then the Princess went into the Tower, the Consort’s Tower, the bride’s Tower, the Tallest Tower, and the Emperor went back to the business of ruling a slightly-larger empire.

read on…
aldersprig: (Theocracy)
January by the numbers continues (We're in February now but hey)

From [ profile] sauergeek's prompt Bombastic bishop blusters, bristles: a ficlet.

Read more... )
aldersprig: (Dragon Orange)
January by the numbers continues (We're in February now but hey)

From [ profile] sauergeek's prompt Deep delving dwarves discover dragons; discussions, disagreements develop: a ficlet.

The Dwarves of Daunaiya were not, as a rule, the deep-digging sort. They were, as a group, a little taller, a little less stocky than, say, their Northern Yudarsha cousins, and there were some who thought that they, not the nearby fae, were the cause of the “under-hill” myths. After all, the Daunaiya Dwarves dug under hills, not mountains, their tunnels following veins of silver and copper and lapis that wound under Darrenshire, the tallfolk land above Daunaiya.

Divisha cha-Doathshin was not born for the shallow digging. Some said it was in her blood — a grandfather from Yudarsha, a great-grandmother from Pellaye up in the Pellasher Mountains — some said she was just contrary, and some thought she was too proud for the team-based work of most dwarven mining.

But she was good, and when you are just that good at swinging your ax, just that good at sniffing out new veins, just that good at knowing exactly when to stop mining a seam, you are given some leeway. So when Divisha said she wanted to dig down, she encountered far less resistance — the political and social sort, at least — than another dwarf might have.

Down they dug, finding a vein they had not discovered before, down into metals only their ancestral records had words for, down into stones that glistened and shined like the sun itself, like grass after a rainfall, like lovers’ eyes. They were not deep-digging dwarves, and every hand-width down became that much harder, became that much more tempting, became that much more maddening.

They were twice as deep and half again as any Daunaiya dwarf had ever dug when Divisha suddenly called out “Stop!” And every single one of them know what that meant. Knew to hold onto their pick and hold their breaths the second she said it.

But there were diamonds and fesk-faturn glittering in young Dreniall’s eyes, and she swung her pick one more time.

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aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)

This is the next post in the 'Rescue, of Sorts' storyline, which can be found at this tag:

It is written to a donation by [personal profile] thnidu after Rescued Indeed...

It took them a week to escape the castle, although their eventual bid for freedom was far less dramatic than the first time they’d met. “Just want to scout the countryside,” Daxton assured his parents, and, “they want us to rule something, we ought to see what we could rule,” Esha told her captain.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)

This is the next post in the 'Rescue, of Sorts' storyline, which can be found at this tag:

It is written to a commissioned present for [personal profile] clare_dragonfly, as well as to [ profile] kelkyag's prompt here for my Summer Giraffe Call and a very-requested line item to my Finish It? request.

The wedding was the sort of pomp-and-circumstance affair you’d expect from a nation in the middle of a long peacetime, not one that was attacked on nearly a weekly basis. It was rich and extravagant, and if the coffers of the Duchy and some of the King and Queen’s own money had been plundered to pay for it, so had many people donated time and materials to the event as well.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: A Rescue of Sorts
Previous: A Rescue In Kind

Esha was not quite locked in her room, but Daxton had to coax his way past three maids and a very very burly valet. Once there, he found her surrounded by three seamstresses and one milliner, all of them draping her in yards of lace and satin.

She was plucking at it helplessly. “This is… This is lovely. But it’s so expensive, and I don’t know how I’m going to move in any of it.” She hadn’t quite noticed Daxton yet. He stayed quiet and watched.

“You’re not supposed to move. You’re supposed to glide quietly down the center aisle and then stand, lovely, staring into your groom’s eyes.” The head dressmaker tch’d. “There are princesses that would kill for a dress like this.”

“The problem is that I’m not a princess. I’m a soldier.”

“I’m aware.” She squeezed Esha’s bicep rather more firmly than Daxton thought was necessary. “It’s making all sorts of difficulties in fitting you.”

“What if you tried to fit her?” Daxton stepped forward and took a sketch pad from an unresisting junior dressmaker.

“That’s what I just said. And what are you doing here?”

“No, no. Fit the dress to the bride. I’m not marrying her because she can glide nicely, after all.” He studied Esha for a moment, then sketched out a few lines on the paper. “Like this. A dress. Silk and lace. But a bit of white leather here, and then here, like a sword belt. She earned her title and her sword. Far more than I did, and there’s supposed to be one in my uniform. Let her carry them.”
He passed the sketch over to Esha before the dressmaker could snatch it, and was graced with a slow smile creeping across her face.

“Oh,” she said, pleased, “I’m keeping you.”

“That was the deal.” Daxton leaned against the wall and grinned. He was already managing to rescue her, and he’d just gotten here.
aldersprig: (KinkBingo2)
after The Prisoner Would Not Relent, and he Would Not Speak

The bath attendants moved around the prisoner, their cloths wiping off layers of dirt and blood. The woman stood in front of him, unmoving, her gaze locked on him.

It seemed to the bath attendants that the two of them stayed like that, in silence, for forever. By the slow removal of the filth from the prisoner's skin, it was less than a quarter hour.

She spoke first. That was both meet and unsurprising. She spoke in her own language, too - also as was correct. The building they were in and everyone and everything in it, all of that belonged to her.

"I understand why my father failed."

He said nothing, simply tilted his head to one side. She smiled in response, a humorless expression her attendants knew well.

"Strength. Your people value strength." She held one hand above his bicep, and then pushed away in negation. "To look at you, to look at your family - my father assumed that you valued strength of body. I imagine you do. It is one road to true strength."

The bath attendants did not pretend to understand, but they listened nonetheless. They were not forbidden to gossip, after all.

The prisoner smiled. At first, it was a small thing, but it grew into a grin. He made a noise, and all but the bravest attendant jumped back. He might be bound and collared, but they had seen what had happened to those who had bound him.

The noise turned into a chuckle. The bath attendants waited, cautiously, until their liege gestured them forward. Then, although they were all still frightened, they resumed their long job of cleaning the grime off the prisoner.

The prisoner's laughter stopped. He spoke three words in his own tongue, and then, with a polite nod at the attendant in front of him, spoke again in their language. "Strength, indeed, Queen Quedra."

She nodded her head, the closest to a bow a Queen should ever make. "So, there will now be peace between our nations, King Hadrio."

The prisoner nodded. "It is all in your hands."
aldersprig: (KinkBingo2)
Content includes unwilling capture, allusions to violence, broken bones, blood, and gore.

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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
July's Patreon Theme was "More, Please;" the prompt call covered anything my $5 readers would like to see continued.

A Rescue in Kind, a story of Daxton-and-Esha continued
The Hunt Continues, a story of fox hunting in Tir na Cali continued
Down, Down, Down, more of Doug and the Basement - free for all to read!

I also posted a couple other stories on Patreon:
Last Bid, a story of a worried slave in Tir na Cali
The Queen's Councillor, a story also of Tir na Cali and a Queen worrying her people.

Check them all out here!

Not a member yet? For $1/month, you can read all patron-only stories.
For $5/month, you not only get access to the prompt calls, you will put my Patreon over the next Milestone Goal and open up a monthly serial!
aldersprig: (AldersGrove)
A Rescue in Kind

a story of captivity, continued: the ongoing story of Daxton and Esha, begun here:

Daxton was captive again, struggling not to take it in ill grace. This time, it seemed unlikely that Esha could rescue him...

Want to read this and many other stories? A Patronage of just $1/month will give you access to everything posted on Patreon.

Want input into the story prompts? A Patronage of $5/month lets you prompt in the monthly prompt calls. For $15/month you get your own personal story!

Check it out!
aldersprig: (BookGlasses)
First: Rock, Hard, Now What? a
Previous: Not Rocking the Boat.

Written to [personal profile] rix_scaedu's commission.

The armorer wasn’t entirely copacetic about giving Chress a knife, but Arisse was still Crown Princess, and there was little the woman could do except voice her concerns.

She did that in at least three different languages and seventeen different turns of phrase, but when Chress tested the weight on the dagger and found it the best he’d ever held, she seemed at least a little mollified.

“You shouldn’t be running errands, you know, Princess.” The armorer shook her head. “You’re Crown Princess, remember.”

“I remember.” It was surprisingly hard to forget it. She’d lost siblings to get that title. Arisse smiled brightly at the armorer and tried not to think about funerals. “I was concerned he might get lost - or fall down a set of stairs and break his neck. Accidentally.”
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aldersprig: (BookGlasses)
After Rock, Hard, Now What? and Two Rocks and All The Pebbles.

For the "Do up whatever story/stories suit your fancy or for whomever most wants/needs 'em." commission and the poll here

Getting Chress pants turned out to be a bit of a challenge. The laundry kept livery for the palace servants and slaves, true, and it kept uniforms for the guards. But even the broadest and widest of the palace servants were not generally as broad in the hips or the thighs as Chress. And while the guards were a match for him in size, they tended to favor kilts or short tunics; Chress’ opinion on that was short and to the point and decidedly negative.

The head launderer was beside himself trying to help, providing option after option. Finally, he reached into a bin on the other side of the room, the side where they kept the courtier’s clothing. “Sir Nateron is nearly of a height with you, and very... broad. He ripped these pants, and while I’d mended them properly, I had nobody to pass them down to.” He looked worried. “If a pair of mended pants are acceptable for the Princess’ slave...”
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
To [ profile] kelkyag's prompt to my H/C prompt here. After A Rescue in Hand.

There were people everywhere. There were courtiers and mercenaries, guards and generals and servants, all of them pushing as close to Daxton as they dared, all of them talking at once.

Esha was holding up, standing straight and answering questions. She was the hero of the day and she was rightfully proud, but she still had an arrow sticking out of her shoulder, and she was turning a bit grey.

Daxton met his father's eyes over the crowd. He couldn't remember the last time he'd done that. From the raised eyebrows his father was showing, neither could he.

"Son?" He pitched his voice carefully, carrying over the crowd and aimed straight at Daxton.

"You offered my hand in marriage?" Daxton used the same trick. He wasn't as good at it; the nearby crowd hushed.

"I did. If you-"

For the first time since he was two years old, he cut off his father in a public situation. "I'd like to take my betrothed to the palace doctor now, please. She's injured, and she got injured saving my life."

The Duke smiled at him. "Go right ahead, son. Captain Senner, Captain Iken, please escort Lady Esharina and Lord Daxton to the doctor. My son - I am very pleased to have you back."

Lady. They were really going to do it. He bowed, as low as he could. "Thank you." Before anything could sneak up on them, he wrapped a careful arm around Esha and led her to the doctor's suite.
aldersprig: (BookGlasses)
Previous: Probably a Rescue
First: A Rescue, of Sorts
see also:
A Proof, Of Sorts

For the "Do up whatever story/stories suit your fancy or for whomever most wants/needs 'em." commission and the poll here

Daxton’s rescuer really had thought of everything. She’d packed a change of clothing for him, as well as scissors to trim his scraggly hair and a razor for his beard. When they rode away from the cabin, he was as clean, as well-dressed and as smooth-shaven as he had been on the day the Red Queen’s agents had taken him.

He was skinnier, by quite a bit, but he had a full stomach for the first time in ages. And he was a lot more nervous than he had been, right up until the moment the Red Queen’s people had grabbed him.

“You could ruin me, you know.” It wasn’t the most cheerful conversation for your prospective wife, but then again, most prospective wives didn’t pull one out of a dungeon owned by a wildly powerful despot.

“If I’d wanted to ruin you, I would have left you in the dungeon.”
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aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
Stories for which I have no extant Setting

Utterly Random
The Snow War (LJ)
Being First(LJ)
On the Water (LJ)
Thought Experiments, a story of Impossible Situations (LJ)
After the Fire (LJ)

Non-Modern Second World
No Parades (LJ)

Day Twin, Night Twin (LJ)
The Dark and Light Mirrors (LJ)
The Light World and its Shadows (LJ)

The Tuesday Map (LJ) Life in the BAELZ.
Birth of a City (LJ) It started with asteroid miners...
Down in Human Town (LJ)
Out of Nowhere(LJ)
Sol Invictus (LJ)
Remembering Earth (no crosspost)
Decanted (No xpost)
Amongst the Wrifflites (LJ)

Modern Fantasy
Bleed it Out (LJ)
Twelve Roses and One ()
First Rose (LJ) After 12 Roses and One

Bus Stop (LJ)

The Gift Fairy (LJ) "The job fairy ain't going to come give you a job."
I Want to Tell a Story (LJ) It wasn’t what Miss Kelley was expecting to hear from her students.
Made from Words (LJ)
Miss Midas (LJ)
Gift-Wife (LJ)
The Truth, and Hair-Pieces (LJ)
A Star in the East (LJ)
A True Gift (LJ), to [personal profile] anke's prompt
A Present for the Queen of Underhill (LJ) to [ profile] moon_fox's prompt
Little Gift (LJ)to [profile] moon_fox's prompt
Reunion (LJ) A slight case of being imaginary
Reality Changes (LJ) (and we can change it)
The Norm (LJ) Being Normal, being Norm

Changing Verses (LJ)

Urban Fantasy
First Steps (LJ) The city remembers
The Dark Places, the Numbered Streets (LJ) - Ance seeks a real adventure. And finds it.
Recovering the City (LJ)
Breaking Ground (LJ)
...On My Parade (LJ)
And Before That? (LJ)
Backstage (LJ), technically Big Trouble in Little China fanfic
No Monster, No Lurking (LJ)
The Manticore (LJ)

The Heritage That Wasn't (LJ)
A Heritage Earned (LJ)

The Cracks
Through the Cracks (LJ)
"China is Here" (LJ)
The Dark of the City (Lj)
Up From the Cracks (LJ)
The Darkness in the Shadows (LJ) (similar setting to The Cracks)

The most Interesting Wine (LJ)
Setting the Table (LJ)

Bruin's Birthday (LJ)
Falling (LJ)
Commute (LJ)

Rose Petals (LJ)
Pure Snow White (LJ)

Failure to Properly Case the Joint (LJ)
A Piece of Cake (LJ)
Strong Enough? (LJ)
Hallowe'en's Past (LJ)
Trek-style Geek (LJ)

Adhara Speaks (LJ)

Modern: Superheroes
Landing Page Here Now

Pantry (LJ)

Family Souveniers(LJ)
Souvenir (LJ) A little something from every city

Teaching for the Future (LJ) - unknown Apoc 'verse

Time to Play (LJ)
Under the Sea (LJ)

Big Brother (LJ)

Learn-to-Knit-Day (LJ)
Lost Day (LJ)
A Toque for Hill Primus (LJ)

Salvation in a Bottle
Wine of the Swan Maidens (LJ)
Still (LJ), a story for my Mother.
Kirkevaren (LJ)

The Second Restriction (LJ)
Eralon Explains (LJ)

First Wind (LJ)
First Nesting (LJ)

Flying Squirrel: Frying Pan, Fire? (LJ)

A Physical Detail, just a minor thing (LJ) (a writing exercise)
aldersprig: (KinkBingo2)
Rock, Hard, Now What?

“How do we get through this? I’ll tell you how. Let me go. Then I can get out of this damn place, and I’ll be just fine.” He flexed against the chains, digging their edges into his skin. “You can fend for yourself.”

“Not going to happen. Letting you go is suicide for me - and the king’s soldiers will hunt you down.”

He growled. “Damnit, woman, I’m not going to bow and scrape for a year like some slave.”

It didn’t seem to bear pointing out that, technically, he was a slave. “Nobody’s asking you to.”

“Sure as blazes sounds like it.” He shifted his weight from one knee to the other.

“No.” The princess shook her head slowly. “I am asking you to agree to live in my suite for a year and to refrain from killing people - especially me - for that year.”

“While being your slave.”
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Written to [personal profile] rix_scaedu's commissioned continuation.

If you want more of this story - and this one could go on for a while!! - drop a tip in, ah, the tip handcuffs:

More: here


aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)

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