aldersprig: (Mermaid 2)
Things Unspoken, South Coast

There were not people in all the seas.

Some of them were too dark, too cold, too inhabited by things that either had been driven off the land or had simply claimed the water for their own.

Some were too close to human people, some were too heavily sailed,

read on…
aldersprig: (Mermaid 2)
Percival looked at the clock.  The day was right; the calculation was right; the ball was the perfect setting.
It had taken a little doing.  Yes, the Club had a ball like this once per year.  Yes, they held it in this place, the Grand Promenade, as it was called, right on the water.  These thi

read on…
aldersprig: (Mermaid 2)
They had given her a plinth.

They collected the most interesting members of every family, and for them, she was very interesting indeed.

There were three of her distance cousins who also had plinths, but hers was the highest and the most decorated.  And if there was a chain, and she could not swim that far from her plinth, well, many others had chains as well, in this land.  It seemed to her, watching the land from her water-bound pedestal, that there were more people with chains than without.

read on…
aldersprig: (unspoken)
Poll #18989 Last Nano Poll!
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 7

Science!, Fairy Town, Things Unspoken, and/or Inner Circle: which stories should I continue?

View Answers

The Trouble With Theories...
3 (42.9%)

What are we Sciencing For, then?
2 (28.6%)

More people might want to...
1 (14.3%)

In Theory
0 (0.0%)

Making Friends
3 (42.9%)

Katydid, Stone Soup and Other Gifts
5 (71.4%)

Whitney, Planting some Good
5 (71.4%)

Aston, Give and Take
1 (14.3%)

The Beggars
3 (42.9%)

Reaching out for the Congregation, and earlier Guarding the Church
2 (28.6%)

Finish it: Scheffenon
4 (57.1%)

Child of the Unburnt Ash
4 (57.1%)

Around Elephants
1 (14.3%)

Meeting the Archmage
2 (28.6%)

Semi-demi-fic of Inner Circle
0 (0.0%)

Anything I missed you really want to see more of?

The Links:

A Long List of Links for all of the shorter polls

The Trouble With Theories...
What are we Sciencing For, then?
More people might want to...
In Theory
Making Friends

Fairy Town:
Katydid, Stone Soup and Other Gifts
Whitney, Planting some Good
The Kirkavare, and Mirandabelle, and Father Nehemiah, and Mrs. Bao, Strange Things and Stranger, and earlier, Reaching out for the Congregation, and earlier Guarding the Church
Aston, Give and Take
The Beggars

Things Unspoken:
Finish it: Scheffenon
Child of the Unburnt Ash
Around Elephants

Inner Circle:
(Not Actually Demifiction) of Inner Circle
Meeting the Archmage

aldersprig: (unspoken)

This is of a series with N is for Nereid, O is for Octopi, R is for Rituals, Linguistic Tricks, and Finish It: Scheffenon but stands alone.
The summer was a hot one, a dry one, and, all over the land, fountains had dried up and every drop of water was hoarded.

The weather was as warm as it ever got on the Northern Sea, and the waters were full of bathers from all over the Empire. It was quite the place to go, Scheffenon, known for its rejuvenative waters, its quiet and attentive, yet non-inquisitive staff, and its beautiful fountains.
Free for all Patrons!

aldersprig: (unspoken)
My first story for Crayon Bingo! In my Things Unspoken 'Verse.

The necklace had traveled a very long way, over the course of what Hideria thought was probably nearly a century.

It was gorgeous, as a matter of course; it had been owned by the Dowager Queen of Kelanthia, who was renowned for having excellent taste, and it had been stolen by the Pirate Duchess of the Golden Sea, who had very expensive tastes, if not quite always so excellent.

And it shone from the inside out with a sort of magical glow that only some people - and presumably the Pirate Duchess had been one of them - could see.

It was made of black coral, the sort of thing you never found anywhere outside of the Northern Sea, and the sort of thing that was punishable by death in at least three cities on that sea to remove from its waters.
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aldersprig: (unspoken)
January by the numbers continues (still three days off, meeps~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag's prompt "Stylish scalloped skirts swish shockingly;" a ficlet.

There’s the faux-history that the sight of an ankle was once considered shocking. There’s the myth about limbs and their ability to raise heart rates, and maybe those myths and faux-histories are true. Certainly, in many places in the Empire, the ladies go bundled up tightly, covered discreetly from head to toe, and then men are thrilled at the sight of a wrist. In other places, it is the men who wear long-vests over scalloped tunics over loose pants, and women peer surreptitiously to see the curve of a man’s buttock or the line of his hip.

In Urhallo, where the summers are warm and the winters are chill but not freezing, the women wear trousers made of muslin and calico and dress-like vests made of starched linen; the women smoke the fellna-weed that gives them visions, and play cards all night under the moon.

The men dance for them, young and single men, their vests and jackets coverings their shoulder blades and sternums, their arms to the wrist, and hardly more than that. The man sway their hips and thrust them, hum their songs and shout them, whisper endearments and sing them.

The men in Urhallo — all of them, not just the dancers — wear skirts, swishy ones that flow with their movement or straighter, businesslike ones that don’t get in the way and still conceal their lines from prying eyes. The dancers wear skirts, short ones, with scalloped hems cut just so. And the viewers — male and female — all lean forward, hoping the skirt will give them a little view of what the swishy skirts hide.
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aldersprig: (unspoken)
January by the numbers continues (still a day off~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag's prompt "purple pretenses;" a story of Things Unspoken


In the western cities, the ones that had once belonged to an Empire called only To (never the To Empire, the Tovan nation, or anything else, just To), it was known that women of a certain class wore purple (as is often the case, this was an exalted class, the policy-makers, the deciders). This purple was very difficult to make, and was made only by a small group of people, dyers with the To Mandate of purple.

But in the evening light, there were three other colors that could be mistaken for this exalted purple. They were not all made by simpler means; indeed, one was even harder to achieve than that allowed by the To Mandate. But they were not regulated, they were not restricted, and anyone with sufficient coin - either literal or in trade or services - could obtain them.

Despite the prevalence of the false purples, there were, but cultural agreement, several things believed without fail of those wearing purple (even, perhaps especially, in the seediest establishments where those who wore the purple by To Mandate would be unlikely to ever be seen): they were women; they were affluent; they were powerful; they had the ear of those at the highest levels of government — the To.

Some people wore the false purples for that last reason, and collected bribes no genuine wearer of the purple would ever touch (although some of those worked surreptitiously for those genuine-purple-wearers, and the messages sometimes actually got to the correct ears.

Some people wore the purple to be believed affluent, or to show off genuine affluence, and they were often courted in such a way that their affluence became real if it had been false before.

Some wore the purple because it was shorthand for being a woman, because no man, rich or poor, could wear that hue by To Mandate.

And some wore it because others liked to touch those who had power, and would pay well for the illusion of an hour with a decider-in-purple.

Wrapped in their purple pretenses, they strode the streets that had once been To (and were forever so, in the hearts and minds of the people), and were all the more powerful for it.

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aldersprig: (unspoken)
January by the numbers continues (just a day off~)!
From [personal profile] thnidu's prompt "Seven silly sausage sellers swilling snazzy sodas;" a story of... maybe Things Unspoken?

It had been a good day for Dayuved Yura's sausage-vending franchise. The central square and the park that ran two blocks south of it had been packed with people; the road in between had been busy with people hurrying back and forth between the two places; the bicycle-taxi peddlers were hungry, too, and snatching sausages in their brief breaks between customers - sometimes, they even stopped with a cab full of people, often meaning the passengers all bought sausages, too.

(Bicycle-taxi peddlers always got a discount at Dayuved Yura's places, and in these situations, his sellers were instructed to quietly refund the peddler the full price of their sausage under the cover of "giving change," as long as the passengers bought at least two meals. It kept the peddlers coming to Dayuved's cards, and not to someone else's inferior meat-in-a-bun wagons.

Now that the sun had set and the nighttime shift had taken over, Dayuved and his six daytime workers gathered ad Amincob Kote's soda stand to marvel over the day.

"That dancer-" Dayuved started. "Did you see those feathers?"

"Those marchers, with the twirling sticks," put in his second-in-command. They had the best places in the central square, but today, everyone had been in a good place.

"The heralds," murmured the most junior seller. "They blew those horns, and it was like everyone was on strings."

"The woman," an old man on his fourth job whispered. "She was..."

"Yeah," everyone murmured. There was little else that needed to be said. But someone, the quiet one, managed anyway.

"Her companions... so shiny. So tall."

"Who was she?" breathed one of the young ones. But all the old ones shook their heads.

"She sold sausages for us. She made smiles on their faces. She went to the place on the hill. That's all we know, that's all we ask."

"But that's... that's silly," complained the young one again. And the old ones just smiled and sipped their sodas.

"Silly, son, keeps the gold in the cash-box and keeps our heads on our necks. Silly sells sausages."

"Silly sells sausages," they all agreed, leaving the young ones feeling that "silly" was some sort of cynical cipher for sensible.

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aldersprig: (unspoken)
In Tyeibon, at the height of the body-modification craze, they did not call it hourglass-shaped but violin-shaped, or, sometimes, cello-curved.

Women wore backless dresses draped low on their spine, and had installed strings running from neck to bottom, in imitation of violins. (Men, too, wore backless outfits, and their spines were decorated with ports and keys, but that is a story for another time.) Extreme examples would have tuning pegs worked into the decoration at the neck; the number of strings would range from three up to twenty. They would slide a small, arched bridge between spine and strings, to change the sound of the their music.

The strings were magical, of course. Human bodies, no matter how shaped, does not make the sounds that a hollow piece of wood does. But with these decorations, those bodies could be played like an instrument.
It had become the habit by this point for young rakes and old troubadours to carry their own bow around with them (as women carried their own reed and mouthpiece). Impromptu concerts might break out in the streets sometimes; a very clever musician knew how to create a song on the fly, to match the lady's sound and key, for every body made its own sound.

It was beautiful indeed. Tyeibon came to be known throughout the Empire for the beauty of their songs and the shapeliness of their women, the strangeness of their fashion and the elaborateness of their courting rituals. They made the highest music there, the songs played in the court of the Emperor himself.
And then an enterprising young farmer-cum-musician slid a flatter bridge between the strings of a would-be socialite, and flattened his bow just so across her strings, and drew from her lean and strong body a twang unheard of in Tyeibon’s more rarefied circles.

In Tyeibon, they did not say hourglass-shaped but violin-curved, or, in a later era, fit as a fiddle.

Written to last week's Thimbleful Thursday prompt & part of my Things Unspoken 'verse
aldersprig: (unspoken)
This is written for my third Finish It! Bingo Card, coming after R is for Rituals and Linguistic Tricks.

If Eliška Konvalinka had been male and still an Informer, she would have found some friendly person and asked them to show her how to tie the complicated head-scarf she'd - he'd - seen here and there throughout the crowds. If she'd guessed right, the person she asked would have a tie to the people with those scarves, who spoke in a strange language when speaking to each other and who held themselves apart from the rest of Scheffenon.

Since she was firstly an Informer, she repeated the teaching poem of Scheffenon to herself several times, taking notes of the parts that might relate, and then she spent the evenings of two weeks in the library, reading up on all of the strange histories of Scheffenon.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (unspoken)

After Æ is for Ash, for the Finish It! Bingo Round Two.

This came out super-weird, in part because Æ is for Ash seemed like a complete story to me as was. So it's... tangential? Sort of? Also, it didn't want to end.

Read more... )
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
okay, so I have listened to too much Hamilton over the last few months, and I woke up with this line in my head:
    I’m a girl in a world in which
    My only job is to marry rich
    My father has no sons so I’m the one
    Who has to social climb for one
    Satisfied (

Historically, this is untrue, but it got me thinking, what about a situation where it was?

And, uh, being me, slavery ended up involved. (Have I ever told you about like the first time I can remember slavery being involved in a fictional world of mine?)

“Take the knee,” she urged.

In another world, in another place, she might have said Join the priesthood and be my confessor, and then we can be together. He may have given her the same face as he did in this one: dubious skepticism.
“Marry me,” he countered. “Be my bride, and we’ll change the world together.”
Read more... )
aldersprig: (unspoken)
Written to an anonymous prompt here to my Summer Giraffe Call.

“This is going to be a difficult case.”

Viola Candroon frowned at the case file. Her secretary’s tidy handwriting filled three pages, detailing every piece of the puzzle laid before them. For the most part, the text was devoid of expression. Maxwell was a very solid investigator in his own right and tended to keep the interviewer out of the interview, as the saying went.

“I dare say ‘difficult’ isn’t going to be the half of it, ma’am,” Maxwell offered. “If you’ll see…”
Read more... )
aldersprig: (unspoken)
Written to [personal profile] alatefeline's prompt here to my Summer Giraffe Call.

“Oh, look, Matilda, isn’t that lovely?”

Allan didn’t hate tourists, not the way his sister did, but he found many of them a little too blind to be believable.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (unspoken)
This is a sibling piece with N is for Nereid, O is for Octopi, and P is for Poinsettias, and follows after R is for Rituals.

It is set in the Things Unspoken 'verse, and was written to [personal profile] chanter_greenie's prompt here to the current Giraffe Call.

Eliška Konvalinka had been in Scheffenon for less than a month, and already she found herself learning a new language.

One of the key skills looked for in potential Informers - next to a keen eye for detail and a flawless memory - was a good ear for languages and dialects. Eliška's primary linguistic family was the West Torvaldic, of which Cornesc, the language spoken in Scheffenon, was a key example. That was one of the reasons the Informers had placed her here. In three days, she was speaking Cornesc, if not like a native, then like a long-time visitor.
Read more... )

If you want more, Eliška's story has plenty more coming! Drop a tip in the tip pack below.

Giraffe Call rates apply: $1/100 words.
aldersprig: (unspoken)
From [personal profile] thnidu's prompt here in honor of the Things Unspoken landing page

They called it the Unburnt Tree. In Corthwin, which had burned thrice in known history, and, from the records in the places not yet rebuilt, appeared to have burned at least three times before they began counting such things, there stood an Ash Tree. It was unbelievably tall - the tallest thing in the city - and incredibly wide. And nobody built within a hundred meters of its spread in any direction.

They called it the Unburnt Tree for good reason. By all indications, the tree had been growing for longer than Corthwin had stood. In a city which had burned so many times, in a land where massive forest fires had once ranged, the Unburnt Tree stood. When the Empire had taken over the nation of which Corthwin was a major city, the Unburnt Tree stood, unharmed, untouched, even when the catapults flung burning pitch over the walls. When an earlier Emperor had, soon before he was quietly helped to the next life, sought to eliminate sources of "superstition" throughout the Empire and ordered the Unburnt Tree cut down, the axes had bounced off.

What was more, scions of the tree or seedlings grown from its seeds, all of those that survived to be saplings or larger took on the properties of their ancestor. Now, surrounding Corthwin, there grew a wall of trees, some no thicker than a finger, but all of them bearing the promise: the world might burn, but these trees would not. And, what's more, all those who sheltered under their leaves would be safe.

The Unburnt tree could not protect all of Corthwin. But with its children, it could protect the people.
aldersprig: (unspoken)
First: Prince Rodegard Visits the Imperial Capital

Previous: The Merger of Railways

To [personal profile] thnidu's commissioned continuation

Rodegard knew he wasn't considered the brightest candle. He was big, enthusiastic, and sometimes clumsy - "like an overgrown puppy," his father liked to say. His skills didn't help, either: even though their nation desperately needed it, being good with the earth was considered a low skill, a dumb skill.

But he could read which way the river was flowing, and he could see the spaces where his minder wasn't saying things. He let the train roll by. He let his breath steady. He watched Kneginja Esedora watching him.

"So you're preparing me to be Empressina Nadia's consort." He found the idea neither terrified him nor thrilled him nearly as much as it should.

If you want more - and I'm pretty sure this wants to be a full-length romance novel - drop a tip in the tip... handcuffs ;-)

aldersprig: (unspoken)
First: Prince Rodegard Visits the Imperial Capital

Previous: Edora Begins to Explain Life to Prince Rodegard

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


Edora stared out the train window. The countryside of Prince Rodegard’s mother’s nation rolled by at a stately, weedy pace: Iscandia. The place was at the far western edge of the Empire, pressed against the mountains on one side, the sea on the second side, the Empire on one long side, and on its far side - a unruly collection of states that the Empire did not dignify with a name. It was a weedy, poor place, not good for much, but the Imperial territory it touched was a rich, prosperous country with many natural resources. It behooved the Empire to keep Iscandia within its borders.

“Do you know who built these tracks, Rodegard?”

The prince was not looking out the window, she knew. He was staring at her, trying not to bounce in his seat like a toddler. Her question made him make a noise, somewhere between a groan and a whine, that he quickly suppressed.

“What’s that have to do with anything? I mean. I mean, the Empire built them, didn’t it?”

Edora shook her head. “These tracks in particular were built by a company called Cortenar Railways. The Empire owns the land under them, and it leases the land - and travel rights, and the right to make money off of the trains travelling the tracks - to various railway companies. Nearer the Capital, it’s Helarna-Jakobs Railway and Shipping, and so on.”

“But what does that have to do with--” Rodegard cut himself off. “I’m sorry, Da- Your Highness.”

“All of these railways have to join. There are at least seventeen of these companies – I’m not a railways expert, so please don’t quote me on the number – and they have to link together just so to make the Imperial railway system work. Do you follow?”

“Yes, ma’am.” He was slouching in his seat. He wasn’t listening as well as he should be. Well, he would learn.

“The whole Empire is like that. Millions of tiny pieces that all have to link up just so. Nations with their own royalties, their own laws... and they all have to link up properly with the Empire’s rules and laws. And what’s more than that, millions of people that have to link up.”

“It’s politics.” He nodded slowly. “Takaranne and Caredorn are better at politics than I am. I was always better with crops.”

“Well, that’s part of what I’m here to teach you. It may have been a while ago that I was put on a train like this - but I remember everything I had to learn.”

He narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. “Twenty years ago, the Empressina’s cousin - the Crown Emperito - he, ah. He was killed.”

“You know your history.” Edora kept all emotion out of her voice. Emperito Mateusz had been a bit older than her, but he had been kind. After all this time, that was most of what she could remember.

“Empressina Nadia is not married yet.” He was speaking very slowly, carefully, picking his way through the rocks and gopher-holes.

“She is... not exactly married yet.”

There was a moment where Rodegard’s shoulders relaxed, and then his eyes narrowed again and he tensed. “This is more complicated than lining up railroad tracks, isn’t it?”

“People always are.” Edora allowed herself a smile. He might not be entirely useless. “People are always more complicated.”


If you want more - and I'm pretty sure this wants to be a full-length romance novel - drop a tip in the tip... handcuffs ;-)

aldersprig: (unspoken)
Things Unspoken

...And seriously creepy. Did I mention the creepy? - [ profile] kelkyag

The world is a continent-spanning empire, and other places that are not the empire and thus less important but no less interesting. The era is that of steam engines and ridiculous fashion, of public shows of manners and private displays of lewdness.

The empire consists of many nations. Every one of them has their own secrets, their own governments. Each nation is semi-autonomous - but only semi. For the Empire rules over everything.

And if strange things creep in the shadows? Well, in the end, those things too are ruled by the Empire.

Prince Rodegard Visits the Imperial Capital (LJ)
Edora Begins to Explain Life to Prince Rodegard (LJ)

Around Elephants (LJ)
The Club (LJ)

N is for Nereid
O is for Octopi (LJ)
P is for Poinsettias (LJ)
Q is for Quietness (LJ)
R is for Rituals (LJ)

Needed: a City Name (LJ)
A Draft Map of the Unspoken World (LJ)
aldersprig: (unspoken)
The Meme Master Post

R is for ritual that helps cement history

This is a sibling piece with N is for Nereid, O is for Octopi, and P is for Poinsettias.

One reason the Empire had become - and managed to stay - the Empire was because it understood the purpose of information. There were, on the official Empirical payroll, people whose job it was to travel to all corners of the Empire, however closed-off, however dangerous, and disseminate and gather information. It was their job to assure that the will of the Empire was the will of the whole Empire, and their job to assure that all the secrets of a great sprawling land were properly catalogued. These Informers moved in circuits around the Empire, so that they understood the whole land and so that they grew none too attached to one place.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (unspoken)
map behind cut )

Notes: The text along the left says "can there be a river here?"

I have doubts about the lower river, by Orschëst, because an unposted story (waiting for y'all to help me name the city... here) has a desert to the west of that dot under Orschëst... also river placements weird. But Orschëst needs to have a reason to be where it is...

Thoughts? Oh mappy people?
aldersprig: (unspoken)
So, the world that has Scheffenon and Orschëst has, in a nearby country, another city. It's south of Orschëst, I believe, and it's getting the story for "ש is for shemesh, the sun".

Also the nation this place is part of would be great. :-)

ETA: Descathesia, via [personal profile] kelkyag.
aldersprig: (unspoken)
The Meme Master Post

Q is for quietness leading to mystery: after The Club

Chloe D'Aushinger and her family were learning quietness.

Chloe's silent arrest had shaken all of them, from her husband's mother down to her youngest child. What they were learning now did more than shake them. "It feels," her daughter Marie whispered, "as if we being changed into different people."

"And that is both exactly what we are doing and not at all what we're doing." The good lady Nicholle had a skill for overhearing things that was nothing short of preternatural.

Marie, who was just old enough to think that adults should be more reasonable and far less silly, raised her chin and studied their hostess. "Please explain."

"Who you are - who you really are - must not change. Your mother interested us for the same reason that she interested The Doctors." Nicholle paused, exactly as their tutor did when waiting for them to figure out an answer.

Marie shared a glance with her older brother Tomas. He looked back at her expectantly. Marie worried her lower lip, and said, carefully, "She says things. She says things Mrs. Gershwin - she was our tutor - said I musn't repeat."

"She does. And more importantly, she says things that indicate she is thinking. Now, sometimes you are thinking things you don't wish Mrs. Gershwin to know about, yes?"

She looked directly at Tomas this time, and it was Tomas who stuttered and nodded. "Yes, madame."

"Well, just as like then, you must learn to project quietness, so that you may be as loud as you want in the privacy of your mind. This comes with some added advantages, of course." Nicholle looked up as Chloe entered the room, pitching her conversation to include her as well.

"Yes?" Chloe raised her eyebrows. "Do tell?" Mme. D'Aushinger had taken to pacing the length and breadth of their "safe house", muttering of the wasted time and penning as many missives as her hosts would allow, even while her children were enjoying the unexpected holiday, strange lessons or no.

"While you learn to project quietness, to smile just so while matters are being discussed, to say, so honestly 'I shall say nothing on that' when inappropriate questions are asked, when you learn all of that, you project an air of mystery. Soon, people will assume you an expert on all manner of things, and they will make the time and the quietness to come to you. Then, then you may speak without fear of the Doctors, for the Doctors have many foes, and they know how to make silence stick."

This belongs to the Things Unspoken setting, along with N is for Nereid, O is for Octopi, and P is for Poinsettias.
aldersprig: (unspoken)
I made a Things Unspoken landing page! In honor, I'm taking up to three prompts in that setting!
aldersprig: (Mermaid 2)
The Meme Master Post

P is for for posturing, and peacocks, and poinsettias

This is a sibling piece with N is for Nereid and O is for Octopi.

If Scheffenon, high on the Northern Sea, was the strange step-child of the nation, then Orschëst, down by the southern border, was its misbehaving youngest child. Scheffenon talked to strangers because they had money and trade goods. Orschëst talked to them because they were fun.

The woman of Orschëst were known across the world for being elegant. Fashions that would end up in Scheffenon in fifteen or fifty years began with a woman's whim in Orschëst. And not just Scheffenon; Orschëst fashions traveled the known world.
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aldersprig: (Mermaid 2)
The Meme Master Post

O is for octopi clinging to jetty-as

This is a sister piece with N is for Nereid

In all of the beautiful, clean city of Scheffenon, the Scheif Harbor was known as its jewel. The city was in a prime position, trains running day and night out to the rest of the continent, boats criss-crossing the Northern Sea to bring goods and people in. Tourists would come just to look at it, to bathe in the cold, clear blue waters. They were said - like the city itself - to have healing properties.

Torschi Contvallen went to Scheffenon after a riding accident left her with a bum hip. She found within a day that she could walk more steadily, within two that she could walk with less pain, and within three that she could move well enough to risk swimming. Anything to get away from the fountains, she told herself, as she boarded the quaint little rickshaw. Anything to get away from the murals, with their fish with the creepy eyes that seemed to follow one. Anything to get away from the innkeeper, who was so cheerful and so determined that Torschi should visit every fountain, every objet d'art, every folksy quaint museum in this bright, shining town.

She slipped into the water, her bathing costume the one provided by the so-helpful innkeeper. Back home, it would have been considered quaintly old-fashioned and miserably out of style. In the cold waters of Scheif Harbor, Torschi found that she appreciated the extra coverage - and almost every other bather was dressed similarly.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Mermaid 2)
The Meme Master Post

N is for nereids standing in fountains

The city of Scheffenon had a large number of fountains - to a casual visitor, it might seem that every second intersection was marked with the blue-tiled, en-statued pieces, and that every park needed at least three. The grand park at the center of Scheffenon sported a fountain easily as big as a house, presided over by a giant statue of the sea god and four nerieds in attendance. Dolphins, fish, sharks and octopi were common motifs in these fountains, but by far the most statues were of nereids.

It seemed strange, visitors would murmur, to have a place so buttoned-up, so old-fashioned, so restrained as Scheffenon have so many casually naked girls (and a few boys) in their statuary. Perhaps there would be a bit of bronze sea foam covering important bits, or a bit of marble drapery serving as a modesty cover, but, tails or legs, for the most part the sea-spirit statuary was naked as the day they were born.

It was altogether strange, visitors would murmur, while they enjoyed Scheffenon's clean streets and clean air, the amazing benefits the cool northern sea air had on one's health and the way one felt refreshed for weeks after leaving.

It was altogether creepy, the more astute visitors would whisper, how the eyes of the statues seemed to follow you, and how the sea near Scheffenon was devoid of anything bigger than a large fish for miles and miles. Not even and air-spirit, and the world knew how they loved to play with the spirits of the water. Not even a murmur of the sea god, when all of Scheffenon seemed to worship his reign.

In the same universe as Around Elephants and The Club, which is probably the same setting as Edora & Rodegard (here & here), and which now needs a setting name...
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
Chloe D'Aushinger had been arrested quietly in the middle of the night, with no notice to her family or to her not-inconsiderable business interests. She had spent three nights in the Pietierre "Hospital's" more uncomfortable basement rooms before being just as quietly released on the recognizance of three people she had never met before.

Rene, no-last-name-given, took the lead. He was a tall man, wearing a taller hat with a very wide brim, which shadowed his face rather effectively. "Mme. D'Aushinger, I would like to welcome you into the club."

"I really must be getting back to my family..." Chloe had been saying that for days. She had met with opposition of every sort - rough, direct, soft, indirect, hinting, threatening. Rene simply bowed, so low it was amazing his hat stayed on.

"While your lodgings are lovely, for the next week, I'm afraid it will be necessary for you to enjoy our hospitality. We've moved your family already, one at a time. Your home is being watched."

A second shadowy figure coughed. Nicholle. She, too, was missing a last name. "Rene..."

"This is the time and place when we can say things, Mlle. She will have to learn soon enough to hear those things not said. I believe her days under the Pietierre have begun to teach her what words you cannot utter. But I feel she needs to understand a bit more before we move her." Rene said this all at once, as if hurrying before Nicholle could cut him off.

The third figure, Ane, had not spoken at all. But from the breadth of shoulders and the thick hand provided to Chloe to shake, she had no question why the good gentle was there.

Which was more than she could say for herself. "I'm afraid I really don't understand." Chloe drew herself up, straightening her shoulders. She looked where she thought Rene's eyes likely were. "I annoyed some powerful people, yes. When those of-"

"The thing is," Rene interrupted, "when you say 'those of my ilk,' as you were going to, you don't yet know what your ilk is."

"That," Nicholle took over, "is what we are here to correct. As Rene said... welcome to the club."

Written to Marh 12's Thimbleful Prompt. In the same universe as Around Elephants, which I believe needs a setting name (And MAY be the same setting as Edora & Rodegard)
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
The conversation in the room was lively and despite a scarcity situation in much of Urbetania, the wine and the food were coming at an equally lively pace. Gatherings like this happened rarely, and when they did, they so very often had to happen in secret. To be out in the open, blithely chatting away in Bergier's grand dining room while servants moved in and out around them - that was far more luxurious than the fermented grape juice they were sipping.

It wasn't a victory. They all knew that, and they all took pains to avoid that word and any related synonyms. Victory came with far fewer conditions and far more freedom. But the Premier had taken the first, hard-won steps, and for that, they would drink happily.

In a room and a group such as this, there were many things not said: they did not speak of victory, of course. They did not speak the name of their group, or any of its myriad nicknames. They didn't whisper any fault of the Premier, except the widely-accepted jokes about Mme. Premier's choice in scarves, which was atrocious, and her taste in shoes, which was impeccable. The well-paid servants could still be spies. The newly-installed chandeliers could still contain listening crystals. The walls could still contain listening tubes: in short, anything they said, anywhere, could still be used against them, and that would turn their non-victory into a solid defeat.
Read more... )
aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
Previously: Prince Rodegard Visits the Imperial Capital


Prince Rodegard was staring open-mouthed at Edora. She watched him implacably, pretending that she did not care about his reactions.

Said reactions, as she cataloged them, appeared to be, in order: confusion, worried understanding, denial, more confusion, angry understanding, angrier denial, and then a further state of confusion.

He might be a spoiled childish specimen of a Prince, but he was still, after all, a prince. After a few minutes, he cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, Dame Edora. I must have misheard you.”

She contemplated her answer for a moment. “It’s Princess, actually.”

“...what?” This time, even his manners failed him.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (KinkBingo2)
Written to [personal profile] lilfluff's prompt.

"I've always wanted to see the Imperial Capital." Prince Rodegard bounced in his seat, ignoring the armed guards surrounding him and acting not nearly the age Edora had been assured he was. "Is it as shining and bright and tall as everyone says it is?"

He was a hostage, technically. The entire railway car was filled with people devoted to getting him - and, by proxy, Edora - back to the Imperial Capital, where he would remain as assurance of his royal mother's good behavior. But the young prince had volunteered, and, from the looks of things, hardly understood the situation he was in.

Well, it was Edora's job to instruct him, as well as to protect, guide, and direct him. "Well, as with anything, your Royal Highness," she replied, in the language of the Capital and of her childhood, "there are many facets to the Capital, and some of them shine more than others."
Read more... )


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

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