aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)

Rich, entitled... beetle.

Kheper is a handsome, strong-willed and strong-chinned young man who comes from privilege; he is well-dressed and well-spoken, with expensive tastes and very strong views on almost everything.

He's a short, slight young man as he enters Addergoole, at about 5'7" tall. In his first year he gains three inches; in the subsequent three years in the school he gains another inch a year. He has black hair that he keeps shaggy and shoulder-length because it offends his mother (his first-year Keeper, Cynara, is amusingly not at all offended by it), chocolate brown eyes, and slightly-too-shaggy eyebrows. His skin is dark tan, and his features show his Egyptian/Arabic heritage.

Being Kept subdues his temper and views not at all, although a year in the battlefield of Addergoole does begin to mellow him very very slightly.

There is a longer description of Kheper here
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
It's Magic Monday! What do you want to know about Magic in my Universes?
aldersprig: (Cooking)
It's asparagus season! And, while I can eat spear-grass steamed with lemon juice pretty much forever, T. wants a few different options.

So we made Creamy Asparagus Soup, from Cook's Country, April/May 2010

(This is a magazine worth subscribing to, by the by).

We split this in half:
2 lbs asparagus
3T butter
2 small leeks, white and light green portions*
salt & pepper
3-1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c frozen peas (these make it actually green)
2 t grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 teas lemon juice

The recipe calls for reserving the tips, sauteeing them first, and using them as a garnish. Next time we will skip this step

Add vegetables, chopped into 1/2" pieces, to the butter in a dutch oven or saucier. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened (about 10 mintues)

Add brother and bring to a boil; reduce to simmer until vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes). Stir in peas & parm.

Puree in a blender in batches, or with a stick blender. Stir in cream & lemon juice and cook until warm, just about 2 minutes.

This was very tasty, and very very asparagus-y. It's also not a meal (we went out for ice cream afterwards. That worked). But it would work well as a side with something meaty.
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
Ah, yes, the bad guy. Every story needs a few, right?

Lucian didn't start off as a bad guy, but that's another story. Today, we're looking at Lucian in Year Nine.

He's a tall guy - six-four or so - and lanky, with hair that's sandy-blonde, headed more towards true blonde in summer and early fall and darkening to almost brunette in the winter. He's got a permanent sneer, an angry frustration with life, and handsome blue eyes that match the feathers on his wings.

Although they get called Team Rocket, he has very little physically in common with Thessaly except an innate athleticism and the hard bodies to match it.

And a streak of entitlement that puts themselves before anyone else in the world, but, then again, they are the bad guys.
aldersprig: (AldersGrove)
Late 1980

The woman known only as Foxglove slipped out of the Senator’s office unseen. He paid well for that discretion, although exactly how well he was going to pay, he did not know yet.

She wrote a brief letter in a language only a handful of the world’s population would recognize, encoded in a code only seven people knew, and posted it to a drop-box. It wasn’t, exactly, espionage, but old habits died hard.

The senator wasn’t her only visit today. He wasn’t even the most important, although he certainly thought he was. Schools needed accreditation. They needed recognition. They also needed funding, in order to run properly.

Fortunately for them, the accreditation board and those who made recognition of the proper sort happen were all – if not necessarily human – fallible and with exploitable flaws.

Foxglove bore no illusions about the nature of the organization she had joined, or about their opinion of her. She knew they would use all of her skills to the fullest and still hesitate to invite her to dinner.

Luckily for them, she not only agreed with their goals, she heartily enjoyed using her skills.
aldersprig: a red-heded freckled girl, smiling (Autumn)
Cross-posted to Tumblr here.

Today is Trivia Tuesday, my first ever. Today, ask me anything about Stranded World.
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
Some people are just born to be social; Æowyn is one of those.

She's a people-person, a social butterfly, a maven and a sometimes gossip; in a normal school, she'd be the head of her own clique. In later years at Addergoole, she probably will be the head of a crew.

This year, she's Kept, and not very well-Kept at that. Her relationship with Fafnir (such as it is) restrains just how social she can be; all of her friends also being under a collar restrains it even more.

Æowyn is a slender blonde girl with bright blue eyes who stands barely 4'9" tall. Her Change gives her scales down her chest and back, and poisonous fangs. It also gives her a temper to match the poison.

Only on one point has Fafnir given up: Æowyn doesn't dress the way he'd like her to. She wears men's button-down shirts and vests, newsboy caps and men's slacks; only at the dances does she give in enough to wear skirts.

When un-Kept, she'll probably wear tuxes to the dances.
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Ahouva)
[personal profile] rix_scaedu Asks:

Okay, if you have Meentik Panida, you can make a sheep, right?

If you have Meentik Tlactl and you're strong enough, old enough, etc, can you make a person?

Sort of.

Panida covers all aspects of animals: their thoughts (such as they are), their emotions, their flesh.

However, Tlacatl only covers one portion of people (human or Ellehemaei*), the flesh. So, with Meentik Tlacatl at a high enough level (a student could not do this, certainly not a first- or second-year student), you could create a human body.

It would be a soul-less, mind-less zombie however, with no will, no heart and no thought. In order to create an actual person, you would need to use Tlactl in conjunction with Intinn (mind) and Hugr (emotion); this would be an immensely complicated Working.

* Technically, Tlacatl is "Flesh of Makers;" i.e., sentient tool-using beings. So, if you had Tlactl as a Word and encountered aliens, you would be able to Work them.

I am not entirely certain if Tlacatl works on dolphins...
aldersprig: (AldersGrove)

The woman stalked through the forest.

She had not worn a name in many years, and could not, precisely, remember what she had been called when she had landed here.

She spent her time, her attention, worrying about more real concerns: She had to eat, and to eat, she had to hunt. She needed shelter, sometimes, and for that she needed to build. She needed, more rarely, companionship, and for that she needed to speak to the fur-hunters who also worked her forests.

"Wild girl," they called her, and chasseuse sauvage, and fourreuse de forêt, and more pleasant names. They paid her in trinkets and good food for the furs she brought them, and gave her company without asking questions.

And none of them asked about her ears, which perked above her twisted hair like a deer's.
aldersprig: drawing of a dark-skinned young man with goat horns and a nervous expression (Jamian)
In the Faerie Apocalypse 'verse, there are 11* Domains and 11 Manifestations - Domains being Things You Can Affect and Manifestations being How You Affect Those Things.

Of the 11* Domains, Unutu is my favorite.

Unutu is the word that covers "Worked Objects" and can be anything from a stretch of cloth to a steel girder. At its purest, Unutu is plastic-like - if you are using the Manifestation Meentik (Create) and have none of the other object-like Domains, you are likely to end up Creating something that seems mostly plastic.

However, if you have, for instance, Huamu (plants), you can then more easily create, say, hemp or cotton cloth. Eperu (earth) and you can make those steel beams. Panida (Animals) and you can make a wool jumper or a leather collar.

Of all the Words, thus, Unutu is the one most often combined with another Word. And it can be, in today's day and age, the most versatile.

Recent discussion on Twitter gives me another example: You can use Jasfe (repair) to repair a pitted, pot-holed road, or you can use it to repair your car once the road has done it damage. Or your tire, once it gets a flat.

With Meentik Unutu and a sufficient knowledge of how things need to work, you can make just about anything you might need.

Well, except food. You still need Huama and/or Panida for that.

And no, we're not going into Tlacatl here.
aldersprig: (Evangaline)
@DaHob asked about the Aunt Family's Uncles.

The Aunt Family, as it has been revealed so far, has magic of some sort (Witchery, "the spark") residing in one unmarried, childless member of each generation. Through an unknown-so-far mechanic, when the family gets too large, it splits; thus there are several Aunts at any given time (Evangaline, Deborah, Becka).

But what about men? Beryl's brother Stone has the spark, that much is already been determined. And there have been Aunts without the spark as well - Evangaline's Aunt Asta, for one, was described as mostly a vessel, holding the title for a generation.

The answer is, more or less: the family as a whole has the genetic possibility for the spark. They aren't the only ones in the world that have it (Their family is very old; they could have the only bloodline that has the spark after all, just spread out over the world over the last millenia), and the Aunt is not the only person in any given generation to hold it.

But their particular family holds that men have other things they need to focus on, and that the magic is in the sphere of women alone. What this means for men with the spark depends on the man, the branch of the family, and the era.
aldersprig: (Summer)
See also Magic in Stranded World.

As mentioned, most Strand-manipulators in the Stranded World fall into three categories: Strand-smoothers, Tanglers, and Connection-readers.

Autumn's little sister Summer is one of those who falls in between.

What Summer does with the Strands is closer to witchery or charming than to the tangible geometry of her brother Winter or the kitten-tangles of her sister Spring. Summer tugs on the Strands by virtue of charms, hexes, a few muttered words and a few drawn symbols.

Those symbols have the power to hold the Strands into a position, to tug them later into that place, or to keep them from going somewhere: she can cause someone to fall away from good fortune, or to it. With effort, she can pull people together or push them apart.

Although Summer's power is limited - she cannot use it easily, if at all, without her words and symbols, and it rarely has an immediate effect on anything - it can be immensely powerful as well.
aldersprig: (AylaWorried)
No-on said it would be easy.
But no-one said it would be this hard.

Aelgifu sat in the break room, nursing her infant son while trying to figure out her biology homework.

Siggie was having a moody time of it lately, whiny and demanding whenever she left him with other people - even other-Mom, Io - for too long. His older sisters, in turn, were taking turns being as bratty as they could manage. None of them liked the apartment. None of them liked the day care. And, to a one, they all - even, on days like this, Ayla - wanted to go back to the Village, where all their friends were.

Nothing ever worth doing is easy.. Ayla kissed her son on the top of his head, and counted her blessings once again.
aldersprig: (BookGlasses)
Today's Weblit Wednesday Guest Post comes from [personal profile] kajones_writing.

Lyn has, since I first started writing weblit and crowdfunding, been one of my inspirations. I remember the first time I donated to any crowdfunding project was when she was trying to get money to help Drake with his diabetes. (When I heard he'd passed away I cried.) Back then I didn't know anything about the settings she wrote in, or much at all about what she did, so after a quick look through what she did I asked her to write me a story in her Tir na Cali setting – I couldn't resist the kitties. I still love Cali, but now I know more about the writing Lyn does, and I do occasionally write fanfic for her, I read stories from many of her setting.

It is thanks, in part, to Lyn that I decided to follow in her footsteps by not only crowdfunding but by writing in a number of different settings. I call them collections, because they keep growing, and the thing I've found with weblit is that having someone post a comment or tell you they enjoy what you're writing helps plot bunnies to reproduce. Before I started posting on the DreamWidth and Livejournal accounts I first used they were bad enough, but I don't regret a thing. Writing more is one of the best thing that's come out of writing web lit.
Read more... )

Read K.A.Jones' writing on Dreamwidth, on her website, or on Tumblr.

Want me to highlight your weblit or someone else's on Weblit Wednesday? Send me an e-mail!
aldersprig: (Cooking)
One of our favorite fall standbys is turning into a spring standby, as we froze something like 20 pounds of squash last autumn.

Butternut Soup

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 apples, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup apple cider
2 cups vegetable stock
Milk or cream

Read more at:

This is one of the simpler recipes we've found, but it really works. I generally use about 3 pounds of squash, and two large vidalia onions. We sub out the vegetable stock with chicken stock (unless we're cooking for vegans) and drizzle with half-and-half or fat-free half-and-half at the table.

Served with homemade naan or rolls, this is delicious, filling, and amazingly low-calorie.
aldersprig: (lynSnow)


Fashion in Addergoole After the Apocalypse, a series of Vignettes (LJ)
Lazy Bidding (LJ)

That Guy/Girl/Squirrel
Tigg (LJ)
Reese (LJ)

Way-back Wednesday
Akatil Yixox (LJ)

Luke and Myst
Matters (by Rion)
Finale (LJ)
Finale, Turnabout (By Rion)
Yes (LJ)

Tír na Cali

Will That Be All? (LJ) Lord Tony and Miss Pepper

Aunt Family

Precedent (LJ) After Intimately Involved - F'locked


Thorne Thursdays
But We're a Cat Family! (LJ) Visiting Newfoundlands

Tasty Tuesdays
Babka for Easter (LJ)

Magic Mondays
Dragons Next Door and Jin (LJ)
aldersprig: (Swirls)
Tigg isn't a bad guy, he's just drawn that way.

Drawn to bad guys (and gals), that is: his Keeping by Manira wasn't abusive, wasn't really bad, but Manira has a similar style of Keeping to her own former Keeper, Phelen, so it was an immensely controlled year.

Tigg learned he liked having someone else make decisions. But when Manira left, what was he going to do?

He found Calvin.

Lucky for him, then Nessie found him.

Tigg has a hedgehog Change which leaves him spiky all over, but most specifically over his hair. He's Mediterranean in ethnic appearance, suburban mid-east in upbringing, and goth-bondagage in fashion preference. Masked, his quills represent as spiked hair.

He's learning that they take dye well, too.
aldersprig: (Cooking)
For Easter Sunday, as a change from the Incredible Simple Cake we made for St. Patty's Day, we made a "traditional bread" that involved milk, eggs, leavening, sugar, and rum (as well as fruit and the normal ingredients)

Spousal Unit comes from a Polish family, and since I have almost no ethnic tradition of my own (When asked to write a poem about my roots in high school, I wrote "I bury me feet deep/in mud-deep soil/I walk barefoot through the land/my ancestors farmed..." Ethnicity? Farmer), I tend to borrow his.

So when this recipe - Polish Babka - popped up in my inbox, we just had to try it.


Warning: we ate the entire thing. In one sitting. Um. There's two of us.


Notes: The candied fruit really added nothing, which is sad, because Rion and I quested for it. We'd double or treble the raisins next time & skip the fruit. And it really does need a full day to soak, and a heavier rum sauce (I added a 1/4 cup of dark rum, what's this tablespoon crap?).

But really, wow.
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
Early 1970's

Reid found the goblin who was dubiously named Akatil Yixox where he'd expected to find him - miles deep inside the machinery, tinkering.


"Reid." The tiny man pushed his goggles onto the top of his head. "I'm working."

"I got an offer. And it includes both of us." He paused. "Mo made the offer, actually."

"You're obviously going to take it."

"It's got a lot of merit. And it involves teaching."

"And you want me to come along."

"They don't have a good Unutu guy." Reid could barely say the word. "And, besides, you owe me seventeen and one-half favors."
aldersprig: (DragonBaby)
[personal profile] kelkyag asked: How does Jin do magic?

The oldest child of Audrey and Sage, Jin is quite an interesting specimen. It's no wonder the Tower wants to get their hands on him.

Many denizens of the Tower are the result of a dweomer-human union. As such, their magic is buried beneath the surface and must be coaxed out.

The Tower sorcerers use complex rotes and rituals, diagrams and dialogues, scripts and spells, to complete their magic; each line in each spell is designed to pull the sorcerer closer to the magic and thus manipulate it.

The Tower is only half of Jin's legacy, however, and the magic of the Pumpkin is much more organic. Although still relatively untrained, Jin uses a combination of his mother's witchery and his father's sorcery in a manner that is both innovative and dangerous.
aldersprig: (reese)
Some people just can't take anything seriously.

That's Reese in a (ha) nutshell.

Of all of the hermaphrodites to have come through Addergoole (All three, at least, by year 9), Reese is the most comfortable being without-gender; the squirrel has fun blurring the lines whenever possible, and generally dresses in an androgynous and dapper fashion.

The red squirrel tail and ears are the most notable features about the slender squirrel, but looking beyond that, Reese has bright blue eyes, a narrow, straight nose, a beardless, square chin, and a slender body, hipless and with no real breasts to speak of.

Reese generally seems to be out of control - some of that is the squirrel Change, which had a mental component as well as the physical. Some of it is, by this point, an affectation: People expect Reese to be out of control, so Reese is.

Reese as a Kept was a much quieter squirrel; Reese as a Keeper might be terrifying.
aldersprig: (Theocracy)
This weekend, I encountered Newfoundland dogs for the first time in the flesh, and, oh, boy, is there a lot flesh!

A friend is considering adopting one of these giant dogs (as a merely-huge puppy), so I went with him to visit a breeder south of Ithaca.

I have never seen a dog this big! I have also never seen a friendly large-breed dog as mellow as these dogs. While kisses abounded, and petting was definitely a must, my friend, the breeder, and I were in a small room with four grown dogs and a puppy and it never got to the uncomfortable jumping-all-over-everyone stage.

This breeder's male dogs range easily up to a hundred and fifty pounds; the females are a little bit smaller, staying around one-twenty. They can get even bigger than that, I'm told, up to around 170 pounds for the males and 150 for the females.

Newfies are originally bred as working dogs; the breeder casually told us that we could hook them up to a cart when they had reached eighteen months. Just what I need for my back yard: a bear-like pony to haul around yard waste!

Tempting. So very, very tempting. But my kitties look at me and remind me that we're a kitty family.

And, besides, we've got to rip out 3/4 of the house this summer. We can wait for a puppy until after that.
aldersprig: (Diryid)
I have these four words in my list, although I cannot find the post in which I posted them:

telyen: story
telnyent: truth-known
telyentozh: myth
telnyenttozh (hunh. I think that should be telenyentozh): history (Wow, that's clumsy, don't take that one as canon yet, or the myth one)

Where I wanted to get with this post was BOOKS.

Because the Cālenyena love books. Well, they love the written word. They were fascinated with it when they discovered it. They wrote histories into their tents. Usually biographies. They decorated their clothes with tales of their prowess, and lessons learned. They painted stories on their saddles.

Actual books, paper in a library? That took a little longer.

The word for writing come from the [east-coast-people] word Saayish, and is zhēzhet

The word for book comes from the proto-bitrani word urnia, and is turnē
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
Guest Entry by [personal profile] lilfluff
Cody sh'Leyla cy'Caitin oro'Yolanda

Cody knew exactly who she was at her old school. She was the school freak and a geek. A role she had come to accept and even take some defiant pride in. And when she was informed she would be sent to Addergoole she didn't expect any of that to change. Then the changes started coming.

Early the first week Doctor Caitrin gave her a name for her body's physically genderless condition, the first time any of her doctors actually spoke with her regarding it. In the second week the masks came off revealing students and staff with far more blatant differences than hers. Then Hell Night came and terrified her until her Change came upon her. Fortunately as she recovered in Doctor Caitrin's office she found she now had a protector in the form of her keeper and a whole suite full of new friends.

Cody was only a bare fraction over five feet tall short before her Change. Her lack of height and androgynous features often meant she was mistakenly thought younger than she actually was. Which while annoying she found preferable to when people thought she was a boy. That wasn't helped by her preference for dressing in overalls and wearing unflashy jewelry. She has tried growing her chestnut colored hair longer but has found that no matter what she does it soon looks messy and at least when it's short it just looks tousled.

After her Change she lost two inches of height and while furless she has taken on an almost elfin-feline appearance. The pupils of her gray eyes are no longer circular, long whiskers have sprouted from her face, and her ears grew longer and mobile. The only thing missing to complete the appearance would be a tail. But given her lack of fur she soon decided that was a good thing. While her Change didn't bring claws or other fearsome features she did find herself with better hearing and balance, puzzling new sensations from her whiskers, and a powerful leaping ability. She just needs to make sure not to jump headfirst into walls like she did when she first changed.

She has yet to identify an innate ability. She is capable of bringing extreme focus to tasks. To the point of shutting out the outside world. But, she was prone to doing this long Changing or even arriving at Addergoole. With little social life she would often turn this focus onto her studies working at times several months ahead, leading to the grades that she thought were the reason she'd been granted a full ride scholarship for Addergoole.
aldersprig: (Cooking)
T. and I like cooking for the holidays.

We really do. It's a fun excuse to try something we don't normally do. Or something we like doing that's a lot of work.

We have never made soda bread before, so we decided we would try that this time. We went with this site. I think it's a bit preachy, and did not attempt to verify the veracity (heehe) of its claims, but I wanted to try a simple bread first.

(Plus another recipe we found called for a stick of butter. I am trying to lose weight here, people!)

To quote the site: The basic soda bread is made with flour, baking soda, salt, and soured milk (or buttermilk). That's it!

So that's what we did. Our Dutch Oven is a bit big, so I nested a round Pyrex inside it, put the bread in that, and otherwise followed the recipe completely (we did the brown bread one, the 1st recipe).

Tasty! T. thinks it needs another flavor if we do it again, and it is an immensely dense and filling dough, but it worked really well with our corned beef brisket in french onions soup.

Experiment: Success.
aldersprig: drawing of a dark-skinned young man with goat horns and a nervous expression (Jamian)
In the setting of Faerie Apocalypse and Addergoole, Frodleikr is a Word, one of the cornerstones of magic. It is a Domain, a category of thing-to-affect, rather than a Manifestation, which is a manner-of-affecting.

[personal profile] clare_dragonfly asks: When was frodleikr lost, and how the heck do you even lose a Word?!

Nobody knows. Nobody is talking. And who can fault them?

The legend is that the thirteen departed gods (and the one that stayed) each had their Words. Eleven were given to share among all of the fae, but three gods favored specific breeds: Frodleikr went to the Daeva, of course. The other two went to the other two breeds.

Not every Daeva had access to the Word, of course, but many of the oldest did. The theory goes that it was lodged in the strongest fae blood. And, as time went on, fewer and fewer fae, it is theorized, had access to the words and fewer and fewer could teach its use.

Nobody's quite certain when it vanished from memory. Certainly, the Council still remembers it, and the oldest of fae still alive. But who wants to admit that they've misplaced a building block of the universe?

If the Grigori and Mara know what happened to their Words, by the by, they're not talking
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
Today is Magic Monday!

What do you want to know about magic in my universes?

Ask, and I shall answer, either this week, or on another Monday!
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
This is written to the image prompt here for "Sixteen Minute Saturday," something I adapted for alliteration from Ty Barbary's 15-minute Fiction.

I'd love if more people played along!

"It's data tagging."

"Like facial recognition?"

"Exactly like facial recognition. They pass by this camera... see? And then we know which one they are."

"Doesn't work for the females, though."

"No, we're still working on that. But the antlers are very close to unique."

"Very close to..."

"Well, all right. It's not an exact science by any means."

"Aren't you in the exact science department?"

"No, I'm in the tracking animals department. Exact sciences is down one floor and over three rooms."

"Right, right. So. It doesn't track the females and it's not one hundred percent accurate at tracking the males. So what does it do?"

"Well, it projects the patterns on to them, too, in a hard-light display that is really pretty nifty."

"It's nifty."

"Yep. Really nifty. And, what's more, mating interest is up one hundred percent for females looking at the males with the nifty displays."

"...One hundred percent."

"That's what I said."

"So, are you the growing-antlers department, by any chance?"

"No. That's up one floor and over two rooms. And it hurts like hell. But let me tell you... totally worth it."

"One hundred percent?"

"In clinical trials - me - more like one thousand percent."

aldersprig: (Rin)
Children! They are required for continuation of the species!

Like all people, the Cālenyena have children, and they have words for them, of course

Pabap is a baby, a "carry-on," or tes-tyētyē (self-carried), testyē.

Lerū is a child, generally one tall enough to walk but not tall enough to carry a spear or throw weapons.

This is the equivalent to their goat terms:

Pebyab is a tiny goat, not large enough to do much but bleat.

Lelū is a young goat kid, old enough to walk but not to be ridden.

The similarities in terms is not accidental. Especially when a herding culture, the Cālenyena tended to gather all their young together and raise them, so that babies and goat kids would grow up under the watchful eye of the pregnant mothers and the too-old to ride. Similar still happens today in remote villages and small towns.
aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
Some decades ago.

"What the hell kind of freak are you?"

"You're no kind of woman at all!"

"Get out of this town!"

Dane Jordan straightened its skirt, thumbed its nose at the crowd, and left in no particular hurry. As long as it was leaving, they probably wouldn't throw things. The trick was to leave so that they all saw it leaving - and didn't think about the fact that its house was in this direction.

Dane had left more towns than it could count anymore. This was one of the cleanest departures so far, knock on wood. Then again, Dane had a lot of practice.

There was a car waiting in the driveway. A lean woman sat on the hood of the car. "I heard the trouble."

Dane shrugged. Play it cool. Always play it cool. "Shit happens."

"Not around the Ellehemaei."

Now that was a word Dane hadn't heard in a while. "I'm listening."
aldersprig: (Cali)
Magic in the Tír na Cali world is held almost entirely in the bloodlines of the royal family of California, and is more rightly called psychic powers than magic.

Every grey-eyed royal member of the family has one psychic power. Examples include telepathy, mind control, Love, teleportation, telekinis, and rapid healing, but many variations exist; while "families" of powers run in bloodlines, the specific manifestation of any given child, even within identical twins, is still very hard to predict.

Power level is thought to be determined by the strength of the royal blood in one, and this is often but not always accurate. Thus, royal women are often unwilling to carry the child of any but another royal.

Powers manifest in early teens, and with manifestation, begin a slowing of the aging process that continues through puberty; post-pubescence, empowered royals age immensely slowly, and the pubescent period itself is prolonged in royals.

A millenia ago, the powers of the Californian royalty's ancestors - who were neither Californian nor royal at that time - could barely lift pennies or sway thoughts. Today, they can move tanks. Their powers are continually evolving and growing.

What tomorrow may bring is terrifying and wonderful.

aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
(It's Thursday where Rix lives!)

Nilam cy'Friedmar

At first glance, Nilam could easily pass for a particularly ruddy one of Aelfgar's children. He's built similarly - solid, pale skin, and a stubborn chin - although his hair is ginger, not blonde, and his skin is more prone to freckling.

He's not all that tall - 5'11" - but very lanky, which he never outgrows. Despite his modest height, he tends to go around looking like he can't quite get clothes to fit him; for all her flaws, Margherita at least gets him in the proper length pants.

His Change does not change him, physically all that much, and many of the mental changes are buried under the Keeping. His hazel eyes turn sapphire blue, and he gains three inches in height and loses 20 pounds.

As to his innate? We shall have to wait until he is no longer Kept to learn more about that.
aldersprig: (BookGlasses)
This is a guest post by [personal profile] thesilentpoet

In a way, the Poetry for the Masses! project started in 2010, when trying to raise money to attend a conference in Minneapolis, I hosted a poetry drive on my journal. While never consistent until recently,
I would occasionally resurrect it. In 2012, having renamed it to be Poetry for the Masses!, I started it for what I thought would be a one-off thing, instead, it’s become a semi-monthly event, with calls
for prompts, perk lists, and freebies.

It was through Poetry for the Masses! that Silk Road Allies, the shared world between myself, Elizabeth Barrette, and Marini Bonomi, started. Over the course of the several months, I’ve written poems on
such subjects as fairy tales and folklores, religious traditions, science, and history. In addition to Silk Road Allies, I also frequently write poems regarding to my larger and longer crowdfunded project, Sixty-Four Squared, a tentatively five-novel project, which is directly written and linked to through my journal. Currently, I am still writing my way through Book the first, The Scholar’s Mate. In Poetry for the Masses!, I also frequently dip into Schrodinger’s Heroes, another shared world co-created by Elizabeth Barrette. However, there are many stand alones, and I always love new prompters, commenters, or supporters. All the poetry written during the Poetry for the Masses! sessions are on a pay-what-you-will, with donor perks typically starting at as low as the $5 level.

I had started Poetry for the Masses! again because I needed something to kickstart my writer brain, having just come out of a too long for liking dry spell. I keep continuing it as it connects me to a
fantastic community of writers, poets, and artists, working to create a community where we can all learn and share. I hope to continue it for a long time to come.

The next Poetry for the Masses! will be the weekend March 8-9 with a theme of “rebirth”. Please follow along at or Prompts welcome, comments gleed upon, and tips certainly welcome.

Thank you, good-bye, and good night.
aldersprig: (Diryid)
In the early days of the proto-Cālenyena, snow was not something that they often saw. Their Texas-like climate never had lasting snow, and rarely had snowfall at all.

Thus, their word for snow was a compound word: rain-cold-hard, teb-run-zē, which, through the centuries, and, in their new home, their far more consistent exposure to snow, became terunz. (The ending sound is actually stolen from the Bitrani. Very few Cālenyen words end in a double consonant).

And, as they were becoming more familiar with drifts of the white stuff, they needed a way to get around in this terrain.

paiterz, snow-spears, were the first innovation (essentially skis. The Cālenyena call almost everything long and pointy a spear. When all you have is a hammer, etc.)

And, in different places but for similar need, Begerz, shoes-snow, snowshoes, were developed.
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Miryam)
Cautious and yet friendly, Miryam had a winning smile even before her Change.

Once her power expressed itself, she had a smile to die for. Or kill for.

The petite girl has a miniature coke-bottle figure, everything in proportion in a 4'7"-tall package. Green antennae and green fairy wings top off her petite figure.

She has deep brown hair in corkscrew curls, warm brown skin, and eyes as green as her wings.

It's hard to tell much more about her. She hides everything behind a small smile that can grow into an intoxicating, addictive grin in a heartbeat.

She tries not to leave much of an impression, but doesn't bother not leaving the withdrawal behind her.
aldersprig: (Cooking)
Last week, we tried a 2-ingredient cake.

Super simple:
Box of Angel Food Cake Mix (one-packet sort, not two-packet sort)
20oz can of Crushed pineapple

Mix, including the juice in the can. Cook at 350 for 25-35 minutes. Enjoy (or frost, but we didn't).

We then tried cooking it with strawberries instead, but the fluid level got weird and we ended up with sort of cake-mush. We shall try again!.

It's tasty (even the strawberry mush version), and without a frosting, it's pretty low on calories and pretty much fat-free.


I'll let you know when we figure out the strawberry version.
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)
Is Thorburn just a big jerk?

Those, and other questions, such as what exactly is his Change, have yet to be fully answered in the course of the Addergoole story.

He's domineering, pushy, and sometimes a little bit weird. His nightmares are the stuff of, well, nightmares - some of which we can probably blame on his former Keeper. Maybe all of it. But he is, slowly, unbending.

Thorburn is a tall guy, and a big guy, 6 foot 5 inches tall and broad across the shoulders. His friend Basalt is wider and stronger, but Basalt is made out of rock.

Thorburn has a square chin, startlingly pale blue eyes, a perpetual 5-o'clock shadow, and skin the color of chestnuts. He wears his hair in braids down to his chin.

He dresses primarily in T-shirts and jeans, although he owns, looks good in, and sometimes enjoys wearing nice dress clothes.

Nobody has seen his Change since he got out from under the Collar. Who knows when we will?
aldersprig: (Dragon Orange)
Spunky. Mouthy. Energetic.

These are things that make for an engaging personality and, generally, a very combative Kept. These are all things that describe Akaterina cy'Maureen. Or, at least, they do when she's not collared.

The oldest child of a single mother, Kay was friendly but not the center of attention in her old school, and expected the same when she came to Addergoole. What she found instead was Agravain and a collar.

She also found Zita, Dr. Caitrin, and friends, but it's sometimes hard for her to remember that part.

She's a densely-built girl on the short side of average (Swimming and vollyball in her old school), with mocha skin and black hair down to her hips. Her Change gives her long, pointed ears, and a point to her chin, too, as well as elongated fingers and toes.

For more description, see her wiki page here -
aldersprig: (BookGlasses)
 All about Weblit Wednesday

What is Weblit Wednesday?

It all started on Twitter when a few of us started tweeting links to our favourite webfiction serials on a Wednesday and hashtagged it #weblitwednesday or #weblitwed. It lasted a while before it sort of petered out. I'm currently trying to revive the hashtag and expand it to include reviews and similar, so when Lyn asked me to write a guest post about it I agreed. It's all about signal boosting your favourite weblits.

How do I take part?

It's very simple to take part. Each Wednesday pick one of your favourite weblits (or take time to read a new one) and then tweet a link to it on Twitter using the hashtag above. In addition (or instead if you're not on Twitter) you can post about it on you blog, facebook or other social network. And if you have time you can write and post a review of it as well.

Anything else?

I'm investigating setting up a couple of Mr Linky collectors like the one the #SerialTuesday people use. One will be for people to post links to their selected weblit and the other for them to post links to their reviews. We can then collate these into a report and post them up for reference.

I think that's everything. If you have any questions please ask in comments.

About Becka

Becka Sutton is a self-described crazy cat lady, but she's not very good at it: while she is crazy she only has one cat. She was born in Britain in 1972 and has lived there her entire life. As a child she started scrawling fantasy stories in exercise books her mother bought her to stop her scribbling in her school books. She hasn't stopped writing since, and she credits writing as the outlet that allowed her to recover from the nervous breakdown she had after her parents died.

Her other interests include reading, listening to music, attempting to draw, growing her own vegetables and looking after the aforementioned Pumpkin cat.

No, you can't read the novel she scrawled as a kid – she burned it long ago because it was awful.

You can find Becka's weblit online at and she is currently running an IndieGoGo Campaign to raise funds to turn the second arc of one them into a book.

aldersprig: a red-heded freckled girl, smiling (Autumn)
The Stranded World setting is named for the way the practitioners of magic there see their world (its working title was "Spaghetti Squash World.")

In this world, people who have the talent and skill can see - and more rarely manipulate - the strands of matter and energy that connect everything in the world, and everyone.   

Some people can directly alter the flow of the Strands (or, in very rare and heretical cases, sever those strands.  Others work through some sort of focus.

All but a very few, very powerful strand-workers are specialized.  Examples of specialization include:
  • Strand-smoothing (Order-creating) - these strand-manipulators pull tangles smooth, making problems work themselves out and creating calm. Winter.
  • Tanglers (Chaos-creating) - trickers incarnate, these strand-manipulators defy expectations and shatter stagnation. Spring
  • Connection-tracers - these sighters of the Strands do very little manipulation, but their vision and comprehension of the connecting strands is highly honed. Autumn. Spring's Star-Mapper boyfriend.

For more on Strand-Workers, see this piece


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

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