titusnowl: (Harper's Jig)
Xanon was of House Vulpin in a village named Balneum: a place of sulfur-smelling springs, in the southern fringe of the hill-country. He had the fair hair and pale eyes of a southerner, but spoke with an accent soft and burred like a northerner's. He was an emotional man, given to poetry, and he took leavings hard. When they went skyborne he wept silently and unashamed. The true southerners - there were none in the unit Annie'd been given sergeantry of, but plenty surrounded them in the hold - looked down their long thin noses at him; the northerners closed ranks around him defensively. Southerners, they muttered amongst themselves, held themselves too close and high: not that they would shed tears in public, personally, for that sort of display was a private thing, done at the hearth, but to look at the southerners you would think a man couldn't have any feelings at all. Annie offered his arms to Xanon - then still a slight-built little thing, 15 years behind him, like the rest of them - and let the young man's tears salt his shoulder until his weather cleared.

They all shared their tears after battles, and Xanon's gift of words brought songs for fallen comrades: thus did they speak farewell to their friends' spirits, to keep them from feeling lost and alone when they died on those strange foreign worlds.

Xanon's sorrowing at leavings returned when they left their temporary home, where he had found a woman he called wife, and she had given him a child he'd named Xia. All of the men who wanted women had found them there, and for few was it an easy leaving, but again it was Xanon whose tears fell in plain air. Annie opened his arms again - this time taking into them a larger man, for Xanon had grown broader and heavier though not much taller with the years - and thought of his own woman, Carli, and the swelling beneath her shirt when they spoke their private farewell.

There were plenty of southerners in the centuria by then, but they had all become brothers, and one man's emotion gave pause to none. Annie's far-northern accent was as familiar and homelike as the crisp, sharp-voweled enunciation of the deep south spoken by some of the men: they were all Fimimundan; and skyborne, their home was in each other.

Of the southerners who became Annie's nephews, noteworthy was Simon, of House Iagus in Aquine, a great city. He'd found he had a natural talent for speaking to the spirits of machines, adjusting to their acquaintance and use long before any of his comrades. By now all were accustomed to it, and could laugh speaking of their early days of puzzlement at every new thing: and think what our mothers, our fathers, our sisters would say if they came to these ships, then! But Simon had known the machine spirits longest and learned to know them best, and had even spoken in friendship with the strange men or once-men who made themselves priests of those spirits. It was to Simon you went with a recalcitrant rifle, or a question of working some new machine. Annie had less talent than he, but he enjoyed the company of the machine spirits, and they two could speak of them together. Simon would have liked life on Nadys-21; to make the acquaintance of the servo-skulls would have pleased him immensely. Annie would have a great deal to tell of, if they could speak again.
titusnowl: (typewriter keys)
The name of the village was Boragerwix, with the X pronounced SH, of course, and the meaning of the name was North Farmhill. A very generic name, and one that came in a set: there was Meragerwix to the south and Oxagerwix to the west and of course Oragerwix to the east, and that was all of Agerwix that there was. Agerwix proper was a city, a few miles away and a bit southwest of center, all of them built on natural hills covering a good portion of the countryside. You could just see the beaconfires of Agerwix from Boragerwix, and of Oragerwix if the air was clear, but Oxagerwix was further off, out of sight even in the still, leafless, water-pure skies of early winter - it wasn't a perfect square, the figure drawn by those villages. It was because they were so far north that the towns were called wixes; that was a native word, something tribal. The closer you went to real civilisation the fewer Whateverwixes you'd find, although the names of places in the north still held descriptions, villages called by the names of landmarks; in the south the cities had proper names like people, which was of course the right way to do things, to honor the spirit of the place.

The name of the house was Lupus, presumably because the place where it was built was where someone had seen a wolf once, or because a wolf had visited, or at any rate wolves were likely to have been involved. It couldn't have been any time recently. There were still wolves, but they stayed away, deep in the woods and fens. Once in a while in the winter you could hear them howling, although that might be the tribespeople, some of whom wore the skins of the wolves for warmth and, according to the stories told to children (children who weren't your own, so you wouldn't be bothered when they couldn't sleep that night), sometimes turned into wolves - taking wolf-shape to attack the settlements.

"So maybe that's why your house is named Lupus," one of Anacreon's friends put forth. They two were sitting in the shade, under the deep-holded doorway with its wide-winged aquila carved into the lintel, discussing the wolf-shape story which had been told to them by Kleiton's older brother the night before. "Your ancestors were wolf-people who settled here." He looked hopeful that this slight upon Anacreon's lineage might spark a fight. Kleiton had lost the last tussle they'd had, and was keen to even the score.

"My ancestors didn't build this house," said Anacreon, unruffled. "My father's father came here from the south with the Fourth Legion. That's why we have light eyes. If anyone's family came from wolf-people it's yours. Your brother's been sniffing around my oldest sister like a dog, anyway."

"He has not been, either, you slanderer," came Amelisa's voice from inside, shrill. Anacreon flinched slightly; the wrath of women was a terrible thing to raise, especially when the woman was one of his sisters, both of whom were well-praised hunters who would not hesitate to lay a trap for a younger brother just as for a washing-bear. 


Dec. 25th, 2010 11:50 am
titusnowl: (Default)


I look at these pictures, and what I see is NPC: Party Lich. He wants people to party with.  The adventuring party can of course opt to kill him on sight because he's a lich and therefore evil according to How The World Of D&D Works. If you do so, you get his magical vuvuzela (uncharm spell: drives people away when you play it). Also the town is appreciative and you get XP and all that.  If you DON'T opt to kill him, it turns out he was only there to try and invite you to this TOTES MAGOATS RADICAL party he was throwing at his house. He throws these all the time and hires a dj and everything but nobody ever shows up. :C If you go, he'll be so thrilled to finally have a bro that he'll give you the magical vuvuzela as a gift, and afterward he'll be bros 4 lyfe and will help you out - he's got all kinds of arcane magical ingredients and shit just lying around his kitchen that he's not doing anything with, sure you can have 'em bro!



titusnowl: (Default)
titus n. owl

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