About Order & Entropy

Book IBook I – (Index) Book IIBook II – (Index) Book IIIBook III – (Index)
Book IV – (Index) Book V – (Index) Book VI – (Index)

For centuries there has been a tenuous peace through the ruins of the Corinthian Empire.  One bought with the blood of countless thousands, and floundering in the shadows of a cold war fueled by magic, faith, and dragons.  The memory of mages may be long, but time brings complacency, and ambition is a wolf ever circling at the door.

Three children are cast into the royal court of the small western kingdom of Avrale.  A land ever caught between the true power brokers of their world.  Yet the forces of fate spiraling around the Ashton children hint at a larger picture.  That nothing about them is at all ordinary, even if all they want is to live their lives, and find their place in a world that seems to always have other plans.  They will learn that gifts can be burdens, and that great power is never without consequence.


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VI:36 – The Best Medicine

That broken may be mended,
that severed by gift so united,

it is a jagged edge twisted,
that the healer cannot repair,
a sickly thing of the abyss,
that all should rightly fear.

Beware the work of mages,
that meant to bring their end,

to kill that more alive by birth,
is no more the ungifted’s friend.

– That no Gift Can Mend, 223 E.R.

The Best Medicine

Katrisha lay in a cot, staring at a log ceiling between her and the upper floor. Particles of dirt hung in her spell, caught from boots tromping around above. They slowly burned to aether, not unconsidered in the design. A bit of elevated filament density. In all probability not needed, but she had some concerns about backlash in her condition. It was also something to stare at.

Areth had offered better accommodation, or private. She’d chosen private, though the room only had a freshly hung tarp for a door. Wren had sat with her a while, checked on her thereafter. Each time she lay there, staring at the ceiling, he returned to other patients when called. Liora had sat with her a while as well, but said nothing. Held her hand a moment, then left. This had turned her eye, but only that.

There was a slight rustle of the canvas door, but at a glance no one was there. Braced as her ribs where she regretted a half-hearted attempt to sit up, and winced. A slight scratching announced a scrambled on the chair beside her. A quick jump of a small brown lump of fur hit her shoulder face first.

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Commentary VI:34

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Hot as Can Be Pleasant

As I said a bit back, editing commentary is where the sticking point is going to live for a while. Some chapters more than others. This week contained some challenges of too much to say, and not sure enough about saying it. So I delayed it a week, because I needed to get the week’s chapter done rather than fuss with commentary. I really hemmed and hawed over the middle a lot, but ultimately decided I was saying what I wanted to well enough. Even if it is drowned out in some frivolous numerology for fun.

The title, epigraph, and chapters winds up echoing Katrisha’s words about being seen. Implying I intend that she was perhaps quoting something in the cultural cannon. There is a lot going on here on the whole, and while I will delve at depths into some things, I’m holding a lot closer to the chest, for both personal and story telling reasons.

I got the art done a bit late, and added it retroactively, so it’s on the commentary for more visibility.

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VI:35 – What Words Suffice

A wolf in rams skin, plays a dangerous game,
that brother mistake him, for lamb just the same,
the spider too careless, in their own web entwined,
a hungry bird may come round swift, there to find.

– The Tangled Scheme, 423 E.R.

What Words Suffice

“You’re going?” asked a woman in white, who had chosen again to adopt heavy veils. Ever more, since she had begun to sell herself.

Kiannae stopped in the hall, and cringed. “I did mean to tell you myself, Mahla.”

“We are to remain?” It was almost childlike, in forlorn desperation.

Kiannae gritted her teeth. “Here is… farther — perhaps — from a war that has half come. All the closer to another though, that may yet. In all other senses perhaps I should ask you all to follow. What you believe, and I… they are not the same things. It is not my place to say. There are risks in every option, and I do not trust my own judgement is not clouded by my feelings on this place.”

“So we may come, if we please?”

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VI:34 – To Be Seen

There is nothing so powerful as to feel seen,
humiliating, and elating, the strangest of things,

you’ve laid me so bare, as you so dearly adored,
when all the world has left me to feel abhorred,

you’ve seen me so very precisely as I am,
loved me, and held me, spoken my truth again,
oh that I could so effortlessly see you as you are,
you hide still my love, have we not come so far?

– Her Beauty by Far, 323 E.R.

To Be Seen

“Were you causing trouble again?” Celia asked, and rubbed Kitren’s head.

“I was just watching,” Kitten protested.

“Which wing?” Celia laughed, kidding to herself, but there was something odd in her daughter’s eyes at the remark. Almost offended, or just confused.

“The main one, the door.”

“Did Andria wake up, and start marching you here, but Aud’y took you off her hands?”

“She says not to call her that.”

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Commentary VI:33

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Never Cross the Time Streams

Had this mostly written Monday but didn’t get to a final editing pass till Wednesday night, so I’ll set it to publish in the morning. New job is going alright, but does leave less time as expected.

She isn’t you, and anyone who would tell you otherwise, has never had a twin. Don’t be embarrassed for how she’s lived her life, just because you share a few close memories growing up.

This first scene exists almost because I felt like it needed to, to catch up with what was implied a few chapters ago. I didn’t like it in the middle of the chapter, so concocted a delay (to a later scene,) only cause I also did not like it out of order.

It happens to catch a realization Kiannae has made about herself, in her chiding of the much older Claudine. Also some nuances of her development. Still instinctively covering herself to be intruded upon, getting her wits about her, and accepting a situation for what it is. She gets out of bed naked, and retrieves her robe.

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VI:33 – Ripples in the Stream

Like mother like daughter, I hear men in such mocking say,
like father like son, I’ll warn, if he’s none, he will not stay,
takes the same sort, to teach such a man just how to stray,
need only the same temperament, that he follow her, away.

– The Red Sister’s Ploy, 423 E.R.

Ripples in the Stream

Rhaeus 27th, 1 S.R.

“What is the meaning of this?” demanded an irate Claudine, standing over Kiannae’s bed. She tossed the paper she was waving at her down.

Kiannae blinked twice, and pulled the blanket a bit more over her chest.

“Not like you have anything I haven’t seen girlie, a dozen different ways. Try as you might, I’ve seen nothing new in it.”

Kiannae took the letter, and read it. Turned it over, but the back was blank. It was short, cryptic, and signed by a duchess with a familiar enough name.

“I really couldn’t tell you…” Kiannae furrowed her brow.

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Commentary VI:32

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And Maybe Not So Brief

Keeping things ‘brief’ this week for aforementioned reasons. Epigraph was another last minute invention as I had the chapter done, but hadn’t yet come up with one as of Saturday. Something set evocatively in the mythos of the world on a personal note of some implied poet (perhaps dealing with a bi-polar or just troubled lover,) and then tied a bit loosely to the chapter as a whole.

I re-ordered the sections before publication Sunday because I don’t stylistically like the context switch of jumping back and forth between entirely different locals if I can avoid it. Even though the characters differ, and the scenes themselves differ in place somewhat.

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VI:32 – A Path in Motion

The fall it seemed with her would never pass,
brief summer days came again that did not last,
an intemperate storm was this long love affair,
passed through seasons with no order or care,

spring some morns greeted her dawning,
come the noon winter set without warning,
in languid summer afternoons we fawned,
weeks in autumn, I would expect to mourn.

– My Summer Storm, 311 E.R.

A Path in Motion

Ossua stood staring out to the west, high atop the cloister tower. There were fortifications on the far hill, a few miles out. Visible in large for where the trees had been cleared to build them.

The courtyards below were filled with small trees, shrubs, flowers and fountains. People nestled between on benches, or passing through. Life carried on, even with the unknown threat on the horizon outside their humble walls.

Katrisha stepped up to the next slot in the parapet, and looked down, and out as well. She could just make out the fresh wards, no more than a few weeks old. Only on the east wall it seemed, though they continued a bit around to the south and north. A work in progress.

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Commentary VI:31

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Commentary may become sparser for a while. I’m starting a new job, and am likely to find time short. I’ll continue to write it as I have been, since it has become so much a part of my development process, but then editing it for public consumption may find less time to happen, and so sit in storage.

Also less time for such things as this week’s image. If it was not painfully obvious this was roughly derived from Da Vinci’s iconic Vitruvian Man, which both should and should not evoke some if the mysticism it does. An attempt to fit to an older work ascribing proportions that proved a struggle to match with reality. Set in contrast with those trying to shape reality to their ideas, and reality pushing back.

This weeks epigraph as previously mentioned was originally last weeks, but things did not fit into one chapter. It was very much conjured by the idea of those gathered at Kiannae’s feet by the end of the central scene.

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VI:31 – Salvageable Wrecks

There about the pier, were things all once thought lost,
what sea had swallowed up, the tempest out had tossed.

brought there where legs for land, meet the swaying sea,
in a briny froth lain mocking, that cast off so carelessly.

– The Storm Reveals, 138 E.R.

Salvageable Wrecks

“What do you do to them?” a tall Faun demanded, his boughs high, his hair golden.

“I can show you.” A dark skinned, round, and pleasant looking woman stepped deeper into her dark abode. She circled a young woman within. “This one here, she is fresh. A Saou now, untried. Come, to receive her gifts. Ready, for her great purpose to be unfurled.”

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