I’m Damian Ashelocke, scion of the Ashelockes, an arachnocratic family. Perhaps Christopher mentioned me? Although I hope he’s not dwelling on me too much. Let him be happy at the Navel, while he can. You don’t believe me? Well, if you wish to learn my true motives, you’ll have to read ‘Stealing Myself From Shadows’. You’ll see me through the eyes of Christopher, although it’s not nearly as idealized a portrait as the one he paints of me in ‘Waiting for Rebirth’. Yes, Christopher does tend to have a misleading mental image of myself. I’m hoping our author will reveal the true me to you all, when she puts all the fragments she’s written about Aunt Duessa, Jacqueline, Gabrielle, and myself into a complete book. You’ll be able to see through my eyes, once she does. You’ll find out what it was like, growing up as an arachnocratic boy, with ambitions beyond being a marriage feast. What is a marriage feast? There are very few men among arachnocrats. Boys tend to be devoured on their sixteenth birthday in an elegant ceremony known as a marriage feast. Their blood, their energy, their souls go towards nourishing the next generation. Most arachnocratic boys look forward to this ceremony, hoping to be devoured by a truly beautiful, accomplished woman, with as many arms as possible. I was quite eccentric in my lack of enthusiasm, if not unnatural. I also loved another boy. He ended up my Aunt Duessa’s feast. I never forgave her for this, although one of the reasons I escaped being a feast myself for so long was her indulgence. I further disgraced myself by running off with Gabrielle. She was so powerful and interesting, I thought I’d have all kinds of adventures at her side. Instead, I ended up working in a stupid little shop called the Navel, selling trinkets to its customers. I had ambitions of my own, which I furthered, when I pulled Christopher out of the Shadow Forest. I furthered those ambitions, once more, when I opened a Door to the Shadow Forest myself. What are those ambitions? You’ll just have to read about them for yourself, once our fool of an author finally gets our stories fixed up and published. She’s neglected the Shadow Forest for far too long.