T is for Troile

Once more I find myself in this Cauldron while my story is elsewhere being written at this Camp NaNoWriMo. I am Troile, Prince of Troy. As long as I live, Troy will survive in some shape of form if you belief my mad siblings. They are gifted with the Sight, but they are not the only ones who see things.

I had a vision of my own in a cup held by my kinsman and Zeus’s cupbearer. I saw the face of a youth whose destiny was entwined with mine. Indeed, he had the power to cut it short for he was Achille, mightiest of the Achaens.

This didn’t make me adverse to crossing paths with him however perilous. My desire, or perhaps the will of the gods transported me to Achille’s side. Only he was called Aissa at the time, wearing skirts, and playing at being the companion of the Princess of Scyros. I recognized the fire in his eyes, which I’d first seen in the vision in the cup.

He knows who I am, too, and he’s coming for me. He’s coming for Troy, my home. I still wish to see him again, even though I’m courting destruction by letting him court me.

I’ll meet him with a sword in my hand or dressed in skirts, whatever part I need to play to make our paths cross once more. This is more than just destiny or desire. Perhaps a boy shouldn’t show so much eagerness for a potential lover, especially when he threatens my home. I’ll still stand my ground. If Achille wishes to take Troy, he’ll have to take me first.

I have no intention of making it easy for him even if part of me is eager for him to do.

We shall resolve this passion burning between us, Achille and I. One way or the other.

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Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday, six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction is posted and shared.

It can be your own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQ+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQ+ fiction, go here…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=bookmarks

Only my characters are currently holed up in this Cauldron on Saturdays for the rest of April, Blogging From AZ, talking about Character Goals.

This leaves Sunday as the only day on the weekend open to continue Snippeteering on while sharing Be My Valentine…Snack.

Picking up right where we left off last Sunday…it’s a little longer than six sentences but only slightly.

 

“He doesn’t have to demonstrate anything!” Peter balled his hands into fists. “Forget the last challenge, Christopher. It isn’t worth it.” He lowered his head in a half bow. “I was foolish enough to agree to her Valentine. It’s my responsibility to honor my agreement.”

 

S is for Shelley

Here I am once more at the Cauldron.

I wonder if the pale lords have decided to have me stewed? I wouldn’t put it past them.

Day by day, I mistrust Paradise all the more along with its guardians. They imprison us with the faith they implant within us, their subjects. They water us with words, allowing us to grow, meek and humble. Afterwards, they feast upon our timid worship, drinking every drop of life and vitality we possess until we’re nothing but withered husks.

The pale lords so all of these things, aided and abetted by their servants, yet the lords are not devoid of humanity themselves. I’ve seen flickers of it in Lord Ruthvyn, even though he tries to hide them.

What do I do with the knowledge I’ve gathered?

I already decided to resist. I took the name of Shelley, a rebel poet from a lost world our ancestor forsake for Paradise. My name is a symbol of strength, individuality, and freedom. I forged a bond with another boy who showed me the way in doing the same. He chose the name of Byron for himself.

Together we made a stand in song and spirit against Paradise and its Goddess.

Paradise rejected us as a result. It gave us to Lord Ruthvyn, one of its pale caretakers. Byron and I are now trapped on his estate, being transformed into his personal songbirds.

Madness creeps on me from every corner of this mansion and its grounds. I’m not longer sure what’s real or true.

There are two things I continue to believe in. One is Byron. He is too proud, too strong-willed to ever let Lord Ruthvyn master him.

The other is freedom. To be free to love, to laugh, to think, and to choose our fates for ourselves are goals worth fighting for.

I want to be worthy of what I believe in, Byron and freedom. For them, I shall resist.

The only question that troubles me is what weapons shall I use? For I begin to suspect that mere defiance and the will to fight are not the keys to obtaining what I want.

It may be possible to touch something deeper than the cold shells of our enemies. To reach the essential humanity which still animates them.

They hold the keys to our prison. They could open the doors if we persuaded them.

I find myself wondering if all the pale lords aren’t like Lord Ruthvyn. If they’re as trapped within the roles of being tyrants as we are trapped within their tyranny.

Perhaps they, too, are tired of this. Perhaps they, too, wish to be free.

If I can awaken that wish within our captors as well as my fellow prisoners, it may be a major step toward freeing us all. Toward escaping Paradise and its Goddess.

I must look for every opportunity to do this in On the Other Side of the Mask.

 

R is for Rhodry

Um, hello. I’m Rhodry Nevalyn. I used to be called Rhodry Mavelyne in a past, interactive writing project called the Keep. Yes, that’s where my creatrix gets the name rhodrymavelyne which she uses on Twitter, tumblr, Archive of Our Own, NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, and this Cauldron. I guess she identifies a lot with that past incarnation of me, his love of books and a sense of being out of step somehow with the world around him.

Not that that me was the first me. There have been other Rhodrys before that. I’m the Rhodry who belongs in the World of Omphalos. Yes, I’m a direct descendant of Nevalyn the Golden Herself. This makes me what many residents of Caerac Keep call serpent spawn. It also makes me heir to some dangerous powers which could awaken the Serpent.

Fortunately, Daeric Nevalyn, Son of the Serpent found me when I was quite young. Yes, he’s the same Daeric Padraig and Magdalene fell in love with in the old songs. I’m not sure if they actually rescued him from his mother. It’s more likely he decided to go. Daeric doesn’t seem like the type whom needs rescuing from anybody. He’s the one usually doing the rescuing. Like he did with me. He found me a place within the Library itself, a traveling palace filled with books that moves between realities. Guarded by gargoyles and wards which prevent any violence within, it’s one of safest places in existence to be.

I’m beginning to wonder if there are any safe places left. I used to go to the Tipsy Hedgehog in Caerac Keep to exchange stories with the various travelers whom stopped by. Only people have started disappearing.

There’s a rumour that vampires are involved. I don’t trust in idle gossip, but Daeric has keeping an eye on me, insisting I stay in his tower.

I’m not sure how safe I was. I began to dream nightly of a vampire visiting me.

No, the dreams weren’t scary. They’ve been ah, quite pleasant. I didn’t think there was any harm in them. After all, they were just dreams.

Only Daeric himself has disappeared without a trace from his tower.

I thought it was his Place of Power. I don’t even like to think of what was capable of stealing him away from it. Unless he was lured away?

Or…my dreams could have something to do with it.

Vampires have to be invited into someone’s home in order to attack them. Were my dreams a way of securing an invitation? Did I unwittingly invite one in by enjoying them?

I don’t know. All I do is that I have to find Daeric before it’s too late.

I’ve joined up with a group of young people with specialized skills. We’ve been asked for Lord William Caerac himself to investigate what’s happening at the Keep.

I’m not entirely sure why he chose us. Skills or not, I’m not sure if we’re right for the job. We’re hardly getting along either.

We’ll have to work together, though. Each of us has lost someone, someone’s who’s disappeared. We’ll have to get to bottom of whatever Trouble at Caerac Keep has taken Daeric and the others.

I just hope we’re a match for it.

Q is for Questioning

Greetings, Questioning here. I suppose you could say my name is my goal, although I prefer to regard it as my calling.

Once I had another name. I called myself Sister Magdalene. I was a Dragon scholar, a teacher for the Order of the Dragon, teaching blance to younglings. I lived a quiet life, playing the part of a celibate female scholar, denying my true self and my past. I tried to disappear from the legends of Padraig and the rescue of the Serpent’s Son, above all from my brush with the Serpent Herself.

Yes, I was that Magdalene. It felt safe to keep my name since many young clerics took it as their own when becoming a Dragon priestess. No, I don’t look my true age, although the russet in my hair has turned to silver and gray. Nevalyn cursed me to live long enough to see the fall of the Order of the Dragon. She promised I myself would have a hand in it.

Once I thought I’d never do such a thing.

I’ve seen the Dragons change over the centuries. They’ve become corrupt, tools in the hands of the Serpent or the Imperatrix. The more militant orders round up and enslave any golden-haired children, accusing them of being serpent spawn.
They’re turned into toys, tools, and weapons for their captor by means of the slave collars placed around their necks.

I had two pupils unfortunate enough to be golden-haired children, Kyra and Stephen. Agents of the Serpent succeeded in taking Stephen from me. They almost took Kyra as well.

I managed to get Kyra back with the help of an old friend. We were forced to go into hiding, but my charge grew to womanhood, the color of her hair hidden.

Only Kyra is wanting to step out of the shadows and reveal herself. She’s found Stephen, living as a prince at the Imperatrix’s side. He appears to be in the grip of the Serpent’s power, drinking in the deaths of any suitor who dares to challenge him in the arena.

Kyra can’t leave him. She blames herself for what happened to him.

In truth, so do I. Not that I like Kyra’s plan of rescue at all. It involves too much peril to her, not to mention trusting some sinister strangers whom are entirely too eager to help her.

I still have a few allies of my own, along with a few favors to call in. Looks like I’ll be doing this in A Suitor’s Challenge. Not that I entirely trust my allies, but this is for Kyra’s sake. Stephen’s as well.

I failed my precious charges once. I won’t fail them again.

P is for Peter

Greetings, my lovelies! Welcome to Cauldron!

Ahem, you don’t happen to have any extra limbs, do you? Good, good. Can’t be too careful. I’ve gotten into a bit of trouble in Be My Valentine…Snack by not being careful enough. The bugger of it all was Duessa Ashelocke was supposed to be a charming afternoon of rebound. I had no idea she wanted to devour me literally. Plus, Christopher was being so adorable, getting all upset. I thought I’d actually made him jealous for a change. He’s always doing that to me, after all. Ah, well, at least I know he cares. Cares enough to risk his life for me, in fact.

Yes, that’s touching, but also worrisome. Perhaps I do mean almost as much to him as Damian does. This means he’ll be pulling fool stunts to save me from my stupid self like he just did.

What’s even more worrisome is I’m thinking of pulling another fool stunt of my own.
I can’t replace Damian. Part of Christopher and ‘Brie was lost when he left.

I need to go and find that part even if it means returning a hated rival to the Navel and being out of a job.

Of course that’s not what I really want. What I wished for most of all was for Christopher to fall into my arms. To regard me with the same passion he regards Damian.

Only it’s not the same passion. It’s never the same passion. I can’t replace Damian anymore than Christopher could replace Paul for me.

Why do I keep being attracted to people who break my heart or try to eat me? I seem to have a type and it’s nothing but trouble. Ladies with extra arms and appetites which will leave nothing of me behind. Heartbroken boys whom are fixated on someone or something else than me.

It’s the one thing Paul and Christopher have in common. They look nothing alike, but they’re both always looking away. Why is that so alluring? What’s so seductive about someone who isn’t all there?

I’m starting to feel like some doddering idiot chasing after a beautiful, unattainable boy in a classical relationship. This is a pointless waste of energy and charm. It’s enough to drive a man mad.

Or open a Door to the Shadow Forest if you think about it.

 

O is for Ourborous

I am the world serpent, whose scales lay beneath the grass at your feet. Gaze up at the mountains and you may see past the illusion which surrounds you. When you bathe in a river or a stream, you’re immersing yourself in my tears. For the Goddess hurled me from her embrace. When I landed, the oceans and lakes formed from my blood while my body became your land. The land where your stories take place, little denizens of A Suitor’s Challenge and Trouble at Caerac Keep.

Some worshippers see me not as a snake, but a dragon. Thus the Order of the Dragon formed to worship me. Yes, the Dragons, the clerical order whom supposedly fought against the Great Serpent, the Golden Serpent Nevalyn. Don’t be beguiled. Nevalyn only told part of the truth when she said she was me. She is but one aspect of my many facets. I have others. They want different things.

You may wonder what I want. This depends upon which aspect of me is active, that you find yourself facing. It depends on what my worshippers desire. I experience goals through me. Sometimes they conflict and I find myself on different sides. For I am many. The creatures of my world; every vampire and human, every kobold and shapeshifter could not exist without me. I am the earth that grounds them, the rock that supports.

My denizens could not exist without me. Nor could I exist without them. Without their faith, their worship, their adversity, what would I be?

This is the Eternal Riddle which I ponder.