June 26, 2012
Indeed, Gwen did have a bit of trouble with her temper. Her uncle of the Cone side of the family, Derlith, was fond of his niece and helped her channel her aggressions in constructive ways. He got her into contact sports: boxing, sambo, grappling–all things Zenon-girls was not expected to do. Gwen’s size and solidity helped to excel in those sports and Uncle Derlith took her to compete in tournaments every year on Onaris. She has a slight limp from a broken ankle suffered in one of those tournaments when she refused to submit from a sunk-in ankle-lock. Gwen also, unlike her sisters, mastered the FEDULA, the LosCapricos weapon of the Prentiss Household. She was quite deadly with it.Gwen also had a good head on her shoulders. Instead of hoping to marry young, Gwen enrolled at the University of Arden and received an “E” degree in Stellar Engineering. Her Uncle Derlith, an Admiral of the 3rd Stellar Fleet, helped her secure a command chair on the Demophalon John, a scouting vessel. Gwen’s temperament did not suit her well to the rigors of command and she was considered a harsh and unreasonable disciplinarian and was roundly disliked by her crew: the “Grizzly Bear”, they called her in hushed tones.
There was a darkness that seemed to hang over Gwen growing up. She had an aunt on her mother’s Cone side of the family who terrified her. Darkness seemed to walk with the woman, and when she came to Prentiss for a visit, Gwen often hid. Even the lurid sound of her voice scared Gwen. Through the vents in the manor, Gwen could hear her aunt frequently talking about some woman to the east whom she despised and cursed. She even hated her son, a boy named Stenstrom whom she hoped to torment.
And, eventually, her aunt would call for Gwen. “GWENDOLYN… COME HERE!!” rang out in her thoughts. Dreading each step, Gwen would come down the stairs and enter the parlor where her aunt and darkness waited.
copyright 2012, Ren Garcia and Eve Ventrue
June 6, 2012
“Bel” is a very different sort of fellow from his predecessors, Captain Davage and Lord Kabyl.
He is of mixed Zenon and Esther/Tyrol heritage and is the youngest of thirty Belmont children (and the only male). Though the Zenons are potent in the Gifts, his Esther blood has robbed him of Gifts of the Mind. His mother, Lady Jubilee of Tyrol, taught him the ways of Tyrol Sorcery, which consists of mundane learning, such as herbal lore, chemistry, Sleight of Hand and lock-picking. It also covers more arcane subjects: Demonology, Cabalism, alchemy and sympathetic magic. He is said to be able to Walk in the Shadows, passing unseen. Bel carries two LosCapricos Weapons: The NTH’s of his father’s line, and the MARZABLE from his mother’s. The NTH’s are a mystical set of pistols that can kill anything: living, dead, undead, machine and intangible.The MARZABLE is a potent dagger that mystically replenishes itself. With the MARZABLE, he can never be completely disarmed.Bel gave his heart early on to Lady Lillian of Gamboa, a talented artist from the east. Lilly was very strong-willed and helped guide Bel as he grew into young man-hood. Unfortunately, Lilly would not commit herself to Bel and insisted they share a “cooling off” period lasting five years. During that time, he ended up having a number of affairs with: Lady Alitrix of Zama, Grand Dame Miranda of Rosell, Crewman Kaly of Figg, and Christiana of Z-Encarr. He has also participated in the Sisters’ Program over thirty times. He is said to possess the rare Pel Programmability.
He wears a long green coat formerly worn by members of the Hoban Royal Navy. Within his “HRN” he places many bits of his arcane equipment. The HRN appears to have certain mystical properties of its own, as the coat never shows wear or damage and always keeps Bel perfectly comfortable no matter how cold or hot it is.
Bel is also a well-known eccentric, wearing his HRN coat, his Vith triangle hat and a small mask, which nobody quite knows what to make of. He also never joined the Fleet, though his Programmability is high and his Father, Stenstrom the Older is a long-standing Warbird captain. Instead Bel became a Fleet Paymaster: essentially a clerk and shipboard civilian.
Bel, if anything, is a man of many secrets.
copyright 2012, Ren Garcia, Eve Ventrue and Carol Phillips
June 3, 2012
My good friend Denise Verrico has just launched the fourth book in her Immortyl Revolution series, the Servant of the Goddess.
From the ashes of the first battle of the Immortyl Revolution, vampires Mia Disantini and Kurt Eisen set out to build a new Immortyl society. Trouble arrives in the person of Cedric MacKinnon, a runaway adept of the ancient arts, who brings tidings of upheaval at the chief elder’s court that threatens everything Mia and Kurt have accomplished. Mia finds it hard to resist when Cedric pledges his service and tempts her with the legendary skills he learned as an Immortyl courtesan. Facing opposition from both within and out, Mia begins to doubt Kurt is up to the task of leading their followers to his vision of an Immortyl Utopia. Torn between her loyalty to Kurt and Cedric’s insistence that she is the earthly manifestation of the Goddess Durga and destined to lead, Mia confronts the greatest challenge of her life.
Forget the fairytale vampire romance…
Mia Disantini thought she found the man of her dreams, but is trapped in a nightmare from which she can’t wake up.
Kurt Eisen makes a monstrous bargain to survive a Nazi concentration camp and begins to understand what a monster truly is.
Cedric MacKinnon was once a celebrated vampire courtesan. Now he’s a deadly assassin, who has cheated death too many times.
Annals of the Immortyls
A trio of Dark Urban Fantasy tales featuring characters from Denise Verrico’s Immortyl Revolution series
copyright 2012, Denise Verrico
June 1, 2012
There are many ruins dotting the landscape of Kana, especially in the northern continent of Vithland where the remnants of old manors and castles litter the landscape. Most are forlorn and ill-trodden places, overgrown and generally best left avoided. One notable exception is the Ruins of Caroline sitting in the green lands of Hala near the Straights of Elder under the eye of the Sisters’ lighthouse. The ruins of the fallen manor are frequently visited. Inns and pubs nearby do a brisk trade of those travelers seeking to visit them. The locals frequently go to the ruins and tend to the grass and keep the footing level so that visitors unfamiliar with the terrain won’t hurt themselves.The House of Caroline was a Great House of Hala stock. Like most Halas, the Carolines were simple farmers and tillers of the land. They were well-liked, generally followers in the complicated social scheme of Kana instead of pacesetters. They had many friends across Kana. Caroline Maidens were known to be very beautiful. The Carolines were known to be quite tall for Halas, taller even than the Vith. The Sisterhood of Light diagnosed them with the early onset of Giantism.
The Carolines were one of twenty-five Great Houses to flee the League during the Great Betrayal in 000000AX and become Xaphans. Most of the other fleeing Houses were mal-contents and rabble-rousers: The Burgons, the Zary and Trimbles. The Carolines, however, were content league citizens–it was the House of Zary, a rather wayward House, that cooerced the Carolines to leave the League with them. So, broken-hearted, the Carolines boarded their ships and left their beloved manor by the sea behind.
The Carolines wandered the empty passes of Xaphan space for months. They were raided by several other Houses, including the House of Zary, who were starving in their transports. In danger of becoming extinct, the Carolines put out a distress call, which was answered by the League vessel Victor. With the Victor’s help, the Carolines settled on a gray world in the Tu Mervolin system.
There, the Carolines thrived, becoming Xaphans (technically, enemies of the League). The Carolines, however, always maintained friendly relations with the League and, during the Battle of Mirendra I, provided safe harbor for damaged League vessels, saving many lives. For their part in the battle, the Sisterhood of Light reinstated the House of Caroline’s familial patent in 003152AX, making them dual League/Xaphan citizens.
The abandoned Caroline Manor fell into ruins over the centuries, the grand estate tumbling down and blackening. The Lords of Hala went to the Sisters and demanded they be permitted to raze what was left of the manor and rebuild a new House there. Their request was denied and Caroline remained a ruin.
A Lady in the RuinsAn interesting legend and fad arose over the years regarding the Ruins of Caroline … as time and time again, the ruins were not completely abandoned.
The House of Caroline’s LosCapricos weapon is a strange garter-belt-like device called the VERY MARY. The VERY MARY, when worn by a Caroline maiden, will spirit her away from danger and return her to her ancestral holdings: the Ruins of Caroline near the sea in Kana. Over the centuries, Caroline maidens grew taller and taller and became more and more adventurous. Often times they found themselves in mortal peril, and many times they found themselves standing alone in the ruins under the Kanan moonlight. In 000272AX, Eon of Caroline was about to be sacrificed in Burgon and was saved by her VERY MARY. She wandered the ruins and, driven by cold and hunger, made her way into the countryside to locate shelter. She was met by Zal of Thompson, a lord from a nearby Great House and was welcomed into their home. Soon, Zal and Eon fell in love and he made her his lady. Eon was well-liked, and when word of how she arrived on Kana got out, gentlemen seeking a fine bride began venturing out into the ruins, hoping to encounter a Caroline maiden from nowhere as Zal had done.
The fad became popular and gentlemen from all over Kana and elsewhere flocked to Hala to take their turn sitting in the ruins under the moonlight. They brought with them flowers and candies, and gifts of jewelry. They wrote heartfelt letters and placed them by a remnant of masonry that became known as the Heartstone. The fad might have faded, as many often do, however, occasionally the gentlemen’s efforts were rewarded with success and the pratice perpetuated itself, eventully becoming a cottage industry in the region.
As with all things, there were those who sought to take advantage of such a quaint fad and turn it to their own ends. Such was the Carofab: a local lady who disguised herself as a Caroline. Kanan ladies became rather jealous of all those eligible men going to Caroline to seek romance. They developed a rather sophisticated spy network so that they could know exactly who was going to be sitting in the ruins and when. When a desired gentleman was slated to be out there, Kanan ladies hoping to catch his eye would dress themselves up as a Caroline and meet him there. Lady Constance of Belmont-South Tyrol did just such a thing and won a husband for her efforts.
copyright 2012 Ren Garcia