I fear I may have given away too much already to those of you who have not heard this story before, but I will be patient about it anyway—and without much regard for Íora's ever-so-subtle disapproval. It is a story you need to hear, sisters, whether or not you can stomach it now. When I am gone and you have only your own memories of this night to pass on to your own grand-daughters, perhaps even after we have found a new home, you will want to be able to tell the tale properly. Gleméa was interrupted similarly by Kona, you see, when telling me her own story of her childhood, and I have but the scantiest detail for some of the most intriguing chapters of it. I have no intention of letting yet another great account of the history of our people become filled with similar lacunae—let the ravages of time do that without my assistance. […]
It's a wildly unpopular one, so that's fun.
Well. Not so much a theory as it is an excuse.
Calvin and Hobbes is harmful. […]
1. I now really, really dislike Archaic Lilitic as a family of languages.
2. The script traditionally known as títina (internally, ADX revision 5) has a lot of ductus issues that, as a certain Swiss gentleman has pointed out, liberally violate my own criticisms of many other conscripts.
So! There is going to be some reworking. […]
In the time of the Ksreskézai, the naming of houses followed the name of its patriarch—Tévopo, Chúkoto, Gazdatto—but this was not always their way. The true centrepiece of an Oksian household was once the single female, who lived much longer than the males and functioned as a matriarch. This was the way of the Oksasa for countless millennia, and was a pattern that could still be seen in other related species and in the remnants of the other Oksian civilizations on Ksreskézo. Such a household would be like an insect colony, writ small.
Then came Oksresko. […]
"I think I know the place you are speaking of," said Íoya, her features drawn together. "With certainty there is a mansion in the old marshlands, south of the oasis, but it is on the grounds of the Kégivko Ceremonial Game Reserve. No slave is allowed anywhere near that place." She sighed, as if she had been holding in her breath, and swept herself away, now very much disinclined to support the easterner's sororal piety. It was not a practice native to Tévopían slokdtabasa, who were much more accustomed to palace intrigue and the art of sharpening daggers to bury in each others' backs.
So that was how the scene must have looked to Regsabta and Íoya: consciously or not, they would have counted their poison arrow-tips, and gloated in a subdued smugness at Gloto-Tyogía's openness. Regsabta's rescue of the battered creature had not been entirely selfless, whether or not she wants to white-wash it now, hundreds of years after the fact.
Stop groaning. […]
At that moment a sort of stillness overcame the ship's lounge. The atmosphere had grown steadily quieter as the hours dragged on; the novice poets and muses had stopped humming their novelties for one another, leaving only the hushed tones of the elders and the occasional clink of a posset bowl. The gay tones of the ubiquitous murals that encrusted every corner of the Zelúkwía had seen better days, lending yet more to the tiredness of the celebration.
Íora rolled her eyes at the silence, her attention slow, lugubrious. She had spent the morning defending her latest literary innovation to her editor, who was utterly opposed to printing it. This time, it had not resulted in any perforated wings, but she was still sore, both in body and mind.
She swilled her bowl about, reflecting on this, and other conflicts of opinion. Checking the bottom of her drink was another personal habit—she had once swallowed a lump of ergot that someone had spat into her bowl the morning after a wild party, and the experience had never quite stopped haunting her. […]
For now, though, let's see where it takes us. […]
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