Category: Darklaw Saga

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Darklaw – Episode 77

GERARD’S SCOUTS CONTINUED to report a steady advancement of the forces allied against them. Avestine was content to let the armies exert themselves in the forests and along the Wealth, but she deployed her ships…

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Darklaw – Episode 76

KAMI GLANCED BACK at the bed. The bedposts had ends carved like leaping fish. She frowned but couldn’t look away as her eyes roamed the voluptuous contours of the smooth wood and her body tingled…

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Darklaw – Episode 75

AVESTINE’S EYES WIDENED, then narrowed, then eased. “There was a time when I was the one you worshipped.” Kami smiled. “I still do.” She slid her arms beneath the loose band of Avestine’s linen pants….

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Darklaw – Episode 74

AVESTINE GLANCED AROUND at all the men watching her. She stared at Rook and ordered Gerard to remove everyone. When guards came for Rook, she stopped them. “He stays. Gerard, you, too.” When the guards…

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Darklaw – Episode 73

KAMI WAS ONE of the first off the ship. As soon as her feet hit dirt, she fell to her knees and let all of her senses run free, but she didn’t wallow long. A…

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Darklaw – Episode 72

KAMI DIDN’T LIKE ships. She didn’t have the stomach for it and spent the first days on deck vomiting over the rail. Rook insisted she focus on the shoreline, but it didn’t help. All that…

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Darklaw – Episode 71

SHE ARRIVED NEAR the shore at Agate Bay within a few days, curiosity winning out over caution. She had been sure the presence she tracked was Avestar, but the closer she got to him, the…

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Darklaw – Episode 70

DAYS BLURRED INTO each other, but Kami had made a calendar with a stick. She put a notch in it for each day and kept the stick in her belt because she knew days would…

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Darklaw – Episode 69

SOMEHOW, KAMI FOUND her way out of the city before Rook could speak to Avestine. The guards swore no one had passed, and when Avestine came looking for Rook because she was looking for Kami,…

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Darklaw – Episode 68

KAMI ATE LUNCH with Rook at a courtyard gazebo. Avestine was dining with the rest of her senior staff in the public hall, pointedly showing her disdain for the previous attack. “You’re not hungry?” asked…

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Darklaw – Episode 67

AFTER SUNRISE, ROOK escorted Wald from the room while Avestine sat with Gerard at his table. She had food brought. He wasn’t hungry and seemed tired. He loosened his tight robe so that his arm…

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Darklaw – Episode 66

AVESTINE HAD FALLEN asleep at her table and awoke with a start. She raised her head and pain shot down her back. She rubbed her neck. She was alone. She heard nothing, not even the…

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Darklaw – Episode 65

ROOK AND AVESTINE shared a look of astonishment before Avestine asked, “How can this be happening without my knowing about it?” “You don’t have anyone watching Wald,” replied Rook. “He comes and goes as he…

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Darklaw – Episode 64

. She had counted on him, needed him beside her. They had maintained an odd but beneficial relationship. What she didn’t understand was why he would sacrifice himself for her. Rook would have died to protect her. Maybe even Kami.

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Darklaw – Episode 63

“Rook told me what you think. Your discussion disturbed him tremendously. If you want to blaspheme, save it for me, not a man so devoted to the gods that he’s spent thirty years suffering my abuses. You said my father lied, changed the ancient religion to suit his purpose.”

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Darklaw – Episode 62

Avestine wondered if Kami would ever understand the power she had to move her, how her presence let her smell more, taste more, hear more, feel more. The world became bigger and more exciting. Everything had the ability to touch her when she was with Kami, even things invisible to her awareness the rest of the time, like the sound of a cricket in the wall or the smell of the books on the shelf. She luxuriated in Kami’s raw sensation, the other half of the Emanation of Instinct, whose shadow side appeared capable of consuming the world.

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Darklaw – Episode 61

Avestine sighed. “I see.” She touched Kami’s chin and smiled indulgently. “Women don’t need to be protected. They need work and pleasure, and I give them both.”

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Darklaw – Episode 60

Maybe to a man the sight of blood can mean only death, but to a woman, blood is life. It’s the first thing that tells us we are women. Our own blood, not another’s, is a sign of power. It promises a future.

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Darklaw – Episode 59

HE LEFT, AND by the time he returned, she was falling asleep. He woke her and had tea brought. She sat with him at the table, where he set down a very old and weathered…

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Darklaw – Episode 58

KAMI LOVED THE water. It caressed her skin like the softest silk she could imagine, and she wished she didn’t need to leave it to breathe. She wanted to become a fish but still didn’t…

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Darklaw – Episode 57

Those who understood the path of Essanti viewed Kami’s light among the dimmest, the lowest Emanation a person might follow. But in all of history, among all those Avestine had known or even heard of, no Essanti had displayed the kind of power Kami had.

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Darklaw – Episode 56

Seeing her hands gone took something from him, but he couldn’t quite name it. He had no reservations about the importance of the ritual, believed in it utterly. He decided the mutilation itself didn’t disturb him, but how it manifested in her.

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Darklaw – Episode 55

She watched the weight of realization fall upon Kami, the memory of who she was and who she was not. It was a cruel thing, perhaps the cruelest yet, to return Kami’s rational mind to her, since Kami’s bestial army had killed thousands of people.

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Darklaw – Episode 54

Sometime later, she opened her eyes and wasn’t sure where she was. It had been a lifetime since she had run among trees, danced to seductive drums, and laughed beside creeks. Vague memories stirred in her, and she didn’t know why they were so vague. She recalled pain and realized she felt nothing now.

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Darklaw – Episode 53

They had come around the coast. They drove the wild beasts from their path. The web of life vibrated with their reckless passage. Kami could sense where the forest ended, where its bounty of life became like a desert, absent of sounds and smells but for a little knot of arrogant men pressing toward the magnificent artery of the continent.

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Darklaw – Episode 52

“Love?” Avestine’s lipped curled as she said the word. “This isn’t about love, Essanti. I own her, like I own you. I’m taking back what is mine, what my brother stole, just like I’ll take back Sahrdon one day.”

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Darklaw – Episode 51

She could barely stand to look at the bloated little man, with his wispy beard and yellow teeth, but like everyone she came to rely on, she probed him for the one vice that might define his limits.

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Darklaw – Episode 50

A thrill raced through Avestine because she knew who she was when she had prey on the run. “Whatever I want.” She anticipated Elle would try to bargain. Instead, the young body straightened, and Avestine’s whiskey-fogged mind couldn’t make sense of what happened next.

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Darklaw – Episode 49

EVERY DAY, AVESTINE heard petitions. City elders and wealthy tradesmen came asking favors or bringing complaints against each other. Peasants begged for seed or bread. The life of a ruler had never been something she…

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Darklaw – Episode 48

Amilese could be enthusiastic, was certainly dutiful, but was never importunate. She was a young woman of discrete and sensible manners. Not like Kami at all. The moment she thought the name, Avestine felt as if she had been stabbed.