Gathered Pages: 1

Last Chapter                                                                        Next Chapter

February 6th, 1931

These words are my own for me alone and nothing I write here is meant to be binding.

Dear Diary

I am supposed to start with dear diary but daddy is very strict about what I say and how.  Daddy said writing this diary would teach me to write better and that is very important but I have to write that at the top of every new part.  Daddy said he would never read my diary but if I did not write that part at the top for every new part then he would whup me.  I asked how he would know if he never read it and he said he would just know. I believe him.

I was very very very careful when I asked daddy if it would be a bad whupping or a regular whupping and he asked me if I remembered when I got whupped and peed pink.  I said yes I did and daddy got a really mean and angry look on his face and said the whupping I got this time would be worse if I did not remember to write that every time.  Then he said he was not sure if it would work and I should tell no lies even when I write things down.

I should explain what happened the other time because you are my diary and you do not know anything except what I wrote here.  It was when I was playing with Pearl even though I was ixplicitly told I mustnt.  She kept telling me she knew a fun game and she gave me one of her toys to hold, then she took my hand and pulled me along.  Part of the game she said was that we had to go into her familys shed.  Her sisters and older cousins were there and they all had sticks and things.  They started hitting me over and over and kept knocking me down and would not let me leave.

I was lucky that everyone in Pearls family that isn’t a daddy is a girl and they were not very strong.  I bunched up into a ball and I shouted what daddy told me to shout if anyone every hurts me and I do not think I can get away.  WITH THIS BLOOD SHED I PAY YOU FURFUR.  EXACT MY REVENGE.  Daddy said it sounded convincing and if it came to that and Furfur listend I would not be much worse off.  I rememberd it because Furfur always sounded like an awfuly silly name.

Pearl and her sisters and her cousin ran when I said that and I went home.  I cryed and cryed the entire way and I fell down a lot because my leg hurt where I got hit.  I even scuffed my bottom lip and chin on the road when I fell on the path up to the house because its a hill and its steep in places.

When I got home I told daddy what happened and he got really really really angry.  I was scared he would whup me but he cleaned me up and wiped up the blood instead.  He asked me lots of questions about what happened like had I played with Pearl before and how did I get away.  Then he asked me about Pearl and where we would play and if I ever saw Pearl playing after sunday school.  Then he put me to bed and told me I did not have to go to Sunday school the next day.

I forgot I wasn’t going to sunday school and I woke up and daddy was sitting in the living room with a drink looking out the window.  He looked scary because he had that mean and angry look he has sometimes when he whups me and he was wearing the clothes from yesterday and he hadn’t shaved his face.  He left without saying anything except to tell me I had to stay home.

Then he came back and he changed and shaved and we ate and daddy told me that whatever came next I was forbidden to cry.

There was a knock on the door and then Pearl’s Mama came inside dressed in her sunday best.  Daddy made tea and gave Pearl’s mama a cup and gave me a cup and made a cup for himself and they talked about everything except me and Pearl.  He looked and sounded danjerous and so did she but in a diferent way.  Then Pearl’s mama asked about hair and he reached into his pocket and he pulled out all this blond hair tied into a knot in the middle and he put it over his knee.

She asked for it and he asked for her to promise he wouldn’t get in trouble and that I would be safe from her daughter.  They shook hands and then he gave her the hair.  She asked if it was all there and he said yes.  Then she asked if she could trust him and he smiled and said no but she had no choice.

I didn’t know where the hair came from until I went to school the next day and I saw Pearl with her hair cut shorter than most of the boys.  Mrs. Packman said it was because of bugs and we shouldn’t laugh but I knew the truth.  Even though Pearl and her family hit me with sticks I felt really bad because Pearl always loved her long hair.  Even when braided it was long enough to touch her bottom.  She won’t even look at me now and she acts scared.

It was only after that was over that daddy whupped me.  It was almost as bad as being hit with the sticks because I was already sore.  I peed pink after.  The peeing hurt and I would stamp and drum my feet on the stepstool in front of the loo to distract myself until daddy belowed for me to stop.

He asked me if I learned the lesson and I said yes.  He asked me what the lesson was and I said it was I needed to listen.  He asked me why I needed to listen and I said if I was disobedient and did not listen then everyone would hurt me.  He said that was close enough.

If I have to be truthful then I need to say my feelings hurt almost as bad as any of it.  I wish someone would explain this better.  Daddy said it was a trick but I said I did not think it made sense that someone my age could plan a trick like that and plan ahead to have people waiting in the shed like Pearl did.

Daddy said the members of the Duchamp family could and they would do worse because they were scared of me so I could never ever never ever be friends with them.  I asked him not even when I was an adult and he said when I am an adult I will know better or I deserve what I get.

I think I started having the bad dreams around then.  Every night for a long time.  Then one night daddy came and picked me up and he carried me to his bed.  He told me the deal was I was allowed to cry but only so long as it was night and my head was on the pillow.  In daylight I cannot cry or show weakness.  He held me and he stroked my hair until I started to fall asleep and I felt safer.  I cryed myself to sleep and I felt better.

After the bad dreams went away, I went back to sleeping in my own bed.  Daddy had me pick a special object to me and sit naked in a circle while I read from a book.  He said it would be better if mommy was here but I need to learn to defend myself sooner than later.

I don’t know how to defend myself yet.  I do know that I was really worried about being lonly forever.  My mommy is away buying a book and she has been gone since winter and she should have come back by now.  I am not allowed to make friends if they belong to certain families and I am not allowed to make friends if they are already friends with someone from one of those families.  Because most people here are like that I cannot make any friends my age.

But there are things that aren’t my age or my daddy’s age or even the age of the house that want to be my friend now.  Tricky things and scary things and things that offer me gifts like Pearl offered me the toy before she took me to the shed.  I have to be very very careful but I do not feel as lonly anymore.

This took me a real long time to write.  I am still learning and I have to stop and think before each thing I write to make sure I am not lying.  It made me feel better and I think it was a good idea.

I am going to go give my dad a hug now for letting me write this diary and then I am going to go talk to tricky things.


Rose Thorburn

March 9th, 1932

These words are my own for me alone and nothing I write here is meant to be binding.

Dear Diary

Arsepint lives up to his name.  The dirty rotten bastard.

I played a game with Arsepint and his followers today and he cheated!  He wanted a lot of things and the only thing I was willing to give him was a kiss.  I am still tasting bad eggs and garbage from the peck I gave him on the cheek.  He said a lot of very rude things to me after.

I asked daddy for advice and he told me I had to earn a victory or none of the goblins around here would respect me.  I asked him how to win a victory and he took me to the library and helped me pick out books.

Some of these books are so thick I can put my hand down flat on the spine and have room on either side.  I asked and daddy said that being good at books is not always about reading a lot but its sometimes about knowing where to start looking.

He also said I needed to stop asking so many questions.  He said I have answers and I need to look for them on my own.

Wish me luck Mr. Diary.  I will let you know how I am doing.

Rose Thorburn

June 18th, 1932

These words are my own for me alone and nothing I write here is meant to be binding.

Dear Diary,

I did it!

Winning was easy.  Now I have a Arsepint in a cage.  I have to bring him food and water once every day or he is allowed to let himself free.

The hard part is punishing him.  How do you punish a Arsepint?

How long would I have to lock him up before he agreed to do a song and dance about how mangy and pathetic he is in compirison to me?  I could make him do it every time he met another person for a whole year!

He wont like it but I didnt like having to read all those books.  I was so bored I nearly cried.

I told daddy, but he didn’t seem to understand.  He gave me a pat on the head and told me to go read some more, so I would know good ways to use Arsepint.

Victoriasly yours,

Rose Thorburn

September 15th, 1939

These words are my own, for my eyes alone, and nothing I write here is binding.  You know the routine.

Dear Diary,

I am in a bind.  I am so sorry I ignored you these past two weeks, dear diary, but much has been going on.

I am in Montreal now, in a different school.  They put me in a private school so I could learn more useful languages.  It is a very religious school.  There’s something witty I’m supposed to say about that but I’m too upset.

Daddy let me bring some books, giving me a special suitcase that could hide them.  It has been so dull, and the school is so strict, I don’t have much to occupy myself with.  I would explore the school and meet the goblins and ghosts in the darkest corners, but they watch us like hawks watch mice.

I’ve only been here a week and something happened. I could see the other girls spending time together, girls who have known each other from kindergarten.  I couldn’t thrust myself into the middle of them, so I took a book outdoors.  I told myself I would enjoy the crisp weather before the cold shuts us inside for months on end, walking away from the school to make sure I could read in peace.  I was approached and told a teacher wanted me, and I had to stow the book away inside a hollow tree, because I certainly wasn’t about to take it into the school proper.  I made sure there wasn’t anyone around to see, but someone figured it out.

Of course it was a ruse.  I’ve been so on guard against trickster spirits and goblins, I’ve forgotten to keep my guard up around other humans.  The book was taken, then turned over to the head office in quick order when the taker found out what it was.

I thought I had it settled when I threatened and spelled the girls who took and handed over the book, ensured that nobody knew it was them or me.  Things are only getting worse, now, with the faculty on a warpath, hunting for the real owner of the book. They are threatening to take away privileges, to punish the entire school, and it’s only a matter of time before one of them bends to the pressure and points her finger at me.  I’ve hidden my books with one working, and I can play innocent, but I fret.

I need the book back, but I have only a few tricks at my disposal, and no creatures of any worth that I might bargain with.  Ancient ghosts with little power left, and lesser spirits.

We have been given time for self study.  I’m using the chance to write and collect my thoughts.  I need a strategy but I’m not sure what doors are open to me.  Some religious grounds are benign but others are dangerous.  What if someone asks along specific channels and an inquisitor is alerted?

The school, as well.  There is so much talk of the war, and so much emphasis placed on making the school proud.  The faculty keeps saying they want goodness and success to come out of this dark time, and they will see the subject of this book as a dark thing.

If they trace this back to me and come to see me as the source of this great disappointment and a stain on their pride, the hate might be even greater than what the inquisitors might direct at me.

Above all else, I fret about my mother.  She spends so much time and effort collecting her books, I worry about what might happen if I lose one.

I must find a way in.  If the ghosts are almost useless, I will simply have to use a great many of them.  There are other lesser spirits, as well.  They will have to do, as allies go.

I must say I thought being at a new school with no reputation would help.  Its worse.  Now, just a week in, I feel more pressure than I ever have, but I have nobody to turn to, not even to argue with or vent on.  I wonder if being hated may well be better than being a nobody.

Rose D. Thorburn

September 20th, 1939

These words are my own, for my eyes alone, and nothing I write here is binding.

Dear Diary,

Disaster, but not disaster of the kind I expected.

In their quizzing of the students and their gentle and not so gentle probing, the interest of the faculty spurred the interest of the students.  Word got around about the book, and I ended up being one of no less than three groups aiming to get into the headmaster’s office and get a better look at the book.

I bid the ghosts to scare the others, but a braver group pressed on.  Minnie from the year above me, her friends, and her cousin Herb.  I think they were almost thrilled by what I sent their way.  Herb might be the one who kept talking about joining the fight and being a hero.  Maybe that drove him to fight past fear.  Maybe he’s a moron.

With a measure of help, I slipped into a cat’s body to spy on the new owners of the book.  With learned tricks, I joined the shadows in slipping beneath the door.  I thought I could snatch up the book and run.

I did not expect what I saw.  They were doing things that proper boys and girls shouldn’t do until marriage.  Herb with one of Minnie’s friends and Minnie with one of Herb’s friends, and another two friends pairing up nearby.

Dear diary, I don’t know how to name or explain the feelings that found me then. There was a kind of anxiety, warm, low in my belly, very real disgust.  Surprising, when I’ve dealt with the most vulgar of goblins.

My father has an eye for justice, or an eye for a lack of it.  In a way, I might have viewed the world through his eyes when I saw that scene.  I saw something unjust that outraged me and wounded my pride, compelling me to act.

I feel wretched when I think that the action I was compelled to was fleeing.

The Lord of Montreal reached out to me last night, communicating through my dreams.  He has heard whisperings, as Lords do, and now I have a greater merchant spirit turned mortal turned god breathing down my neck.  He would like for the book to be found, and will forgive me my error if I retrieve the book and ensure the ones who took it don’t pursue such things in the future.

I have to confront the mundane humans, and I must do it while feeling as if they are somehow more distorted and unfamiliar than many of the beings I read about in my books.

I have been born into a world that one in a thousand people have the slightest idea on.  I know of goblins and boggarts, ghosts and elementals, demons and draiodhe.  Yet I feel as though I’m the ignorant one, here.  They are the ones who have been inducted into alluring, forbidden wrongs.

This writing was meant to help me clarify my thoughts, but I don’t feel clarified.

Rose D. Thorburn.

September 25th, 1939

These words are my own for me alone and nothing I write here is meant to be binding.

Dear Diary,

I don’t know what to do.

I had no chance to write, for I was watched closely, and I had no privacy until now.  I tried, but I couldn’t secure the book before they had a chance to use it.  They called a goblin to them, and the ritual gave it power to attack.  Minnie suffered the brunt of it, and the rest of us were caught.

The police seem to think Herb and his friends as responsible.  I was confused at first, but now I think it makes a kind of sense.  Boys, a fraction too young to go to war.  They intruded on a girl’s school, and they make for ready suspects when Minnie is hollowed out, left with only a vacant stare, unresponsive and unmoving but for the monotonous rocking of her body.  Her body was untouched, but that doesn’t count for enough.

When the books do tell of evil things being loosed, they often make it exciting.  The mission is a rescue, a race against time.  Here, three or four lives were utterly ruined, and they may never find out why.   They were given no chance, except to leave dangerous things be.  A practitioner could have done more to help, but I am more a novice than a full fledged wielder of power.  I caught the goblin, I kept the scene clear.  I was there when police arrived to answer the screams, and now I am a witness.

I still I don’t understand it, and I don’t know what my place in this is supposed to be.

The books say the ignorant may rewrite their own memories.  Perhaps they will blame themselves.  Perhaps Herb and his friends will convince themselves they were responsible. That strikes me as being nearly as horrifying as anything that happened to Minnie.

They may instead choose to let their recollection of what happened to Minnie fade from their minds, a curious incident they don’t let themselves dwell on.

I just sat with my pen poised over paper for long enough I needed to dip my pen again.  It’s more horrifying still, but it’s horror I feel on Minnie’s behalf.  I think it’s the scariest thing I can imagine.  Dying and having your existence erased from the world.  To be painted over and forgotten.

It’s my first time facing the aftermath of a situation like this.  Removed from the books.  It gnawed at me every day the girls and I were confined to the rooms on the top floor of the dormitory, while I waited to talk to police, and the entire way home.  It eats at me still.

A small blessing that it was a goblin of no particular status or power.  It could have been far worse.

I expected the usual sort of punishment from my father.

I did not expect my mother, returned from a year-long trip, to meet me in front of the house.

Her first question was after my welfare.  I told her I was well, but that the police might reach out to ask more questions, and that I might be asked to Montreal to attend court.

Her second question was about the Lord of Montreal.  I assured her I left things on good terms.

Her third question, of course, was about her books.

I assured her the books were well, showing her each of the texts I’d taken with me.

With that, she left to return to her study, leaving me with her detestable snake and with Father.  Even now, as I write this, the house has a smell, very like the aroma in that scene I stumbled on with Minnie and the rest, that had unsettled me so much.

Ampelos was staring at me, and even though that snake face doesn’t show a damned hint of an expression, I could tell he knew, as though he read my mind.  His every movement mocked me.

It feels like there’s always the group, and then there’s me, standing apart.

Ampelos is my mother’s familiar, so he is her ally.  My father is, of course, my mother’s partner.

And then there is me.

I think, writing this, I have settled on how I feel.  Mortified.  It’s a good word.

I cannot make another mistake like I did, but I can’t cover every avenue by myself.  I’m too young to take a familiar for life, and I have no friends here.

I was home, and I felt more homesick than ever.  I still do, writing this.

Ampelos knew all this, and he silently mocked me.  My father was in a good mood, but I didn’t hear his words and I think my silence annoyed him.

He was upset over the girl that the goblin attacked, that I’d let the book out of my sight.  He said it was my responsibility.

I was angry, and I think both of us were a little surprised at how much emotion came out.  I said a lot of things, and I was careful to keep my word, but I don’t remember much of it.

I blamed him, because making friends was hard before, but impossible once I became a practitioner.

I told him the truth.  That I was given the responsibility too soon.  Other families don’t let children have powers.  I’m sixteen, but I’ve had powers for almost half of my life.

And then I swore.  I swore I wouldn’t ever make my children go through this.  I would let them lead lives untouched by all of this.

Never have I seen him react like he did.  As if he’d heard me and he actually listened.

Ampelos was still there, smug.

I don’t know why I did it, but I took hold of Ampelos’ tail, seized a letter opener from the nearest shelf, and I stabbed him, fixing the tail to the arm of the loveseat.  I ran, before my father or mother could catch me.

As I said, mortified.  I know I have responsibilities.  I’ve done irreperable damage by swearing an emotional oath.  One I’ll have to keep or be forsworn.

I know I’ll have to go back and bow my head, accept my due punishment.  It’s well after dark, and writing is getting harder as even moonlight is harder to come by.  I’m sitting out of sight, using my bookpack as a seat, but trouble is sure to find me.  I almost hope it will.

I don’t know what to do,

Rose D. Thorburn.

September 25th, 1939

Dear Diary,

I’m not going to write the bit at the beginning.  I know there is no use in it.  It doesn’t protect me or do anything.  I’ve known for a good while, and right now feels like a good time to make a change.  I’m fairly certain I never made a promise, more because my father wouldn’t have exacted one from me than because I remember anything that well.

I’m not sure if I should write this down, but when I sit here, muddy and bleeding in spots, scuffed and bruised, I think of Minnie, and I think I want to preserve as much of myself as I can.  Even the gory bits.

I found trouble.  Aimon Behaim.  Years older than me, visiting home while an injury heals.  An enemy.

He mocked me, following me, and it took me minutes to realize why he wasn’t doing more.  My mother was back, and he was scared.

I called him on it, and I offended his pride.  He teased me, a working of spirits to bring raindrops down from leaves overhead, and I retaliated by throwing down the clay doll I keep Arsepint inside, giving an order to attack.  Something of an overreaction.

I didn’t think that a soldier might be carrying a firearm.

I had to order Arsepint away before he could kill my oldest servant, and Aimon closed the distance, and pressed the gun to my head.  I spat in his face, he grabbed me by the hair, and we fought.  I dug my fingernails into his bandages, he tried to throw me over the edge of grass so I might fall in the lake, and I pulled him after me.

Like my argument with my father, I can’t say everything that happened.  It was stupid, ignoble, and animal.

I look at him now, lying still beside me, and I think maybe Aimon was just as scared and frustrated as I was.  A different kind of fear and frustration, but it was there.

Somewhere along the line, he decided to let me win.  I ended up above him, pinning him.

He didn’t expect me to call Arsepint back, and have the lesser goblin bring me the dropped firearm.

With a gun to his head, he refused to say uncle.  To relent in the simplest, smallest way.  I think that was when I realized we were the same.  There was only us.

And Arsepint.  But allowances must be made.

He kissed me, and I kissed him back.

Things went to natural places from there.

I’m enjoying sitting here, watching Aimon’s bare chest rising and falling.  He has a bloody nose and it’s making him snore, and I like that.

When I’m writing, dear Diary, I sometimes like to think that you’re communicating with me, when my thoughts clarify and I can jump to new ideas.  It’s sad, that I give you an identity, when you’re only one of a long series of notebooks, but I’ll hold to the idea because it makes it easier to put pen to paper.

If you were communicating with me, I’d think you just pointed out how Aimon and I were connected in the heat of the moment.  You might be telling me I could have an ally in this.  A way to make up for the damage I’ve done to my family with a careless oath.

But Minnie is still fresh in my mind.  Trusting the wrong person is a telling mistake, with consequences and damage.

And I think of my first diary, your predecessor.  Of Pearl, who offered me an enticement before dragging me off to where I could be beaten.

I don’t know what to do, but it’s a more comfortable sort of doubt.  At worst, I have an enemy I know and that’s better than having and knowing nothing at all.  My predecessors will have to bear with me.


Last Chapter                                                                        Next Chapter

128 thoughts on “Gathered Pages: 1

  1. So this was clearly Grandmas diary. What im wondering is if it could be used as a template for what is happening to our Rose, In a long term sense.

    In other thoughts, what if Rose is Grandma reborn through the Mirror through some kind of deal with a devil?

    1. I don’t know… Rose clearly remembered Blake’s parents raising her. Also, it appears as though the Rose we see here blooming (hehehe) grew up in Jacob’s End, possibly even in Hillsglade.

    2. Anyone else curious as to the long term implications of her deciding not to write “These words are my own for me alone and nothing I write here is meant to be binding.” in the last entry?

      At the very least she declared Aimon Belhaim an enemy in the entry. While she speculates that maybe it is possible to have an ally in this at the end, I believe that her writing down ‘Enemy.’ may be binding in some way.

      Also, she did enter into an agreement of sorts with her father that she would be whupped worse than the time we see at the beginning of the story if she didn’t write the bit at the beginning.

  2. A clean explanation for the otherwise insane lack of training for her heir. Interesting that using one of her children as bait for the barber didn’t count as their life being ‘touched’. Conceivable, if unlikely, that it was a fail-safe: there are schemas in which losing her power in the attempt would have rendered her uninteresting to the demon… but far more where things like that end badly.

    Interesting too that she didn’t simply take one of her grandchildren in and train her.

    The implication that the Behaims may have a claim themselves, indirectly, makes Laird’s actions still less intelligible, as that added intensity would be expected to turn his actions more firmly friendly or more firmly hostile… but family connections can certainly twist back on themselves in odd ways.

    Most interesting is the question of who is reading this.

      1. The child was a baby at the time, and she was probably banking on Barbie doing one of three things. 1) leaving the kid alone, which was what happened. 2) killing the kid, which removes the problem of it remembering the incident. 3) traumatizing it in a manner that would fade or be explainable as a “birth defect.”

  3. Oooh goody, a start of darkness chapter. Is this to break up the action and Saturday will be back with Blake and Rose at the council meeting, or will the next few chapters be continuing the diary or other texts?

        1. Nooooo! No light! At least, not yet. I LIKE his presentation so far – so many books/writings explain the ‘thought process’ of the main character, but real thought just doesn’t work like that. There’s no pause button you can press to stop and think things through; thoughts happen in a flash, from training, habit and observation – you see, you react, you think later about why you reacted that way and how you can improve or why you did what you did – even when you get it right. Blake’s presentation so far has kind of nailed that reality of thought. I like it a lot.

          1. The problem here is that there clearly IS time for Blake to think, but he acts without any indication thereof. Given the perspective of the story the lack of thought process is really hurting credibility now; Blake is behaving SO strangely that without some kind of explanation we are going to be in a situation where we have a puppet protagonist and no internal consistency of action.

  4. It’s interesting that guns are that dangerous in this Universe (although I suppose it makes sense). Blake should look into getting some.

    1. Indeed – there is a clear implication that magic users tend to forget mundane threats. I think this would be an ideal solution to many of his problems. That and creative chemistry. I’m just trying to image what LSD or something similar would do to a magic user in this setting. Nothing good, that’s for sure.

      1. Just beware Ridcully’s Postulate: Anything that can’t be disposed of with a couple of whacks from six feet of oak is probably immune to magic as well.

        Half-bricks in a sock on the other hand…

        1. A fair point. The question is, what is the Lovecraft Threshold in this universe I wonder? At what point do the machinations of the Others cross the line and invoke the response of the masses? Inquisitors are clearly still an issue, so there is a balance of terror that the Others can only lose given the explicit population difference. Is Blake the kind of person who is sufficiently committed to a course of action that he would trigger such a war in self defence? He seems, at this point at least, to have the tools to do it – the implied ‘nuclear’ level weapon under his potential aegis would be an excellent tool.

          Given that he’s been living as a mundane until very recently, he seems to have taken to the Other world extraordinarily easily; he hasn’t displayed any culture shock or other consequence for discovering that everything he believed about the world being wrong. That implies an extremely tough psyche and that, in conjunction with his former life of self reliance suggests that any solution that removes that newly added danger from his life would be open to consideration.

          Now THAT is a story I’d LOVE to read!

          1. I have to ask – what is the symbol? I have never been able to visualize those pointillist stereo images correctly. I vaguely see a circle with … an eye in the middle?

        2. I can imagine a few practicioners have died because they didn’t think through their enemies vowing “I will not harm you with my magic.”

      2. Agreed. This tactic was mentioned as a practitioner-destroyer in the Chronicles of Amber (Merlin’s series). In that universe, it turned on the shadow-walking abilities of anyone who could already travel through shadow, which is not a good thing when they can walk to anything they can image and they are tripping. Distorted perceptions are bad enough, traveling to distorted realities can be lethal.

        In this universe, I bet it would turn on the sight and at the same time make everything seen with it warped and untrustworthy. Which might be OK if you are safely in your demesne, but in a fight …

    2. While a gun would be useful, I think outright violence would still be something to be uncertain about. It seems likely that many other practitioners will be on good terms with some spirits or Others and that by offing them Blake might earn their ire.

      There clearly has to be some way to resolve disputes, but I expect that if “shoot them in the head with a gun” were the most effective strategy Blake would hardly be the first to think of it. Further, I imagine that “gun + spirits guiding you” or “gun + Others wearing your face to distract your enemies” would be the superior strategy.

      1. Beyond that, any sort of attack that leaves your enemies bleeding or mortally wounded seems pretty dangerous in a world where magic is often fueled by sacrifices of blood and life.

        Which is why it is probably smarter to kill your enemies before they have any mastery rather than after.

      2. “But the vision of the witch-hunters and other commentary”

        Not only that, but there was also the other he whacked with a tyre iron who seemed entirely indifferent to it. Different tactics work against different Others, and simply being a blunt heavy object is plainly not sufficient.

  5. A possible error. Two of the entries are labeled September 25, 1939.

    I love the chapter and the story as a whole!

    1. Yeah. I noticed that too, but it’s significance was lost later when Rose states that it didn’t matter whether she wrote it or not.

  6. Somehow, I decided it had to be Rose a few paragraphs in to this.
    1- She’s really one of the women who it would be helpful to learn about her childhood right now.
    2- Welp, now I know why she’s so messed up.
    “Pink blood”? That’s scarier than anything in here so far.

    A lot of whst rose has done has been given justification already, but overall, I won’t believe for sure that she didn’t enjoy the situation she created until there’s a bit more proof.

    It bugs me that I can try to get my friend to read this now, though. Without massive archive panic that he found in worm, he might have read this, but worm was dark in a “Oh look, the multiverse is conspiring against us” way, and this is more “trigger heavy”, or st least gives less time to adjust to the level. And there’s no way he’s going to read something that has so many damn triggers.

    On the bright side, great interlude. Liked the characterization a lot.

  7. Interesting glimpse on Rose Sr. No wonder she is fucked up.

    Interesting that her father also was practitioner, though it makes sense if the point of marriage (apart from heirs) is to have an ally.

    So, was this a one-time fling with Aimos, or is there Belhaim blood in Blake’s veins?

    And The Lord of Montreal sounds like a cool guy.

    1. Her father wasn’t a practitioner, anything he knew about magic was through his wife because he was her partner.

      This is made most clear with the hair he took from Lily. When Lily’s mother came to get it back she asked if she could trust him and he said no but that she’s have to. This heavily implies he can still lie, so no magic.

      1. Nice catch. I admit getting briefly confused by that passage for exactly the reason you put forth but forgot about it later.

      2. He could be a practitioner, as lying only results in a temporary loss of power. Beyond that, I should like to point out that even if you are bound only to speak truth, the truth you must speak is only the truth from your perspective of it, as can be noted in the trick Laird plays on Blake using the wording of his promise and not the spirit of it(this world seems to use a bit of rules are as they are written, not as they are intended). From the perspective of a person dealing with an enemy, if you are bound to speak the truth, you could not tell your enemy that they can trust you if you know that you would stab them in the back at the first opportunity.

        Sorry if my response is overly critical, its just that I keep noticing that everyone is taking the no lies from practitioners as an absolute, when it clearly states in the story that lying is possible if temporarily detrimental to a practitioner’s powers and it is only the breaking of an oath that leaves one bereft of all protection and safety.

  8. That’ll teach that boy to dress like a slut. You know he was just asking for it. Of course he wanted that girl to use and abuse and just take him like a piece of meat.


    Ok I don’t know where I’m going with this now I kinda lost my train of thought.

      1. He’s referring to how it’s implied that RDT put a gun to the guy’s head and engaged in sexual activities with him without his consent.

        1. The way I read it was a bit different but still admittedly problematic.

          And brings once again the point on how a lot of wildbow’s gender dynamics would be a lot more uncomfortable if they were switched.

        2. Oh. Wow. That was not how I interpreted the scene at all… I kind of assumed the diary entry left out a bunch of talking and an eventual amicability forming in between the gun-to-head and the one-thing-lead-to-another. Didn’t even think it might have got that dark that quickly.

          That would put… everything in a very different light.

          1. It wasn’t my reading either. They fight, he lets her win, she has him at gunpoint, they have sex and the gun is forgotten. Otherwise, why would he sleep beside her?

        3. I would appreciate some clarification from wildbow as to whether this was actually rape (or whether rose would call it such, at any rate).

          1. I’d say Rose was not a good judge of what is and is not rape by this point. She seems to have a moral compass, but doesn’t have much interpersonal experience – what might be a glaringly obvious rape to you would fall under the heading of “???? Person thing did we what ????” in Rose’s. And mind you, this was the 1930’s, where definitions of terms were quite different than ours in some ways.

            1. I would guess that the people we’re dealing with here are profoundly fucked up enough that the question of whether this is rape is irrelevant to them. Kinda like how the Heartbroken in Worm had no real moral restraints against using their powers on people.

              As long as they keep their whacko jacko attitude towards intimacy and away from anyone else then whatever.

  9. You will understand when you are older. Unless we are all being punked, but I really don’t think that’s the case here.

    “Things went to natural places from there.” Indeed!

  10. Ok, serious face, because forcing unconsentual intercourse really is A Very Bad Thing regardless of the sex of the victim or the perpetrator.

    This would absolutely explain any animosity from the Behaim family. Even if Aimon only admits to getting the crap kicked out of him by a minor goblin named, of all things, Arsepint. That alone earns plenty of familial animosity. On the unlikely chance he actually admitted being the victim of such carnal violation, from a girl no less than five years his junior even, and just… Holy crap. The mind boggles. Such a thing was, in all seriousness, inconceivable to the vast majority of people at that time. Even today, the idea that a 16 year old girl might kick the crap out of a soldier fresh from Iraq and rape him would invite a veritable singularity of incredulity.

    Yeah. I get why relations might be strained between the families.

    Of course, that depends on whether Aimon was a practioner at the time himself. If he wasn’t, then yeah he could just lie his tail off and say he gave as good as he got in a bar fight or something. The text is unclear as to his status on that point.

      1. Oops silly me. Ok, no claiming the other guy was 7 feet tall and had thews of great might then.

        “No papa, I wasn’t not beaten up by that girl who’s family we don’t like.”

    1. Note Wildbow’s added clarifying sentence. It appears it was consensual, even though it was definitely tainted with anger and frustration.

    2. Meh. There is the “He kissed me, and I kissed him back.” that was added to clarify that this wasn’t supposed to be rape, more hate-sex.

  11. hi,
    thanks for the new chapter

    i have no idea what a draiodhe is, and google only finds it once, here

    typo, or small child’s diary

    1. Typos under the assumption that only child!Rose’s typos are deliberate:
      – “I must say I thought being at a new school with no reputation would help. Its worse.” -> ‘It’s worse.’
      – “Here, three or four lives were utterly ruined, and they may never find out why. They” -> There’s one space too much.

      Possible typo:
      – “I have been born into a world that one in a thousand people have the slightest idea on.” -> ‘idea of’

      1. Same assumption: “I still I don’t understand it” –> redundant second ‘I’. There was another one but I forgot it :p

  12. Well this certainly confirms that the families tradition of being shitty parents goes back a ways.

    One of the inherent problems with the families practices is that it left them with a lot of dangerous power, a lot of enemies, and very few allies, and from the looks of things making allies will not be easy at all.

    There is an interesting symmetry here. Blake was raised in a way where he had no clue about dealing with Others. Grandma Rose was raised in a way where she deals fine with Others, but is absolute piss with humans. I doubt that helped her any.

    1. You have to remember the standards of the time – turn of the 20th century, you were a bad parent if you didn’t beat your child regularly, in some eyes. And he was doing it to protect her, under very trying circumstances. In all, I don’t give him a complete fail as a parent – he seemed like a fairly loving father, in fact.

      That said, Rose’s childhood was… heartbreaking.

  13. Remember Xykon’s Dictum: There is a level of force against which no tactics can be successful.

    By sacrificing all hope of a non-hostile relationship with the residents of Jacob’s Bell, the Thorburn family has in turn gained such incredible levels of power that the only way they could lose a confrontation is by totally screwing it all up. They are the local Godzilla threshold, and so as long as they aren’t on an active killing spree where the cost of stopping them is hypothetically less than the cost of letting them finish the spree, its just not worth the resources a campaign against them would require.

    Of course, ya know, bigger they are, harder they fall, yada yada yada. Then you have you have to worry about the impact crater and the power vacuum and all that. Things are way to bitter for a “ding dong the witch is dead” celebration without somebody spiking the punch with cyanide. Probably several people…

    1. To quote Richard Morgan, writing as Quellcrist Falconer, as I have elsewhere, “There are some arenas so corrupt that the only clean acts possible are nihilistic.”
      I wonder if he’ll go Landwaster on us?

  14. Oh geez. “Marry a bastard” she says, “daddy made be pee pink”, she says. I’m probably seeing connections that are better explained with “bastards make better partners”, but now we know to keep a look out for daddy issues.

  15. 8 year old Rose was a little too self aware when she said that she didn’t think people her age (Paige) were clever enough to trick people in that way. That doesn’t seem to be the type of semi-meta observation that an 8 year old could make.
    Spot on with the child-like rambling though.

  16. Wow, Rose (the granny one) is into some pretty hardcore shit. Though I can’t help but feel like I like her a measure more than Blake.

    1. Yeah, I’m there with you. It’s problematic that, at this point, the evil old bitch who set this in motion is more likeable and sympathetic than the actual protagonists. :/

  17. Ok, ok, if that was how you intended it to be taken, wildbow, I can accept it. Still interesting in its own way.

    But damn, that dude likes his stuff kinky as hell.

    1. If she did conceive via one of the Belheims that would explain why cousin Paige was out of the running for the inheritance – Rose wouldn’t want to give the coven an inroad of that kind. Even if it wasn’t this occaision, mixed blood might be behind her decision to put the boy, with all his complications, ahead of the other female candidates.

      1. I think there are numerous reasons for why Paige wasn’t in the running – closely tied to Peter, would have sold the house immediately for college money, possibly lied or said something untrue during the appointment, and now this – and that we won’t see which one’s the case (assuming it’s only one reason that was the clincher) until it becomes plot-relevant enough to blot out everything else, a la “You’re there, but you’re different.”

        1. Blake, quite simply, is the most stubborn of the bunch, isn’t afraid of much, and tends to be brutally honest. He’s no stranger to pain, and he’s reasonably pragmatic (except when he’s wandering into the demon’s tower with no knowledge of what to even expect.) Looking at the rest of his family, I see no better choice for taking over the house and learning the art, especially the way Rose learned it.

          I still strongly suspect Molly was chosen with the intent of her failing and somehow or another feeding the creation of Rose so that Blake could inherit.

          1. Or because she was the best of the female heirs. Given that her choices included Roxanne, Ivy, and Paige (in that order ;]), you can understand the need for drastic workings such as Rose.

    1. Could you sympathize with Darth Vader during, say, Shmi’s death? Because a similar principle could be at work here.

      (Wildbow does it better than the prequels, of course, but that almost goes without saying)

        1. Yeah, I felt sorry for Emma but by then she had become largely irrelevant. Bonesaw’s instead packed quite the punch.

  18. Great job making Rose more sympathetic.

    Minor quibble –
    If they are using outhouses, it seems unlikely that she could see the color of her own pee. No nice porcelain bowl, probably pretty dark.

    1. If they did have an outhouse, they probably also had chamber pots or buckets. They were not poor, so their chamber pots would be made of something easy to clean, like porcelain coated cast iron or something. Getting up in the middle of the night to walk outside to use the restroom in a little building when you can just do your thing in a chamber pot, then empty the chamber pot into the outhouse the next morning is a bit more convenient and safe.

  19. Recurring names. Rose Thorburn – Annette Rose Hebert. Dead (grand)parents to main characters.
    Paige Thorburn – Paige Mcabee (Canary). Fewer parallels here, besides both getting treated badly in their first appearances.
    Gonna have to be on the lookout for more of these, too.

  20. Something about these Gathered Pages bothered me and it took a while to figure it out. The problem is they are almost too perfect:

    They clearly show many of the critical formative life experiences and decisions that RDT had.
    There are clear prequels (word choice?) for her later decisions.
    They are a coherent narrative despite being supposedly written years apart by a person who was changing the whole time.
    There is a clear progression of themes and ideas.
    They are a coherent narrative despite being written partially by a child. This is a minor quibble as children with high self-awareness, self-analysis skills, and intelligence exist.
    There is even some internal explanation as to why the narrative was so coherent: “I have to stop and think before each thing I write to make sure I am not lying.” To me this almost felt like lampshade hanging.

    The diary did not have what I expect from diaries, rightly or wrongly: meandering thoughts, mildly- to greatly-disjointed narrative, blatant self-deception and self-justification, redundancy, missing important information, and some disorder. But I could be wrong as to the “normal” content of diaries, as I am not a writer and I have never written more than a few sentences that could be considered diary material.

    So, the chapter was a fantastic job explaining things and making RDT a more believable and sympathetic character, but to me it seemed to tightly written to be diary entries created over multiple years by a changing personality.

    1. The list entries were not meant to be block-quoted. WordPress interpreted some of the characters I used as bullets as block quote commands. Which is annoying, because WordPress apparently doesn’t allow unordered or ordered lists in comments.

    2. I think I’d class that as a necessary break from reality for the sake of telling a compelling narrative. Yes, real diaries probably do tend to be meandering badly-written messes – but, this is a work of serialised fiction and people expect every entry to be good entertainment. It has to be written with good language skills and a certain amount of structure, even if that isn’t true-to-life.

    3. I’d also add that most diaries aren’t written under the constraint that they be truthful or you’re doomed. I imagine that tends to lead to briefer, more structured entries than you tend to see in typical diaries.

  21. … and now for commentary on the world and content.

    This clearly shows why RDT was so alienated and alienating – she was denied normal interpersonal relationships at any level since early childhood. The only things that wanted to talk to her were “tricky things”, which are not good models for human relationships. Her mother was distant both physically and emotionally, her father was not blatantly worse than normal for the time but had no apparently friends of his own, she was essentially forbidden to make friends in town, her early attempt at friendship was rewarded with a beating, and her experiences at school reinforced the idea of relationships with people as dangerous. Her impulsive fling with Aimon Behaim did nothing for long-term relationship stability, especially as it seemed to be the final crystallizing moment for her deliberate distance from close human contact.

    What kind of ~!@#$%^&*()_+ idiot attacks a girl who is a powerful practitioner’s daughter and will likely grow up to be a powerful practitioner herself? Maybe the plan was thought up on the spur of the moment by a younger member of the clan, but it just seems so stupid, basically the perfect way to create one or more mortal enemies. I can see Others or practitioners attacking the Thorburn estate through its heirs as an avenue to great power, but this sort of insanity has no obvious benefits.

    As another commenter pointed out, the father doesn’t seem to be a practitioner, as Pearl’s mother does not expect him to be able to bind himself by oath. Nevertheless, it is clear he knows a lot about the world: he taught RDT about tricking people with the Furfur reference, he knew enough to take Pearl’s hair as a focus for manipulation, he knew enough to walk RDT through the awakening, and he recognized the seriousness of the oath that RDT swore. I wonder why RDT’s mother chose to leave her husband unawakened, or if awakening is even an option for all humans.

    The nightmares that RDT had after her run-in with Pearl could have been normal, but given the circumstances, they were probably worsened by sendings that were not deliberately harmful enough to violate Pearl’s mother’s oath. Which would be why RDT’s father awakened her shortly after – commentary by Laird and Patraic seems to indicate that unawakend practitioners were more defenseless than awakened ones.

    RDT’s father seems dangerous and abusive, but not over the top for the time (as another comment noted). In particular, he clearly protects and occasionally comforts his daughter: teaching her about the Furfur trick, taking Rose’s hair and bargaining for no further harm from Pearl, letting her sleep with him when she had nightmares, and beating her for a purpose (however misguided that seems by modern standards) rather than just punishment for its own sake.

    So, normals can work rituals, but with disastrous results. I wonder what kind of damage Minnie took from the “goblin”. I suspect that is wasn’t just neurological damage. So, while normals are protected from the other world normally, doing a ritual can abrogate that protection. That means no-one can safely test rituals, not normals, not practitioners.

    The Lord of Montreal is a “greater merchant spirit turned mortal turned god”. So many questions. Why would a spirit deliberately turn mortal (it was noted that one advantage that a familiar got was a share of mortality)? Is it the same reason people take up sports with a significant fatality rate? What constitutes a god in this setting? If a relatively new practitioner with less than her normal power to work with can slip into a cat’s body and join the shadows to slip beneath a door, what can a “god” do?

    Teenage RDT apparently still has some sense of empathy and outrage over senseless destruction. I wonder how long that took to burn out? Or are we assuming it did because of Blake’s reactions to her and her distance from normal relationships?

    “One in a thousand”? But it seems like more than that for Jacob’s Bell. Do practitioners cluster or is that number significantly off?

    So firearms have some effect. But the vision of the witch-hunters and other commentary (especially about Barbatorem) clearly shows that normal weapons may be ineffective. So, when do things reach the bullet immunity stage? I agree with most of Meister’s comments, but there clearly are things in this world that are immune to “a couple of whacks from six feet of oak” but can be beat with magic.

  22. An awesome chapter. Huge props on starting Rose senior’s diary as a child. Seriously.

    Some awesome lines in this chapter:
    – “It is a very religious school. There’s something witty I’m supposed to say about that but I’m too upset.”
    – “Of course it was a ruse. I’ve been so on guard against trickster spirits and goblins, I’ve forgotten to keep my guard up around other humans.”
    – “I wonder if being hated may well be better than being a nobody.”
    – “He has heard whisperings, as Lords do, and now I have a greater merchant spirit turned mortal turned god breathing down my neck.”

    These are great aspects of the world/setting:
    – “The books say the ignorant may rewrite their own memories. Perhaps they will blame themselves. Perhaps Herb and his friends will convince themselves they were responsible. That strikes me as being nearly as horrifying as anything that happened to Minnie.”
    – “I was angry, and I think both of us were a little surprised at how much emotion came out. I said a lot of things, and I was careful to keep my word, but I don’t remember much of it.” -> Saying anything while emotional can backfire. Wow.

    Rose senior’s character:
    – She can’t make friends her own age, so what’s left is befriending Others. Awesome.
    – “I told him the truth. That I was given the responsibility too soon. Other families don’t let children have powers. I’m sixteen, but I’ve had powers for almost half of my life.”
    “And then I swore. I swore I wouldn’t ever make my children go through this. I would let them lead lives untouched by all of this.” -> And she kept her promise, I guess, by skipping her children’s generation and going straight to her nephews and nieces. Thinking about it now, that was a kind of mercy. Sadly, being a practitioner isn’t conducive to being a good mother, nor does the propensity of marrying bastards yield good fathers. Plus everyone hates the Thorburns. So her children grew screwed up, anyway.

    – Rose had bad dreams – were these similar to Blake’s visions, or something different, e.g. something related to the sin carried in the family?
    – Apparently Rose could spend time outside the house somehow. How? Had she become strong enough by 1939?

    Very interesting:
    Similar to the Bartimaeus trilogy, practitioners born into magical families experience some huge advantages. But in principle, everyone who comes upon the relevant knowledge can enter the world of practicioners; that said, libraries as huge as Rose senior’s seem like incredible treasures, and without mentoring and direct or indirect support, you are liable to get yourself killed after awakening yourself.
    All that said, this still leaves the door open to society finding out about Others and practitioners one day. Society could rebel à la Bartimaeus, or incorporate magic into everyday life…
    This also leaves the door open to powerful normal people (e.g. billionaires, stage magicians, superstars, …) finding out about magic and becoming formidable practitioners in their own rights.

  23. As no one seems to have pointed it out, I would like to point out that Furfur is from the Ars Geotia, a portion of The Lesser Key of Solomon, which discribes how to summon and use 72 demons. (Ars Geotia can be found here:

    Relevant Text:
    FURFUR.–The Thirty-fourth Spirit is Furfur. He is a Great and Mighty Earl, appearing in the Form of an Hart with a Fiery Tail. He never speaketh truth unless he be compelled, or brought up within a triangle, △. Being therein, he will take upon himself the Form of an Angel. Being bidden, he speaketh with a hoarse voice. Also he will wittingly urge Love between Man and Woman. He can raise Lightnings and Thunders, Blasts, and Great Tempestuous Storms. And he giveth True Answers both of Things Secret and Divine, if commanded. He ruleth over 26 Legions of Spirits. And his Seal is this, etc.

    It appears that is Furfur were to be summoned that it would be incredibly frightening even if he doesn’t actually do much. Also, while the summon that RDT used would not be able to control Furfur normally, (see the extensive guide to summoning them), perhaps her father would have been able to make arrangements to allow RDT to use Furfur provisionally. In addition, Furfur doesn’t seem to be one of the boom town destroyed nukes. There certainly are such in the Ars Goetia though. (See Andras or Leraje)

    It would seem likely that the Ars Goetia then has some basis in fact in Pactverse, but whether or not Blake could use it to actually summon demon seems unlikely. The level of power and level risk do not match up. The process of summoning isn’t a quick one, but done right it doesn’t pose much risk in most cases (See Valefor for a counterpoint, albiet one that isn’t that bad) and the benefit is simply huge. Mind control, all languages, knowlegde of the Past, Present, and Future, excellent familiars and more.

    1. “He never speaketh truth unless he be compelled, or brought up within a triangle, △”Am I the only one who found this incredibly interesting for an Other?

      1. It’s possible that’s a Face reference, too. (If you haven’t checked out Wildbow’s sample chapters yet, it’s worthwhile. Both because they’re interesting and because it’s fun to spot the references Wildbow drops in. Did you notice the reference to the Thorburn residence towards the end of Worm?).

        1. yes,inthe parallel universes….That said,I won’t check the samples,Wilbow will eventually write all the stories.

          Also,how can it be a reference if it is on Ars Goetia?it predates Wilbow by magnitudes of years.

          1. Looks like he’s taken them down now, which is pretty annoying.

            I meant specifically the little triangle symbol. IIRC, that appeared in Face too, but I can’t check.

            1. And again, I was referring specifically to the little triangle symbol. I’m not saying that Wildbow invented Furfur. And I now realise that triangle originated in the comments section rather than Wildbow’s text, so disregard me, sorry. :/

  24. These words are my own, for my eyes alone, and nothing I write here is binding. You know the routine.
    Why did I get an ominous feeling here?

    It’s kinda odd. Up until the “natural places” bit, I found myself sympathizing with Rose a bit. More than I had with Matt, I think.

  25. Arsepint eh? Not a mug I want to drink from. That, or she met the Goblin of American Beer.

    Sounds like Rose is getting familiar with that old black magic. The oldest spell around. Sex. I believe the voodoo name for it is “Hanky Panky”.

    Still, 16 and not knowing about sex? That’s not a proper young lady. That’s a woman who has been locked up in a dark room or most of her life, getting bread and water passed to her through a slot.

    And Ampelos is a dick. Possibly. Really, it depends on if he’s a Atretochoana eiselti or not. Probably not. I dislike the thing on principle because of how close his name is to Omphalos, like the Omphalos argument, aka Last Tuesdayism. Interesting that it comes up in such close succession to some people’s lives being retroactively affected, with them forgetting about someone’s existence, as the Omphalos argument is that a deity may have created the world recently but with signs of old age. It’s how some rather fundamentalist groups try to get around all the evidence of an old earth, including the fact that we see stars more than 6,000 lightyears away.

    That’s rather religious in nature, but then we’re dealing with magic and so on. Hell, she’s got a boggart in her closet. She needs to call Luna Lovegood for that shit right there. And we need to get the Night’s Watch up in here too, in case the snarks and grumpkins start invading from the cold, frozen north, which lacks civilization and-…right, nevermind, Canada. We’re already north of the wall. Still, the healthcare is good enough that it practically brings people back from the dead. Just don’t get a match too close to them, eh?

    And woohoo! Granny got laid! Not only that, but she wears army boots now. Lucky Arsepint, eh, getting himself a threeway with two humans. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.

    Thing is, why a goblin in a clay doll? Why not, I don’t know, a flaming bear in a teddy bear instead.

    I’m not sure what Granny’s gonna put in a dildo, though I look forward to finding out.

    Don’t know why anyone’s at all surprised that Wildbow’s making her sympathetic. Give Wildbow a WW2 novel, and there will be an interlude where he tries to make us sympathize with Hitler. I guarantee it. Or maybe a suicide bomber, if you want to go slightly less evil. I’m just saying, apparently there’s no such thing as bad guys in this stuff, so that’s why the supernatural beings exist.

    In other news, someone just killed someone else for a petty, evil reason. More news and Wildbow’s sympathetic interlude on this at 11.

    1. She didn’t make some of Worm’s chars sympathetic (not saying who due to spoilers)

      Also,Ampelos mean vineyard.You know,the place we get grapes and wine from?

  26. No! No! You will not convince me that RDT is a good person, twisted by circumstance! I could understand Coil and Defiant and obviously Noelle. But RDT? No!

    Everyone is sympathetic. I can’t even hate anyone anymore. 😥

    1. Thats a healthy attitude,not hating anyone,teaches you a lesson for rl

      But there are some people in Worm you can hate,and,to be fair,it was foreshadowed from chapter one RDT had a reason for her actions other than enjoyment.

    2. Wait wait wait. When did Coil become sympathetic or likeable? At what point was he “twisted by circumstance”? Not trying to attack you, but I think maybe you were thinking of Piggott?

  27. Typo: “I bunched up into a ball and I shouted what daddy told me to shout if anyone every hurts me and I do not think I can get away.”

    It looks like you meant to say, “if anyone ever”.

  28. I wonder how many practitioners have been suckered by something along the lines of “I swear no harm will come to you from me by spell or minion, nor through any pre-prepared trap”, followed by simply pulling a gun or knife?

    Saw a comment comparing this to Emma’s interlude and I have to disagree. In my opinion (on a very subjective subject, I know) Emma’s interlude made her more sympathetic without making her any more likable. I think this is closer to Lung’s interlude, which made him both more understandable and more likable.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s