Today’s post is another progress report, folks! Family of Lies – Kevin is about 2 1/2 chapters from the end, so it feels good to be this far in a novel again. There were some tricky spots that I worked out during NaNo, but I got through them. This has signaled other wips to pelt me in the head like I just pissed off Kenshiro.
The Orwells are talking the most as usual, so here are plot summaries of what’s to come and how the stories can be read(these are first drafts so they are subject to change frequently, and please forgive the ugly writing):
Sebastian – https://samargent.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/the-sound-of-a-thousand-squees/ (I’m being lazy here)
Kevin – Kevin Orwell gets fed up with his family and wins an apprenticeship to Larnlyon’s most famous blacksmith, Luke. On his way to meet the master blacksmith, Kevin finds some relief in the bushes with a decent looking fellow who needs more practice. This fellow of course turns out to be the blacksmith who has a fuck once and never speak to you again policy, so working together becomes awkward. Despite Luke’s restrictions on their companionship, they grow closer while preventing trouble that Kevin’s family causes and violently discouraging minions of Luke’s former guardian sent to bring the blacksmith back into the illegal weapons’ business.
James – A year after his brother’s death, James Orwell still blames himself for being unable to prevent it. He encouraged his brother to follow his dreams of being a soldier, and he can’t sit at home waiting for another sibling to make the same mistake. He ventures out on his own, drinking from tavern to tavern and trying to dodge his younger siblings trailing his every move. The last thing he needs are knights-in-training, Eliana and and Alton accusing him of a robbery he drunkenly slept through, or them insisting on traveling with him once his innocence is proved because he attracts trouble.
Alice – Alice Orwell has spent years watching her siblings draw an invisible line between good and bad, not understanding why she should care about separating the two. Her only way of blending in with normal people has been imitating those around her or lying about the thoughts in her head. That feeling of being different has grown stronger over the years, and drinking away her worries leads to waking up next to the most boring man she’s ever met and a marriage ring on her finger. Determined to scare away her unwanted husband, Mernon, Alice displays her true monstrous self. But Mernon doesn’t flinch from her willingness to kill, instead, he removes his own mask.
Rebecca – Selling herbs and robbing the occasional bandit at swordpoint provides Rebecca with a pleasant amount of money, but her days seem monotonous. She attends a court ball to see if pick-pocketing rich people will give her excitement, but a masked bandit appears to rob everyone before she can. Furthermore, the bandit smells familiar enough for Rebecca to follow the thief. Coming face to face with the girl, Emily, whom she helped rescue from a murderous aunt was the last thing she expected. Nor did she expect for Emily to advance her sword technique so much that they’re now equals. Once they finally declare a draw, Emily explains that disrupting the ball was her plan falling into place to take down her aunt for good. Rebecca isn’t one for honorable causes, but she’s had a soft spot for Emily since they first met, and her sword’s always ready for more enemies.
Demetrius – Demetrius Orwell finally did the worst thing imaginable; he performed a good deed. After rescuing a young boy’s sister from slavers, the pirate crew the siblings sail with mistake him for a damn slaver and kidnap him. Now he’s stuck on a rotting ship and instead of an apology when his role in the ordeal is made clear, the pirate captain, Coramis, says it was Demetrius’s own fault for being so suspicious. To make matters worse, Demetrius accidentally revealing his gift with languages is exactly what the crew needs to hunt down the other slavers.
Kraven – There’s one thing about being boring that Kraven Orwell has always liked; his parents forget about him. But with more of his siblings leaving the house, that attention has strayed his way. When his father suggests a trip to the City of Spies, he’s suspicious but easily wooed by the beautiful buildings carved into cliffs and lavish meals his father kindly pays for. Which should have alerted him to a plot, but he wakes in their expensive inn room with no money, no identification papers, and only a note that reads, “I have no boring children, and I will prove it. Also, don’t die or your mother will kill me.”
Afraid of what other surprises his father has for him, Kraven flees the inn and takes a translating job to pay his way off the island. Before the job is finished, his employer is poisoned, and Kraven finds out that he’s been decoding spy messages the whole time. Now spies all over the city are hunting him, and no one will believe that he’s just a boring man who grew up in the middle of a fucking forest.
Diana – Competing with the Pleasure Guild’s brews and concoctions to induce the greatest sexual experience has filled Diana Orwell’s purse with gold and introduced her to one of the Guild’s higher ups, Selene. Every encounter between them is wrought with desire, and when they do finally test their wares on each other, Diana admits defeat after being brought to her knees by Selene’s skills. Months pass between their next meetings, but when their bodies touch again it’s as if they’ve only been parted by seconds. And Selene becomes more than her competition. In the worst moment of Diana’s life, Selene is there to comfort her. When Selene later offers Diana an official courtship by revealing her true role within the Pleasure Guild as their executioner when harm comes to one of their members, Diana ends their relationship. Years pass, and Diana has to face the same secret in her own family. She sucks up her pride and seeks out Selene’s help no matter what the price will be.
Pratchett – Tired of coming second to Demetrius because his brother has more criminal experience in years, Pratchett Orwell decides the best way to set himself apart is to do what no one, not even his parents have done; break out of the most protected prison in the world. He also has to do it within his first day there or he gets the fun memory of being flayed. His escape almost goes perfectly, but he’s bitten by a prisoner with a mating instinct. Now connected by their souls, Pratchett can’t leave the man’s side until the mating is properly finished or they both pass out. Pratchett manages to drag him and the bastard to safety, but his new buddy won’t reveal how to undo the mating. In order to run off on some vendetta to kill everyone involved with destroying his life, the mysterious prisoner needs the tether to Pratchett’s mind to block the memories of his endless torture.
Cecilia – Haven’t figured out when the story is taking place yet, and this one needs the most plotting.
Ophelia – Being a seer hasn’t been easy what with the constant worrying about people wanting to cut her eyes out, but endangering her life is worth removing her most painful vision. In the magic-blighted land of Jesaro, an auction of the most forbidden objects will take place in two weeks, and one of them is powerful enough to banish the vision from her mind. Unfortunately, neither she nor anyone in her family has the money to buy it, so she has to steal it from the many assassins guarding it.
What to definitely read in order are Kevin, Alice, Rebecca, Demetrius, Kraven, Diana, and then Pratchett. Again, these are ugly summaries that aren’t spruced up because my brain is fried from writing at least 2k a day. A Strongest Sword update will come at the end of the week though.