Tending the Web

Previously: Mistveil

Anuriel often wondered if Wylandriah was slightly mad; the Bosmer mage was not known for her sharp memory nor her attention to details. Despite that, she had somehow graduated with honors from the College of Winterhold.

The mage's quarters were in such a disarray, the steward stopped and marveled that the woman hadn't already blown up the keep.

"Wylandriah, for the love of Zenithar, get a maid to help you sort this place out," Anuriel sighed.

Wylandriah was amused. "Katarinya suggested the same thing, except she was nicer about it."

Anuriel paused, head slightly tilted to the side. "Katarinya came to see you?"

"That she did."

"What for?"

The mage threw her a chastising look. "Would you like it if I told people what you or the Jarl came to me for?"

The steward was unmoved. "Katarinya is not me nor the Jarl."

Wylandriah shrugged, turning her attention back to her potions. "Nothing life-shattering, of course. Moon sugar and jasmine oil to scrub her skin; in case you're wondering how she gets its so smooth. Juniper berries and yellow mountain flowers for perfume, some deathbell and nightshade to help her sleep at night, crushed pearl and vampire dust for a facial mask..."

Anuriel's eyes widened. "Vampire dust?"

Wylandriah nodded. "A rare item."

"An expensive item," the steward's brow furrowed.

The mage shrugged. "She has expensive taste."



Previously: Riften

Despite having been born at the court of Mistveil and growing up behind its walls his whole life, Saerlund could not abide the food.

Tonight, the kitchens had served roasted goat legs with a stew of boiled cabbage, carrots, and potatoes.The goat was undercooked, and he couldn't taste a single spice in the stew, not even salt.

He pushed his pewter plate away from him. "Take it back," he sighed to no servant particular. One of the new maids obliged him.

"Shall I bring something else, my lord?" she asked.

"Why bother?" he grumbled, reaching for his goblet of mead. It seemed to be the only palatable thing these days.

"You've got to keep up your strength," his mother reminded him. The Jarl held out her goblet for a refill.

"What strength?" his older brother Harrald scoffed, tearing into his goat leg. "Boy's already as thin as orphan."

Saerlund's eyes narrowed. "I'm not a boy."

Prologue: Riften

Previously: Dramatis Personae

The mists of the Rift were so thick Katarinya had no idea if it was morning, afternoon, or evening once she crossed the borders. The skies were so overcast she couldn't pinpoint the sun's place in the sky. Not that she was complaining; the sunless skies of Riften were perhaps its one saving grace.

She always had to enter a city by carriage to sell her character, even though she despised the smell of horse and driver. She chose the small, covered ones with windows and drapes, the better to keep out the sun. However, before reaching a city, she always made sure to dress beneath her "station" to avoid the attention of bandits. Bandits often to led to bodies, which in turn raised questions. She couldn't have that.

The Widow Velethi

The Widow Velethi is a fanfiction set in the Skyrim universe during the Civil War. Our story follows a Redguard by the name of Katarinya, whose arrival at Mistveil Keep exacerbates the rivalry between two brothers.


Heads Up #Daos fans

Last week, I started the official novelization of Daos; it will follow most of what you've read here, but the chapters will flesh the characters out, change a few things about them, and reveal some new stuff.

I am, however, still interested in what you guys think.  Is there anyone you really want to see be in the novella, anyone you can do without, any idea you like our favorite supernatural stripper sleuth to explore?

Let me know!


Into the Valley ~ Epilogue (#Uhura)

Previously ~ Honor

Subcommander Netris raised an eyebrow, unsure of what he saw before him. Rumors traveled faster than warp nine in the galaxies, and now was not the time to debate fact from rumor. He wasn’t in the mood.

“You should change your name,” he suggested dryly, leaning back into his desk. Outside his office was nothing but blue soils and black skies. On days like this, he missed the blistering sun. He was probably the only inhabitant of Bolaria IX not charmed by its ghostly beauty. “Our sociologists’ studies show that in the past fortnight, no one on the homeworld carries the name N’Tal.”

The slender, well-built girl raised her own eyebrow. “My name is irrelevant. I am my family’s only known surviving member. All that was my father’s belongs to me now. That, Subcommander, is what is relevant.”

“How did you get off Earth?” he asked, torn between alarm and amusement. “Reports say you are dead. Your body was found. It sent one young man into madness, and plunged the rest of the students into grief.” He tilted his head to the side. “Not what I would expect from a daughter of Romulus.”

“The Headmistress and I contrived to fake my death,” N’Tal replied briskly. The death of her father had aged her drastically. She carried herself with the grim grace of battle-weary commander. “The young man who found me was looking at a holographic corpse. I was already off-world by that time.”

She leaned boldly towards him, both palms on his desk. “A true daughter of Romulus thinks of avenging her family first before ending her own pain.”

Again, Netris’s eyebrow went up. “Your family is dead,” he reminded her coolly. “As much as I honored your father and planned to accomplish great works with him, I have accepted that he is gone. In this business, many die and leave us behind. We too, N’Tal, shall die fighting for this.”

N’Tal’s voice came out colder than the skin of a Trill.

“Then it is our duty to take as many enemies as we can when we go.”


Into the Valley ~ Honor (#Uhura)

Previously ~ The Praetor's Son

A/N ~ This was originally published in two parts, but I now it seems best to leave them as one chapter.

Nyota pondered Amanda’s Grayson’s words as they walked back to her shuttle and headed north to Stellar Valley. And she wasn’t the only one; Amanda’s words at the end of the opera had seemed to make everyone stop and mull over the pink elephant in the room. No one looked at Spock, and he didn’t look at anyone else.

However, the silence wasn’t exactly tense. At least not for Nyota. Though she didn’t look at him, she was distinctly aware of his presence. While he radiated emotional cool, he sat next to her, and she could feel his physical warmth also radiating.

Nyota smiled, amused by the Vulcan contradiction; hot-blooded bodies with coldly rational minds.
Mr. French’s console beeped urgently, and he checked it at once. Immediately, all the blood drained from his face. When he spoke, his voice came out raspy and hoarse.

“Ambassador Mioral has been assassinated on Bolaria IX,” he announced, shaking. “There was an attack on his home in Ch’Tau.”

Amanda and Spock both leapt to their feet,

“Sarek is unharmed,” Mr. French quickly informed them, “but in the last two hours, all of Mioral's relatives on that moon have been tracked down and…terminated,” he finished uncomfortably.

“N’Tal,” Amanda whispered, panicking, “does N’Tal know?”

Into the Valley ~ The Praetor's Son (#Uhura)

Previously ~ Stories, an Outtake

Amanda’s shuttle was no ordinary shuttle.

Nyota blinked at the rich red carpet, and inhaled the scented air. The shuttle was small without being cramped, clearly state-of-the art. The consoles glittered, the ride was completely smooth, and Nyota could imagine how far her mother’s jaw would drop just to get her hands on a shuttle like this.

The aide who piloted the ship and the attendant who co-piloted were both human, but the primary attendant was the Vulcan version of the Headmistress. She was solidly built, tall, with her gray hair cut in the traditional Vulcan style. Her outfit was a severe, drab black gown, and she smelled deeply of incense—her most feminine quality. For a split second Nyota wondered if the woman was Amanda’s attendant or her bodyguard.

“May I introduce my primary aide Mr. French,” Amanda glowed, “and his wonderful co-pilot Miss Paola. And my trusted adviser in all things, Madam T’Laurian. People, this is Miss Nyota Uhura, my son’s…lady friend.” She winked at Nyota.

Nyota’s bowed her head slightly, feeling her face heat. Sitting opposite Spock, she noticed he still refused to look at her. How come in all our time together, she wondered, he never mentioned that he once had a speech impediment?

Her inner evil voice immediately replied, Would you run around telling people about “Thuwak?”


Into the Valley ~ Stories, an Outtake #Uhura

Previously ~ All in the Family

A/N: During the original publication back ino 2009, Livejournal supremelurker asked me to write an outtake sharing one of Amanda's "stories" about Spock.

Spock led his mother and girlfriend into his dorm where, fortunately, his roommate was absent. Not that he didn’t think Hikaru was good enough to meet his mother; he just didn’t think it best if he met her now.

Amanda grinned broadly at her son’s room; to the right she saw the evidence of an obviously human roommate. His walls were plastered with posters of long dead musicians—Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Daft Punk, Atari Teenage Riot, Glassjaw—his blue comforter was a tousled mess, and his shoes were haphazardly strewn across the blue rug by his bed. There was a blue lava lamp on his nightstand (Heavens, these kids really take their house colors seriously!) which cast an eerie, distorted glow upon the room.

To the right was all the evidence of her dutifully Vulcan son. She snickered to see his immaculately smooth blankets (even though she knew he hadn’t been expecting her), his barren white walls, and the neat little altar at the foot of his bed. She laughed aloud at once.

“Oh, Nyota,” she giggled, “that altar’s just like the one Spock had when he was little. Reminds me of when he was about six years old—”

“Mother,” her son whispered, dark eyes imploring from a blanching face which clearly struggled to remain neutral, “I fail to see the necessity for telling this particular story.”

“Oh, it’s harmless, dear,” she dismissively waved, taking Nyota’s hand and leading her to sit down on Spock’s bed. “See, Sarek made him say prayers every night before bed, and as you know, Vulcan writing is so very beautiful—even the prayers for children are exquisitely written. When Spock was six, his favorite prayer went something like, ‘O Surak, Surak, wisest and most impassive of all the Forebears; kindly watch over this devout and humblest student…’or some such—you get the gist.”

As Nyota nodded, she heard Spock mumble, “Mother, I would prefer if you did not—”

“Hush, darling,” Amanda rolled her eyes, “It’s not that big a deal. So anyway,” she went on cheerfully, her hands delightfully animated, “Spock had this adorable speech impediment at the time which would later take a full year of therapy to correct. So every night, when I walked by his little bedroom, I’d hear this tiny voice reciting, ‘O Thuwak, Thuwak, withetht and motht impathiwe of awll the Forebearth; kindly watch ower thith dewout and humbletht thudent—’”

Nyota doubled over laughing before she could stop herself. When she caught a glimpse of her boyfriend out her tear-filled eyes, she saw him blush an almost toxic shade of green. That didn’t help at all. Nor did Amanda’s laughter. The two females laughed and laughed while Spock tightly shuddered nearby. He was all the more thankful his roommate hadn’t been around to hear that. Nyota would at least keep silent, but Hikaru….

“Oh, Nyota,” Amanda sighed, wiping her tears when she finally caught her breath, “so when do I get to meet your mother?”

Spock’s eyebrow raised as his blush withdrew; he tilted his head to the side, obviously intrigued by the thought. Nyota’s head suddenly filled with flashes of her chatty mother arriving in her prehistoric shuttle, and all laughter fled her chest.

“Never,” she answered immediately.

Next ~ The Praetor's Son

Into the Valley ~ All in the Family #Uhura

Previously ~ Amanda

Hikaru Sulu of Laidley House, please report to the Lobby. Repeat: Hikaru Sulu of Laidley House, please report to the Lobby. You have a visitor. Repeat: You have a visitor.”

Hikaru looked up from his homework and blinked. Next to him, Jim and Lenny stiffened in unison. All around them, the Hodges House Library went deathly silent. Quietly, Hikaru rose, signed off his personal computer and started walking out alone. One student started singing Darth Vader’s theme; another jumped in, and one by one the Hodges students added their voices in a carefully layered harmony. By the time he exited the room, the students had transformed into a resounding chorus.


Hikaru scowled as he made his way down into the Foyer. There was a single person waiting for him, regally clad in a red and black Starfleet uniform.

Hikaru twitched. Fuck me….

“Karu?” she turned to face him. Her hair was elegantly pulled away from her face, and she wore her makeup subtly. She laughed when she saw him. “Love the hair. And the uniform—schoolboy much?”

“Hiroka,” he twitchingly greeted his older sister. “I didn’t know you were beaming in.”

She shrugged. “The ‘rents asked me to check on you before I ship out. The Archer departs in two days for the Illias System. We won’t be back for a month.”

“Well, I’m here,” he said awkwardly, “and…I’m fine, so….”

“So,” Hiroka chuckled, “show me your room, show me your classrooms. I dunno…introduce me to your accomplices.”

He scowled. “That’s not funny.”

Into the Valley ~ Amanda #Uhura

Previously ~ Hikaru and the Headmistress

Amanda Grayson was a stunningly beautiful woman, and Nyota immediately saw the resemblance. Spock had her dark eyes, so human, so full of feeling. She was a tall, dark-haired woman; she wore a sheer veil and an elaborate, heavy Vulcan necklace of gems Nyota had never seen before. She smelled as though she’d just stepped from out of a Vulcan garden; her perfume was sweet with the flora of her husband’s world.

“Spock!” she greeted, her voice high and cheerful. “Did you get taller?”

The Vulcan merely blinked, unsure of what to say as his mother glided over to delicately embrace him.

“Still a bit too skinny for me,” she said lightly, pulling away. “I thought we agreed you start eating more than just plomeek soup for breakfast. Have you tried pancakes?” She turned from her speechless son to his speechless girlfriend.

“You must be Nyota! Nyota Uhura, right? Such a lovely name! Did you like the teas I sent you?” She came over to hug the shocked girl, talking all the while. “Oh, good—I was right. I used to be your size.” She winked. “I brought a few dresses for you; I hope you like them. I want you to look dazzling when we go see Aehallh Aidoann tonight.”

Nyota blinked, recognizing the Romulan. “‘Nightmare Moon?’”

“‘Ghost Moon,’ in this case,” Amanda chuckled gaily. “It’s a Romulan opera Ambassador Mioral introduced me to—so intense.” She looked at her son. “That’s whom your father is with right now. Last week they traveled to the Bolaris System, to Mioral’s moon. See, the Bolaris System isn’t under Romulan jurisdiction, so they couldn’t permanently freeze his property or accounts on Bolaria IX. I haven’t seen Mioral look this happy in weeks. Has N’Tal been made aware she can finally go back to being a spoiled little princess?” she blinked innocently, even as Nyota’s jaw dropped.