March 9th, 2005


Odin's Day

Happy birthday to freyaskat!

This is my first day of having Topamax in the AM as well as PM. I'm okay thus far.

I'll copy-and-paste from shayara:

What I've been hearing from various readers is that Westfield Comics has been sending out shipping notifications, but some comic shops have said that the issue is on backorder. So it looks like they underestimated demand and underprinted, and filled Westfield orders first... at least, that's what it looks like to my untrained eye. I'll try to find out if that's correct. Either way, call your comic shop before you schlep over there, just to make sure they have it in stock.

But. Dude. It's officially Out There as of today. *maniacal giggle*
Writing - XanaDuMalion


I was trying to think of what to do for some kind of special Shayara treat for y'all today. I was too exhausted yesterday to write. Which would, of course, have been my first choice.

It occurred to me in the car.

My music!

My Shayara playlist is woefully incomplete and behind the times. I have tons of playlists for the characters - stuff for Fenris to fight to, Capri to dance to, words for Lyric and beats for Ryan. But these songs are the songs of Shayara itself. In alphabetical order...

I was going to do links and annotations, but then I saw that there were 47 songs here, and I said y'know... not right this second. *laugh* What I will do, since just writing the titles was sparking little things in my brain, is provide links to lyrics, annotations, and perhaps little fictionbits as they occur to me throughout the day.

Here is a little piece of my city.

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Writing - XanaDuMalion

Shayara Music, "Who Wants to Live Forever"

This one isn't in the playlist yet, but it belongs there. The last snippet was Lara, whose incarnation today is known as Donna

This is Tal.

I think I'll continue to go chronologically today; hopefully, this'll help give people a sense of when things are.

It's a big story, Shayara is. It spans a lot of time and a lot of people. I hope I can communicate it adequately.

And yes, longtime readers, you will get new things today as well. :)

Queen, "Who Wants to Live Forever".

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Tiala - xana art

The Fall

This icon is an image from the pages of our story in Shooting Star, an image from the Fall.

I keep reiterating that you don't know what the Fall was. The reason I keep reiterating this is because you might be tempted to assume, based on the visuals you get, based on the storybit you just read (if you read it). Those are but parts.

War is terrible.

What they did was orders of magnitude beyond terrible.

You don't condemn a race to death - which is essentially what the gods did to the Dasaroi by revoking their immortality and reducing their powers to this extent - just for discovering war. War is terrible. Rape is terrible. Murder is terrible.

All of these things are horrible, and combined, they are exponentially horrible.

There are things that are worse.

And I won't tell you. There are spoilers that I'll reveal (behind cut-tags, of course), but the Fall isn't one of them. That, no one gets. I don't think Adam knows that one. I'm not sure X'Ana does. That one is revealed in dribs and drabs throughout the series, and you don't even start getting clues for at least a year.

Only two characters know. And one of them - hell, possibly both - is not who you think it is.

This is what you need to know: They Fell, and they died. And they are reincarnated now, throughout long centuries. The gods have turned their faces from them and gone from companion to memory. The Dasaroi have built a city with high walls and mental barriers and named it Lishaya'ra; the name will gently corrupt over time to "Shayara".

Over time, they grow curious about the world beyond their city. They wander among the humans. Over time, many forget who and what they are...
Writing - XanaDuMalion

Shayara Music - "We Shall Come Home"

The Dasaroi are near-identical to humans. The whole psychic-type-powers thing is the main thing that separates them, of course. But they're similar enough to interbreed.... and in those long years after the Fall, interbreed they did.

And as I said before, many of them forgot. Born in Gaul, in Nippon, in Africa, to parents who did not themselves remember Shayara, did not remember that their grandparents, great-grand-parents, were something more than human....

Not knowing, but still feeling. Feeling something.

Everyone with Dasaroi blood feels it a little bit. The stronger the concentration of Dasaroi blood - the stronger their powers - the stronger they feel it.

But they all feel it.... and sometimes it leads them home.

Have you ever felt homesick for a place you've never been?

Oysterband. "We Shall Come Home".
Writing - XanaDuMalion


As noted in "First Light, First Fire" and "Fallen" below, there were seven Houses that came before all others. The leadrs of these Houses formed the Talthar Kithrayna - the ruling body of the Dasaroi.

Which was all well and good to begin with; seven immortals. But when the immortality was revoked, it became problematic. It became less and less frequent to have a full Talthar Kithrayna. When the full Talthar Kithrayna was represented, it was often done so with the help of regents for underage Kithrayna or elected representatives for absent Kithrayna.

Over the past two centuries, in the continued absence of the Lishaya, a Council has risen to help deal with this problem on a more... consistent basis. The past decade has seen a return of the Talthar Kithrayna, however, from an average four or five to an almost-full six, lacking only a Lishaya for completion.

The Council is reluctant to withdraw, to release the power to which they have become accustomed. And what's the best way to hold onto that?

Control the Lishaya.

What Lishaya?


The Council's plan: Find the woman most likely to give birth to the next Lishaya, bring her into the fold, and create a new Lishaya by all means necessary. Three women were located. One was found to be sterile. One was too opposed to the Council's objectives to be used. And one had a pre-existing relationship with a Councillor, so! Katrina Stone, lucky lady number three, was brought in as the Council's most honored guest.

More history... getting more recent

The breeding program produced first Tessa - considered to be a disappointment, and pushed aside to be raised by a lesser branch of the Council - then Alanna.

Alanna, who was declared to be the Lishaya reborn.

She was raised in Shayara by the Council, guarded heavily in their compound with little contact with the other members of the others of the Talthar Kithrayna... particularly with Donna, the one member who could state for certain whether she was the Lishaya. The Council explained that Alanna was fragile due to her early separation from her mother - who had one more child, Katrianna, then died birthing her final child, Julia, who was stillborn.

There have been rumors of Julia's continued existence. Urban myth, the Council assures you.

Raised in the environment they provided for her, trained to them at every turn, held to them in every way, Alanna is completely the Council's creature.

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Author's Notes:
* Apologies for lack of quality. Written with kid yelling downstairs at me.
* Unfamiliar names: Joshua is the then-current Kithrayn of House Narsan, and Donna's lover. He's Kieran's predecessor as Kithrayn. Michael is, of course, Michael Halloran - our Halloran's big brother. Ryan isn't here because he's prepubescent and hasn't realized he's Dasaroi/found Shayara yet.
Writing - XanaDuMalion


The disbanding of the Talthar Kithrayna made Shayara a darker, more dangerous place.

Stabbing Westward, "Lost" (instrumental)
Skold, "Neverland".

I've focused thus far on the Talthar Kithrayna; this is, perhaps, the time to note that not everyone is an ancient aristocrat. :) This isn't the story of Tiala and Airenn, it's the story of Julia and Kieran. For one example.

Part of what Shayara is, is about how things change.

There are newer souls here.

And some of them, in fact, are among the most important people around.

Rmember the girl who didn't get recruited into the breeding program? Her name was Jessamyn ni'Tamra, and she had a boyfriend named Seth Logan, a mostly-Bartomni mutt. While not Kithrayna themselves, Jessa and Seth had a highly developed idea of right and wrong.

It's been said, down through the centuries, that House L'Arath is the sword of the Lishaya, and House Bartomn her shield. In the wake of Alanna's actions against the Talthar Kithrayna, House Bartomn quietly stood aside, refusing to pay homage to Alanna... but House L'Arath knelt.

The greater responsibility, Seth and Jessa felt - and the rest of the Talthar Kithrayna quietly agreed - was to the Dasaroi as a whole, rather than to one mad, impetuous girl who might not even be the Lishaya.

Especially when the Hounds began to kill.

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Kirayth songs!

Dropkick Murphys, "The Gauntlet"
"Ride the Wind" (Shut up, I love that song.)
Many, many Flogging Molly songs.

Author's note: Again, forgive quality. Child will not stop shrieking down the stairs, and is in big fucking trouble because of it. I do not ask for much. This is the first time I have tried to write in WEEKS. I am not fucking happy. (Note: She is supposed to be doing omework. Instead, she's asking me to open a Chef Boyardee can so she can have dinner half an hour early, asking me how to spell words that she damnwell knows I'm going to tell her to look up, etc. I told her I'm trying to write.)

The reason for all the wolf imagery? Jeramie's House, L'Arath, uses a wolf sigil.

(no subject)

You guys realize that I'm giving you, like, an entire college-year's worth of history, intensive, in the course of a day today, right? Just trying to compress stuff and be linear...

Being linear hurts my brainmeats....

And I know you'll say I don't have to do it all in one day, but I'm scatterbrained, and I'll wander off if I don't take you through this.

Atlantans: Oxford Comics and Criminal Records don't have Shooting Star. *pout* I'll e-mail my editor.

I hope that this history course is helping at least a little.
Writing - XanaDuMalion

The Purges

The city continued in stalemate for a while. Jessamyn ni'Tamra declared that, whether or not Alanna was the Lishaya, she was neglecting her people - was not an adequate Kithraya to her House. Even that, the Council forebore.

Jessa stood as Acting Kithraya of House Tamra. Fenris stood at the head of the Kirayth. And, while the other Houses all at least paid lip service, House Bartomn would not kneel.

Time passed.

The city grew complacent.

But the Council's patience was wearing thin.

Warnings were issued... and taken lightly.

A lesson was devised.

The Purges.

I have written this so many times in so many ways; I'm just going to grab one and show it to you. I am too tired to write.

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Jessa and her family are the next targets, not the only targets. Fenris is too late to save his Jessa; Halloran rescues Capri, but the Hounds have been sent out in full force. The lesson to be taught? Don't fuck with the Council. The lesson plan? Kill every member of Houses Tamra and Bartomn they can get their hands on, and everyone else who attempts to shelter or defend them.

The battle lasts from sunset to sunrise. The casualties are staggering; the population of the city is decimated. Shayara will never be the same.

Which is why no one pursues the lead that appears near-simultaneously in the piece in Shooting Star. Not for another four years.

Which is Where Our Story Begins.