a ceremony of losses

Grandmaster Voryn Dagoth in mourning after death of Wulfharth of Atmora (who later ended up being brought back to life)

headcanon: the Chimer had two colours associated with mourning - red and grey. Grey, associated with ash and ceremonial burial, meant peaceful mourning, acceptance of the loss and calm, quiet contemplation on mortality and the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead. Red, on the other hand, expressed despair, pain, vengeful mourning, and was typically worn by families of those murdered or executed. It was not the “dignified” way of grieving, and for the Grandmaster of a Great House to show up in an all red outfit - parts of which were made from a kind of a poisonous giant moth - for a council meeting with the Hortator was rather bold.

After being changed into Dunmer, the colours mostly lost their significance; however, some continued to see grey and red as the colours of death and mourning, and from their eyes and their skin they made a symbol of grief for the lost glory of Resdayn and before it the High Velothi culture.

In 3th Era, the newly re-emerged Sixth House adopted red as their colour, corresponding with their self-given title of Tribe Unmourned.

WE DO knot ALWAYS LOVE YOU Part 14 Full Translation.

Marriage Registration


pages 149-156

Squad 1 barracks - captains’ meeting assembly hall.

Finishing her report of the reconstruction situation, Ise Nanao bowed down. Kyōraku Shunsui walked out to change places with her, “Well!” he said bringing both hands together in front of his chest whilst surveying all who were present.

“There’s another piece of good news today”

“This is it……” Rukia thought to herself, quaking with nervousness, she balled up her fingers and breathed deeply.

“……now, please come forward and tell us from your own mouths”

Prompted by Kyōraku, the pair passed behind the line-up and stood side by side in front of the entrance of the assembly hall. As everyone’s gaze settled on the pair, their throats went dry.

“Uhh, I……”

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iamseraplz  asked:

Blindshipping. "That was the last time he'd say that to anyone."

I’m going for angst on this one:

“I heard that Yugi rejected someone again.”

“He’s never gonna date anyone, is he?”

“It’s strange that he even rejected Anzu. Though, that one makes more sense, as they would have a long distance relationship and I’m not sure either would handle that well.”

Jounouchi nodded, sighing as he sipped his drink. He was sitting in a cafe with Honda and Ryou, their current discussion was about their friend Yugi. It’s been over two years since Atemu was last seen by Yugi, that day with the duel with Diva.

In that time, Yugi has been… keeping mainly to himself. He has gone on a few dates with people over the years, but they don’t last long. The longest relationship was seven weeks, and then Yugi called it off.

“I have a good idea of why he won’t do much with relationships.” Ryou frowned, toying with the pink macaroon between his fingers.

Honda blinked. “Yeah? Spill, what’s the problem?”

“…” Ryou decided to just put the treat into his mouth. Jounouchi watched him, shaking his head.

“It’s because of him, isn’t it?” He spoke up. “Atemu.”

Ryou nodded and Honda sighed, shaking his head. “He has to learn to move on, I’m sure there’s someone else out there for him to love.”

“That’s the problem, Honda.” His blond friend stated. “He can’t move on. Those two had a thing going before the Ceremonial Duel. Yugi took the loss harder than any of us not just cause of their bond, but because of their relationship…”

Yugi, in a quiet moment between himself and Jounouchi, had poured his heart out to him, saying how his relationship with Atemu was that of love. He had wanted so badly to lose the duel, so Atemu could continue to be with him, but… it wasn’t fair. If he had done that, then he wouldn’t be able to show his true strength, nor would he allow the pharaoh to finally find peace in life.

He loved him so much that he had to let him go.

Jounouchi smiled sadly, looking at the table. “He told me, that before the duel, when they had their last moment alone… Yugi told Atemu that he loved him. And you know what I think? I think… that was the last time he’d say that to anyone…”

WE DO knot ALWAYS LOVE YOU Part 8 Full translation.

report 4 part 3/3

“Renji, let’s get everyone something to eat or drink soon.”

“Right! Please, we beg your assistance!”

Hearing Renji’s request, the nakai turned her body towards everyone.

“Then, we will begin….How about beverages?” She asked whilst bowing deeply in a seated position.

“It’s okay if we request whatever we want, captain Kuchiki’s treat right!? Then let’s have your most expensive sake please~!”

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What happens when Max, a Superhero of Chicago, is claimed dead. His death was staged by the infamous Ohmwrecker, a well known villain of the area, when he ends up almost kills the man during a fight. Unable to let him die, he goes off the radar with him to be his slave.

[This is a warning in advance: This fic is going to contain very mature content. Warnings ahead contain: Heavy BDSM, torture, boy on boy sex, mentions of rape and drugs, kidnapping, slavery, lot of blood and other themes that may not be suitable for younger audiences. You have been warned. Viewer digression is advised.]


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by Amber J. Gardner

Alexandra knew they were caught the moment she heard the horses. Both girls broke into a run anyway, as if their weak legs could possibly outrun trained animals that were born to sprint. Her shins and bare feet bled freely, sliced by thorny branches and battered by the forest floor’s hidden rocks. An icy breeze cut through the trees, the branches swaying violently. Alexandra could barely feel it, running as hard as her burning legs would go. She cursed her bulky frame, trying desperately to keep up with Isabella, who bolted like a spooked mouse.

Her lungs on fire, Alexandra watched Isabella’s wide brown eyes dart from side to side as if trying to spot their mounted pursuers through the trees. These woods were thick and it was the middle of the night. The horses would have trouble. They had to. But why did they sound like they were getting closer? Thunderous hooves, the sound bearing upon them like an ominous wave. It came from every direction.

Behind them? Beside them? Ahead of them?

Isabella skidded to a halt as the foliage in front of them exploded into bits of torn leaves and twigs. Alexandra was not as quick. She continued to stumble forward, before losing her balance as she tried desperately to stop. Her lower back hit the ground with a sharp thud. When she looked up, she barely recognized the horrifying show for what it was; a rearing, terrified horse bursting through the thick brush. It could have been a bear for all she could discern in this darkness — angry and terrible, making a god-awful sound. Alexandra froze, but Isabella didn’t even pause. She slipped away, jumping into a bush as if she were diving into water. Alexandra had barely enough time to realize where she had gone when the other two guardsmen had arrived behind her, their horses just as mad as the first.

It was the forest.

It was a true testament to their riders’ cruelty and single-mindedness that they managed to force the creatures past the tree line, let alone this deep into the forest. It seemed the potential wrath of Heaven or Hell was simply no match against the determination of a man with a job to do and coin to earn.

Alexandra didn’t think to go after Isabella. Instead she circled the small clearing, frantically darting to and fro in order to avoid being trampled. Finally, a guard jumped down and grabbed her by the waist.   

“Ow! She bit me!”

He raised a large hand to backhand her, but another hired man dropped down from his panicked horse and grabbed his wrist. The shadows of the forest masked their faces.

“Don’t! We’ll be risking our necks for nothing if we bring her back with bruises!”  

Alexandra watched as they glared at each other, wanting to spit at them. If she could, she would have screamed. She opened her mouth in vain, but her throat remained barren of sound. They ignored her.

“She’s already scratched up. Just look at her!” He struggled to get a firm grasp on her,  Alexandra kicking and scratching.

He was easily the largest of the group, black cloak barely covering his broad shoulders. If she had been more tame, he would have had no trouble carrying her with a single massive arm. The second guard, this one with leather gloves protecting his hands, grabbed her and twisted her arms behind her back. He bent her over, forcing her to stare at the ground.

“Get some rope.”

The two tied her wrists and forearms together, both sets of hands rough and unyielding,

as the third rider did his best to keep the horses from bolting. The tiny man somehow managed to keep two of them in place, despite their kicking and ungodly noise. The second guard, the one who had saved her from being slapped and smelled like old leather and smoke, seemed to have taken responsibility for her. He lifted her up onto his saddle, face down, before sliding in behind her.  

“What about the other one?” the first guard asked, not sounding the least bit happy about letting Isabella escape.

“Forget it!” her newest captor spat. “It’s a miracle we got even this one! Let’s get the hell out of here before It mistakes us for the new fucking offering! No money is worth our blood!”

The other guard didn’t argue. He mounted, the remaining guard pulling himself up to sit behind him. Despite the added weight on both horses, the beasts eagerly obeyed, fleeing towards the exit as fast as their weary bodies let them. Alexandra twisted and squirmed, her freedom snatched away forever.

Before they left the clearing, she managed to look back. Her gaze locked onto a pair of bright eyes peering through the brush, glimmering in the moonlight. The image was seared into her mind’s eye. Even as they broke free of the forest, galloping across a field towards the massive convent, Alexandra could still see them as if they were right in front of her.

Whatever awaited her in the morning, she would have to face it without her precious Isabella.

In that instant, Alexandra wished the horses had trampled her.

She didn’t want to die alone.


The sky above the courtyard was a mix of soft pink and a blue so pale it appeared almost white. On the horizon, the sun made its way up, bleeding a bluish purple. The chill air brought in the crisp smell of wet grass and the distant crow of a rooster from a neighboring farm. The entire congregation had been summoned. Even the servants, who stood in the back stifling yawns and straightening their crooked aprons. In front of them stood Alexandra’s sisters, the ones old enough to stand and be still. The littlest ones were most likely still in their cribs back at the nursery. They stood quietly in two neat rows of six, still in their sleeping gowns and bare feet. All of them looked the same: brown eyes, peach skin, swollen lips, and short brown hair that stood up in odd angles at the back. Their sizes differed slightly due to age, but overall each one was simply a replica of the rest.

The priests brought Alexandra to kneel in the space between the girls and a long table covered with a pristine white tablecloth. Never did she feel more divergent from her sisters than in that moment. She had always been different. True, she had the same eyes, skin and hair. It was everything else that was wrong. She was larger and heavier, appearing much older than the child she still was. Her face and torso had been plump for as long as she could remember. All her life, she had been forced to listen to the hushed whispers of the priests…

“What if the Offering is rejected when her time comes? She is clearly flawed. She could doom us all. We should have purged her and made another the moment she was born.”

“No. That would have been an even greater blasphemy. Despite how thinly, the sacred blood still runs in her veins. She is still a Martyr. The Offering will be Delivered.”

The Offering consisted of three rituals: The Declaration, The Vigil and The Deliverance. This was her Declaration. It had been hastily put together a year earlier than originally planned. It usually took months of preparation. Hers had been put together in the time it took for them to bring her back from the forest. They hadn’t even allowed her to wash or change. She bowed her head, staring at her hands as they gripped her soiled gown. The wet grass was soothing against her sore legs and she closed her eyes, trying to lose herself in the gentle morning breeze.

She could hear them place the sacred artifacts on the table behind her. Once finished, they would move to either ends of the table and stand silently, watching the congregation with solemn faces, as they did every year. But this time, she could feel their collective anger and fear as if it were a humid mist that filled the air.

From an outside perspective, Alexandra could understand. Why would she and Isabella do this to them? Do this to their country? They had put them all at risk. Selfish. So Selfish. It wasn’t like the life provided for them was hard. They were treated like royalty. Why would they try to toss away their blessed duty? Their very reason for existing?

It was hard to explain. Even harder when you didn’t have a voice.

The Magistrate stood directly behind her back. Alexandra could clearly picture him, dressed in his rich, velvet ceremonial robes. He would have already donned the white mask, representing the loss of the Martyr’s true identity. Despite the piece of costume, his voice rang clear across the courtyard. It was loud and steady, without a single hint of anxiety over last night’s events.

“With this new dawn, we see a new light. One bright and shining. A new savior has been declared.”

He didn’t even bother to change the words. They were acting like nothing had changed. Alexandra raised her head an inch to see her sisters’ faces. Surely they would be confused and wonder what had happened to Isabella. After all, they had already witnessed Isabella’s Declaration the morning before this one. Now she was gone, and Alexandra was the one kneeling before them.

The youngest ones seemed more curious than anything. For them, this was all still new. The older ones, those who had watched sister after sister be Delivered, had started to realize how short their lives truly were. They simply stared ahead, weariness on their identical faces.

Alexandra wished she could read their minds. She wanted to know. Did they care? Did they hate this as much as she did? Were they at least afraid?

The Magistrate lowered a heavy helm onto her head, obscuring most of her vision. Next came the heavy fur lined cloak, draped upon her shoulders. It weighed her down and she almost considered letting it pull her face first into the ground, like a wilted flower weighed down by the rain.

“The Martyr has been reborn to grant us salvation once more. We are eternally grateful, for we do not deserve such mercy!”

This was her cue to stand. With great effort, she managed and, as she rose, the others fell to their knees like clockwork. Even the servants bowed, pressing their foreheads to their knees. Keeping her head as still as possible, she glanced towards the entrance of the courtyard. The guard who had captured her and kept the other from slapping her was leaning against the frame. It was usually forbidden for the guards, usually hired men from the neighboring cities, to witness any of the sacred rituals. They were outsiders. It wasn’t allowed.

But an Offering wasn’t allowed to run away either.


The Vigil took place in the Lady Chapel, a dusk to dawn prayer to The Martyr herself. The larger than life statue stood directly under the chapel’s crystal apse, bathing in moonlight. Alexandra used to think Isabella took closest to the statue out of all of them, save for the massive size, of course. While Alexandra was flawed, defective and abhorrent, Isabella was flawless, perfect and beautiful. The blood had enveloped Isabella in its sweet embrace, while it had utterly shunned Alexandra, leaving her cold in the dark, dumb and slow.

It was hours into her Vigil and Alexandra’s thoughts turned dark.   

The Martyr no longer looked down at her with a peaceful, radiant smile. Her face seemed twisted in the shadows, her eyes wicked, her lips smirking. Alexandra’s knees ached against the wooden floor. With her cracked lips, she wanted to curse them both, not caring that she had no voice to curse them with, or what an unforgivable sin it would be to curse the only reason for her existence.

She wanted to curse them, but most of all…

“Alexa, wake up. …Alexa, my beloved. I don’t want to go. …Let’s run. Please? Let’s go.”

…she wanted to curse herself.    

The guard had stayed at the chapel door the entire night. It gave Alexandra a small measure of satisfaction.


Let them suffer together.   


At Deliverance, the Offering was only granted four items. Her armor, comprised of light chain mail with plated gauntlets and greaves. Her short sword and shield, both made out of the cheapest, thinnest steel the priests could find sold in bulk. And one personal item. It was rumored that ages ago, when all of this had first started, the swords had been plated with gold and the shield adorned with jewels. They didn’t make for useful tools, but that was never their intention. Not even back then. It was all just symbolism.

Alexandra wondered if it really had been the Martyr’s intent to offer herself selflessly to the Beast. If so, why had she been armed? Had she fought back? Had she been scared? If she were here today, would she look at this whole ceremony and weep?

Alexandra believed she would.

The last item was the only one that really mattered. It was the only time she and her sisters were allowed to be different. They spent months or years deciding on the perfect item. Since they weren’t allowed much in terms of personal possessions, this item was usually something simple. A smooth stone. A flower picked from the gardens. A necklace made of string and paper.

Hers was hidden from view, something she carried on her always. A piece of braided twine wrapped around her right wrist. Isabella had one just like it, but on her left. Alexandra had made hers and Isabella had made this one, a wordless vow of eternal loyalty.

For a brief moment, Alexandra debated going with naked wrists. It would be hidden under her gauntlets anyway. She wondered if Isabella had even made it out of the forest alive.

The bracelet remained.

They placed her on a white horse and the same guard, her only companion in all of this, took the reins. Outside in the daylight, she was finally able to see him clearly. He was not young, but not quite old, face dirty with stubble and eyes gray with weariness. He wore worn leather and appeared more like a drifter than a guard. He met her unwavering gaze until he couldn’t anymore, glancing away. He pulled the horse from the stables on foot. She wondered what was going on in that head of his.

They stopped a couple of paces from the edge of the forest. It stood ahead of them, like a hungry thing, eager to devour her. That night it had been a beacon of hope, of freedom. At present, it was her tomb. As her guard approached to help her dismount, Alexandra idly considered stabbing him in the heart and taking off with the horse. Of course, they had never been taught how to ride, so perhaps running away on foot would be better. But to where?


Had any of her past sisters thought to fight back? Someone had to have tried.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” the guard murmured as if able to read her mind. “They’re watching.”

Alexandra glanced over her shoulder. Every priest was present, watching and praying. The Magistrate kept his masked eyes on her at all times. Beside him was a guard with a bow and a quiver full of arrows. They were taking no chances.

Some Offerings were given titles for their displays of great courage and virtue at Deliverance. Magdalena the Peaceful. Virginia the Wise. Mary the Faithful, and so on. Each one took their destiny with solemn grace. Of all The Offerings, past and future, Alexandra had to be the worst. She didn’t even go at her appointed time. An absolute disgrace.

The moment the guard set her down from the horse, she shoved him away and darted towards the forest like a rabid dog. Alexandra would have screamed if she could, loud and ugly. She jumped about, ignoring the armor’s oppressive weight, and banged her sword against her shield again and again, the sound echoing across the field. She then swung the blade around her head, swatting away branches and smashing her shield against the tree trunks, making as much noise as possible.

She hoped that future sisters would not remember her as Alexandra the Disgrace or Alexandra the Silent. She prayed they were watching from the windows and that they would give her another name; Alexandra the Wild.

Alexandra the Free.


Amber J. Gardner enjoys giving a spotlight to characters hardly seen, and delivering optimistic ends to tragic beginnings. Her life outside the page involves working as a personal shopper, seeking spiritual enlightenment, and spending way too many hours playing Overwatch.

Amber is one of five guests participating in 2016 The Hanging Garden showcase of aspiring authors. Each of the five aspiring authors will contribute a story to the five story cycles of the year. 

Follow Amber here: Twitter | Tumblr

Fic: Crescendo

Some sketches about Dr. Emily Grey. Warning; takes implied canon violence to a typical conclusion. There’s blood. 

Here’s something; a girl, crouched in the burned-out shell of what used to be her home. She’s staring, fingers curled in the burned out ashes, rubbing the charcoal fused wood between long, dark fingers. She’s on the verge of being something like an adult, but not close enough for this to make sense.

Here’s something else;

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Destroy your work in order to fully explore it

I don’t write to preserve my thoughts or ideas. I write so I can destroy the ideas I produce in their entirety and see what happens as a result.

Artist Oliver Jeffers chooses to “destroy” his beautiful paintings by dipping them in paint in an effort to purposefully hide parts of the artwork beneath a solid layer of color. The result of the destruction is always a secret preserved in vibrant elegance. It’s a result only possible by destruction of the original piece.

“I was fascinated by this idea of hidden variables,” Oliver said in an interview with The Guardian. “When scientists and mathematicians take into account forces at work that they have no idea about… I became really fascinated by that – so I started making art then hiding it in some ways, to push this idea that if people couldn’t see it, was it still a piece of art?”

The dipped part of Oliver’s paintings is permanently covered. Only Oliver and a small handful of people, invited to witness the dipping, ever see what lies beneath the solid barrier.

“The act itself is simple,” writes Hannah Ellis-Petersen, “Jeffers paints a portrait of someone who has suffered loss, then in a small, secret ceremony, half submerged the picture in a vat of enamel paint so most of it is concealed forever. No photographs or records of the portrait are taken; the only people who ever see it in its entirety as the small audience invited to the ceremony. After it is dipped, it exists only in their memories.”

Steve Jobs believed in the power of destruction. In his biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson wrote: “One of Jobs’s business rules was to never be afraid of cannibalizing yourself. ‘If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will,’ he said. So even though an iPhone might cannibalize the sales of an iPod, or an iPad might cannibalize the sales of a laptop, that did not deter him.”

Perhaps we should reserve our frustrations, our fears, around creativity not for the part that involves first taking action. Why destroy an idea that doesn’t yet exist?

Nobody crumbles up a blank sheet of paper, Seth Godin once wrote.

Instead, we should preserve most of our ability to destroy for what comes after we first act or create. We should preserve our energies for the self-editing, the ability to see what you’ve done and tear it apart willingly.

Focus on first acting—getting the ideas into the page or put into the world—then purposefully taking it apart, ruining it, or otherwise destroying it, just to see what happens as a result.

Of course, if the idea of destroying your own work, your own ideas, seems frightening, consider that every act of creation is first an act of destruction. Writing destroys the blank canvas. Invention destroys the status quo.

To really create we must destroy, sometimes that means even destroying what we’ve already created.

French President Warns the Holocaust "Could Yet Return"

Europe on Sunday remembered the atrocities and horror of three death camps run by the Nazis and their allies during the Second World War with ceremonies in Germany, Croatia and France.

At the site of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, the president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, recalled the shock of the first images to emerge from the camp when it was liberated 70 years ago, reports AFP.

“We saw the bulldozers pushing naked bodies into open pits. The walking skeletons. The unbelievable sadness and loss,” he said at a ceremony attended by around 70 survivors.

The sombre and emotional scenes were mirrored at Jasenovac in Croatia, where families, officials and diplomats gathered to remember the liberation of a concentration camp where tens of thousands were tortured and brutally murdered.

In France, President Francois Hollande warned that the continued existence of racism and anti-Semitism meant “the worst could yet return” as he led commemorations at Struthof in the Alsace region, site of the only Nazi camp on French soil.

More than 50,000 deportees from across Europe lost their lives at the Bergen-Belsen camp in western Germany between 1941 and 1945, including the young Jewish diarist Anne Frank, in addition to 20,000 prisoners of war.

German President Joachim Gauck paid tribute to the British soldiers who freed the camp and restored “humanity” to the country.

“With their actions and their approach, driven by humanity, a new epoch began. People, the former ‘master race,’ would see that human sympathy can indeed be learned,” said Gauck.

“As such, they were the shining counter-example to the advancing Germans who in the years before conquered, subjugated, enslaved and plundered Europe.”
The horrors of Jasenovac

In Croatia, the commemorations marked the 70th anniversary of an attempted escape by around 600 inmates from the Jasenovac death camp, known as “Croatia’s Auschwitz.”

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates that 100,000 people - mostly Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians - were killed there.
Serbia claims the figure could be as high as 700,000.

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Predicting Durin’s Day

According to Thorin’s comment when Elrond reads the moon runes, the dwarves lost their astronomical knowledge and are no longer able to determine when Durin’s Day will be. I’m assuming the dwarves who knew how to do so died when Smaug took Erebor and the books that documented this knowledge were lost at the same time.

It struck me on this reread that this would be quite a cultural tragedy. I imagine Durin’s Day would be an important holiday for the Longbeards, if not the most important holiday. And to not be able to determine when this day will be makes planning ceremonies and celebrations rather difficult, maybe even entirely impossible. They would have to wait to see when the proper constellation happens and if it is cloudy, well, there might not be any celebration at all. 

And this is probably just part of the cultural impact the loss of Erebor had on the dwarves, since ceremonial items, locations and books would also have been lost. Not to mention that the dwarves’ culture had already been through a similar experience with the loss of Khazad-Dûm, which probably had even more impact.

Dax took his point in stride. “They are passionate. Have to give them that.” She turned to confront him. “But this? Stealing top-secret data from your own government? Throwing away your career? Your reputation? What did the Andorians ever do to deserve this kind of sacrifice?”
“Nothing. They didn’t have to. Innocent people shouldn’t be made to beg for their lives. The weak and the suffering shouldn’t have to kowtow to receive help, from us or anyone else.”
He could see from her shocked expression that he’d struck a chord in her conscience. She turned away, embracing denial over truth. “Principle is all well and good, Julian, but you also swore an oath as a Starfleet officer. To defend the Federation. To obey lawful orders.”
“I also seem to recall more than one ethics instructor at Starfleet Academy teaching us that more was expected of us than blind obedience. That we had a higher duty, to the truth, and an obligation to resist orders that are immoral.”
Dax tensed, as if he had offended her. “What part of ‘don’t steal top-secret data from your own government and give it to a foreign power’ struck you as immoral, Julian?”
“The part that expects me to ignore my oath as a medical doctor and be a passive bystander to the slow death of a sentient species.”
Back on the defensive, Dax once again crossed her arms. “So now your Hippocratic oath trumps your oath of service? Or your obligations as a Federation citizen?”
“Yes, I think it does.”
“The law disagrees.”
“Laws are written by fallible beings. Sometimes the law is wrong.”
- A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack

Got and read A Ceremony of Losses today


because it was a good book but THE ENDING

because somehow I doubt that the next book is going to contain the fates of [spoiler 1] and [spoiler 2] and the general schedule of Pocket Publishing is usually “first half of year TOS, second half other stuff,”

so it may be nine months to a year before we KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM

spoilers under the cut

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