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 Here is the final part of the co-op project that Illya Leonov and I did for "Pearls of Sea and Stone: Book of Seals" which is a prequel to "Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well." I apologize for this being so long overdue. At least Illya was very pleased with the images I created.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9pQDfITbMI


If you like this or my other projects then please consider either social media or monetary support at http://www.patreon.com/Amehana as every little bit helps.
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 Ah, the siren. I had thought about writing about a sphinx or Cupid, but I thought that for some the darker side of love and lust would be more appropriate given the month. The siren is one of the reasons that in Kirsty's world all merfolk are viewed with such distrust, whether they are the relatively peaceful selkie, the warrior tritons, or especially the bloodthirsty siren. How I see the siren in Kirsty's world breaks into two types. 1) Those that are truthfully sirens, born so into a race embodying two of Mara's deepest desires but having been touched by the poison of Astereth in much the same way as the Finmen are. 2) Those not born into the race but are corrupted firsthand... and the paths are many. Raechel the dark selkie priestess is started down this path already.

 

And now, this month's poem:

https://youtu.be/Ejl7UQDovyY



 

The Siren

 

There upon the seastacks she stands.

A lone slim form cast beyond the land

Beckoning the mariner with raised hand

The sky tide lifting dress and strands

 

A lilting song rolls o’er the brine

“O wouldst that thou were’t mine

here beyond reach of man an’ time

and on kelp and mussels we’d dine.”

 

Her call dances over foam and sea

Form undulating, svelte, carefree

Til at last into the mar dives he

Stroking, with her daring to be.

 

When he arrives and climbs aloft

To join her on wave-kissed rock

Among the landing gull flock

With laughter does she now mock

 

Rending lover’s flesh, hot blood to drink

Ware ye better be, tottering on the brink

Of the siren that doth dance and slink.

“Is she a true lass?” thou must e’er think.

 

The fog rolls in, the bell now tolls

A widow at home her sorrow doles

Upon the wind blowing between boles

And out to the beach where laughter rolls.

 

You can hear this poem read on my Youtube channel:

https://youtu.be/Ejl7UQDovyY

 

Be aware that there are a couple of unlisted videos that currently only my $1+ Patrons have access to. After about a week, perhaps a few hours more depending on if something delays me from hitting the button, those videos will go public and I will send notifications that this has been done.

 

---

 

If we get just a few more dollars that covers two poems in a month for everyone to enjoy. We're currently only $3 shy of that goal. Patrons pledging $1 a month get access to early looks at what is being released, and other assorted items right inside the feed when logged in. The goals currently unlocked are a poem a month and at least one short video a month. There are different support levels too with their own thank you gifts, so be sure to check periodically while logged in as some posts may only be viewable at certain levels.

 

I'd like to take this moment to thank my patrons. I currently only have a few, but your support means a great deal to me and every little bit honestly does help loads. You are all awesome. If there are ever any questions or suggestions for what you would like to see then please comment. You might wind up with a video answering the question if there is enough to warrant one, but at the very least you'll get a reply of some sort.

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 In the first book of Selkies' Skins reference is made to how Thomas Harper has a name that is difficult for people to recall well despite it being an extremely common name. This is something that went into his initial design thoughts. I knew there would be a reason for it, and that it was some sort of curse, but I did not have the full story. I played with it anyway though, I don't always have every character's stories for generations back and forward when I start with them. The way I write they are very much living beings.

I pay for this sometimes, such as when they team up to gain indignant retribution. What follows was supposed to be a simple jotting down of the specifics of the family curse. Then it turned into an encounter between Ally and Thomas' deity. Brigid in my universe is friends with Cerridwen. Brigid also happens to be the deity that the O'Drake clan of the Dragon Shaman series serves. This turned out to be a crossover point for the Selkies' Skins and Dragon Shaman series.

*Ryu and BlowingWind in the background paying off Brigid with an offering for getting a bit more of their slice of the world exposed. Ryu still looks pretty disappointed considering he's still not gotten any progress on his track, and B.W. looks pretty amused about making him wait.*

What follows is a bit of lore about Thomas and his ancestor. However for all except one person this also contains a couple spoilers as this is set far in the future in the last year of school for Kirsty and her friends, but before The Big Showdown with Astereth (who has different names and guises for each of my three series, and is making nice little holes in the Tapestry for each. Think of him in some ways as a hungry moth, but not as nice.). Or it might not be that much of a spoiler and could be an alternate track of events. Time's funny like that.


Fire and Shadow

 

Ally turned the carved carnelian ring over and over in her hand, blushing just as she had when Thomas got down on his knee on the train to school. His sand-blonde hair had kept falling in his eyes, taking the thunder from what she knew he’d intended as a romantic moment. The fire witch actually somewhat remembered hearing the pounding of his heart and hitches of breath as if something Sacred had been in the room too and magnifying everything. Or, perhaps, it had been her own nervousness doing it since there was only one reason he would go down on his knee to anyone.

 

Then again, her now fiancée was indeed Thomas Harper, a confirmed Priest or Companion to some deity. He still had not told her which of them. All she had to go on was the bardic garb that he wore for the High Day moots, that she went along for to serve as his Anchor and provide him a way home back to the world of Man. His lute was important, and though he loved talismanic and amuletic magics his real gift seemed to be in music and speech. This juxtaposition vaguely reminded her of how her best friend seemed to always be fighting what she was obviously meant to be in order to pursue her love of potion making.

 

Ally sighed and sank down on her bed, drawing the drapes. Kirsty wasn’t up yet, so she was alone. Still, she wanted privacy. Once more she slipped the carnelian ring, etched heavily in runes in such a way as to produce one connected flowing pattern, and closed her eyes as her hand came to her heart. There was so much about Thomas she didn’t know or understand.

 

Ally prayed to God, her God, the Nameless, that she had answered correctly. It wouldn’t be right to convert any of her loved ones or friends, they all had their own paths in whatever tapestry Creation dictated. She felt ashamed to pray such a thing to someone so busy, so soon turned her inner monologue to Mary and the Angels. They always listened, even if they didn’t answer. Part of her was glad that they didn’t. To be God Touched, to be Claimed, seemed to her more like a curse than a blessing. Soon her thoughts turned to yearning to know more about Thomas and his family.

 

Unnoticed by Ally, the night grew late and Kirsty was later than was usual. Her left hand to her heart, she twirled her flaming hair around her finger as she went over and over every detail she knew about her love. Kirsty knew more about David than she herself knew about Thomas, and she’d even gotten to marry first. How they were going to manage this year with the more stringent restrictions on interaction had she had no idea. She didn’t know how she was going to manage this year herself without being able to picnic down by the loch while Thomas practiced. With these thoughts whirling in an increasingly fiery condensation, Ally fell asleep.

 

“Perhaps, Allison, I can help you somewhat. I’ve been watching you for a long while child.” The voice was warm and bronze as it caressed her ear. “We both have.”

 

In her dream Ally opened her eyes to find two women sitting on her bed with her, their hair matching her own and both in green, though one dress was crenellated with bronze and the other gold. She began to start, but the other put a hand on her shoulder. “Not yet, stay calm or you’ll burst it. You’ve been praying, I heard and have come. You know me as Saint Brigit, but I really prefer just plain Brigid.” She pronounced it Bride, in a very old style and with a tired smile. “You’ll be seeing a lot more of Cerridwen and I, I’m afraid.”

 

“I will?” Ally settled further back into the dream, still looking at the women in confusion. “Brigid? Cerridwen? Why? This has to be a dream.”

 

“Yes, it is, Child. You would also see a lot more of me anyway since you’re marrying my-” she paused a moment, holding back the information she nearly bubbled over and then continued. “My Harper. You’ll have quite a bit to learn when the two of you are ready to set up house together, especially if you’re to have any offspring that are of the child variety. Brigid is here though because there is something that might, likely will, happen in a few months and she will need your help with one of her own.”

 

Ally looked between the Goddess and the Goddess/Saint with confusion. “What’s happening in a few months?” She couldn’t help the sinking feeling in her gut or the cold around her heart that made her breathing difficult. “What can I do?”

 

“There, now you’ve gone and scared our firewitch, Cerridwen.” Brigid sighed and rubbed her head, chastising her friend. “The O’Drakes come to me with enough fear for their daughters and their mate-guardians in all this Spirit World jockeying.” You can do a lot because of the love you hold for your friends. For mine own I am hoping that you will serve to rekindle some hope. Cerridwen and I share different facets of creativity, so we overlap a little, and I am hoping that that also help with you now falling under her Claim.”

 

Ally sat up carefully, the dream holding firm and her eyes going wide. “Of course I’m scared. It doesn’t take Kirsty looking into her crystal to know something really bad has been happening over the last several years. You all have different spheres and can’t just take care of things yourself?”

 

“Of course not.” Cerridwen answered her, adjusting herself more comfortably. “That’s why we have intermediaries and avatars. Just taking care of something with all our abilities is cheating in the games we all play with each other, no matter how much we love those that are ours. But sometimes there are reasons such as there being even more danger if we act directly. Additionally, humans have free will and it is wrong to impinge too much on it. We created your kind. Most of us.”

 

Brigid nodded her head, watching the young woman and noting the resolve formed within her heart. “Thank you Allison. I’m sure that when it’s time you will get on very well with BlowingWind and Jewel.” A wistful look crossed her face for a moment as her gaze flicked toward where Kirsty’s bed was outside the drapes, then hidden swiftly by the shifting light of her being. “You might even end up healing a bit more than I’ve just asked of you, depending on what happens in the coming months.”

 

Ally opened her mouth to speak, but Cerridwen’s finger crossed it. Her tongue stilled, and her vocal cords relaxed from their tenseness. “Too much knowledge ages one before their time. I have seen this happen before with some that have drank from my cauldron. How about I just answer the questions you prayed over so hard, little Allison?”

 

Ally nodded and Cerridwen removed her finger, laying down next to the young woman and pulling her down again with her in a motherly fashion. Ally’s head landed on her shoulder and she found herself snuggling in as the deity of inspiration began her tale.

 

“Thomas and his family came to me long ago, around the time that the Makays began to share being influenced by Brigid with Mara and her sister. Time flows strangely for immortals though, so I could be wrong as to the exact timing. It was in France, under a different one of my aspects, much as how your friends David and Floyd serve different facets of the same deity. You have likely figured it out by now whether or not they know each other enough to have done so.”

 

Ally nodded slowly; she had noted some peculiar similarities, although they also had vast differences.

 

Pleased, Cerridwen continued and the scene began to form in her mind’s eyes. “Alain was a young man that attracted my attention because of his ability to sing a tale and turn nearly anything into some sort of musical instrument. He was handsome enough, and more than suitably respectful when I visited him in the guise of an old, diseased beggar woman asking for his last bit of bread on his travels within a forest I... enlarged a bit. I really didn’t expect him to give it to me.”

 

Brigid snorted. “The bread wasn’t what she really wanted.”

 

“I got that too.” Cerridwen huffed, then clarified when she felt the heat in Ally’s cheeks. “His soul, child. I got his soul after I revealed to him who I really was and offered to grant him neverending inspiration in return for his kindness. He gave me his service, which came with his soul. He still serves me in fact and if you listen carefully some day you might hear him play. Especially at weddings. He helped Thomas at the last wedding you went to in fact.”

 

Ally opened her mouth, but Cerridwen closed it again. “Alain got to be quite famous for quite a few reasons. For quite a few reasons he was well loved by the ladies anywhere he went. The poor boy found it increasingly difficult to get any alone time so that we could be together for me to inspire him. Even his sleep routinely got disturbed because of rocks thrown at windows, forward and desperate lovestruck women sneaking into his room. You can imagine the lengths my poor bard-mage went to in order to preserve at least some privacy, and sometimes it was males too. The interruptions and lack of sleep began to drive him made and weakened our connection some due to my not being able to feed him my inspiration. He already held the title of Harper by this time, and this over time became his surname. Sometimes, in some areas, they called him Calderon, and this was equally valid.”

 

Brigid nodded at Ally’s gasp. “It was a mess. Ven’thrith found it all highly amusing. We still suspect that he had some hand in ‘inspiring’ all of those would be suitors since they were so preternaturally adamant. There’s a reason the moon causes madness... and it’s called boredom.”

 

Cerridwen nodded. “Oh yes, quite the mess. All this attention also caused quite a few hard feelings, so then he had spurned lovers and jealous beaus his devotees had left, some more violent than others. Notoriety, you see, made some rather dangerous times. And so after a while I went to another deity, from another realm for help in protecting my devotee from his devotees and enemies. The deity of secrecy received me, on a night that the Moon went to comfort Mara below the sea. In the darkness he gave me a cloak to hide my beloved. He said it would help, at a price, but that it was the best way he could think of.”

 

“What was the price?” Ally finally managed to speak, yawning and finding herself snuggling closer to the deity. There was something about her voice and warmth that drew her, and she wanted to curl up with this goddess. Strangely, it was like she had known Cerridwen all her life, just as for some reason Brigid felt so familiar to her.

Brigid laid down beside them and put her arms around both of them. Ally noticed then that there was copper platemail over the dress she wore. How had she not noticed it?

 

“His musical achievements, his face, his name... Shadow would cover him and these things would be lost to history as if he had never been. The achievements remained, but the credit slipped away. In some ways it was a boon and in other ways it was a curse.” Cerridwen smiled, but it was threadbare. “He went town to town and country to country, playing to pay his way, always well paid and well kept, but when he left he would be forgotten, leaving only the strains of his music, his poetry, and townsfolk dancing and singing songs that they could not remember the origin of. Suiting enough, this gave him a different sort of immortality. Brigid has a few that serve her still in similar ways.”

 

Brigid nodded an affirmation of the statement with a worn smile of her own. Cerridwen continued while Ally listened, rapt. “He ended up spending quite a lot of time on the coasts when he could bear that no more, to heal and recharge. They seemed to be the only ones that would remember him because I give my gift of soulsong to them, and selkie song is something that is well used to heal soul wounds. However his own name none of them could keep, so they gave him a new name they used for him. Alain Harper became for them Shadecloak Caulderón.”

 

“What became of him then? He obviously must have had a kid or two along the way.” Ally couldn’t help asking in the natural pause.

 

Cerridwen smiled, stretched somehow and with a sheen of water in her eye. “He eventually joined the Our Lady of the Sea Abbey after a long life that included losing his wife, two in fact, watching his children grow but be under the same geas that the use of the cloak placed on him, and discovering that his aging was... slowed. He and Father Ronan eventually came up with a method to preserve some selkie history in case something happened to prevent them from passing it on themselves. Father Ronan had visions and it wasn’t an easy time for halfbreeds even then. Alain had a knack for enchanting anything that had to do with storytelling, information, music, which shows true even today with Thomas and his amulets and talismans. They had similarities that made them good companions for each other.”

 

“Is Tomtom aware of his ancestral history?” Ally shifted a bit in the bed, fidgeting at all the information.

 

Cerridwen giggled. “Tomtom. You two are so cute. He called you Alal before I came to you, when I told him I was going to be telling you. Did you know she is one of the moon goddesses and called the princess of hearts?” The Deity tapped her nose lightly while Ally blushed... He’d never called her that to her face. “He knows. And now you know too. And you know what he’ll be dealing with as he lives his life, and what you too will be slipping under, and any children you might have. Are you still willing, knowing that any great achievement he makes will survive, but will be one of those things no one remembers who came up with, and knowing that the same will go for you? Only we deities will remember, and we are horrid with dates save for those who are deities of History.”

 

Ally nodded resolutely. “I’m still willing. I don’t need fame. I just want Thomas in my life, to have a nice little family that we can keep tended. I’m a butcher’s daughter, nothing great or noteworthy.”

 

“Good then. I approve the match and mark you as one of my own. I think you’ll do well with tending my fires and being his Anchor.” Cerridwen kissed Ally on both cheeks and the forehead. Unseen by Ally a similar glow fell over her face to what Kirsty normally saw from Diana, but more copper-gold than The White Lady’s silvers.

 

“You do not know how noteworthy you may be. Those that are truly great become so on their own, and usually do not think of themselves as great. You have a role to play, Allison, in many stories you are not aware of.” Brigid murmured, nearly forgotten. “Your time is yet coming and all threads in the Tapestry are needful.” Just as Cerridwen had given the Three Kisses, so too did she, and the glow became brighter.

 

Between the two Blessings of the fire goddesses Ally felt the fire inside herself grow stronger. Though she was unaware of the glow she did feel the sting and burn as fire licked and danced around her left wrist. She hissed and looked down to see it twining two intricate tongues, similar in some ways to what she saw on Kirsty’s wrist, but henna-colored stylized flames that reached for each other and whorled in imitation of living flame as it died down into just an immobile tattoo. “I’ll remember that... Thank you...” Ally rubbed her wrist with misgiving about what that tattoo might bode as she replied to the deity of the Forge and Well, though she was unaware of all that Brigid was known for. To Cerridwen she couldn’t help but ask. “Um, before you go... I hope I’m not overstepping something... Did you really give birth to Taliesin after eating Gwion as a corn?”

 

“I did. He’s more well known as Merlin.” Cerridwen answered. “I am glad, after all that happened, that I did so and that I did not kill him as was my first thought. His story though has become distorted. In a way his fate is very similar to Alain’s, now.” The further into the reply she got the further away the goddess sounded.

 

Soon, Ally was alone in her bed. Her eyes opened and she sat up. There was breathing in the room and she opened the drapes. Kirsty had thrown herself on her bed without bothering to change from her school robes and clutched her pillow as if someone would snatch it away. Ally sighed and got up, pulling a blanket over the selkie-priestess. “Not going to dream well like that...”

 

Rubbing her eyes, the fire witch rummaged in her chest and pulled out a carefully carved bead in the shape of an owl that someone had strung on a red string. This she hung on the headboard over her friend before laying back down. “What a dream I had... I’ll write that down in the morning... I’ll just get a little more sleep first.”

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 Byron sighed and once more donned his ridiculously toony rabbit ears and affixed the pinky rose-bedecked tailbow to his tail before taking the Easter basket in his teeth. He'd turned this into a tradition since Kirsty was still swaddled in Etain's sealskin and strapped to her mother's back. Kirsty had always been amused, and more amused when he used some creative slight of hoof to produce some large chocolate and caramel filled eggs. Far better than taddywafers. He'd even kept it up after Kirsty had been old enough to go away to school and training.

Today was different, somewhat.

After a good long gallop to work out his nerves he finally plunged into one of the Gates. He crossed worlds as a matter of course, but he rarely visited the one where ponies were the race most known for their societies. He still towered over them, even the rulers if tales of their heights were accurate. Oh well.

He went to the library, sticking out but thankfully still considered somewhat part of it all since he didn't look too wildly different. He had no idea if they saw his markings and didn't care. Not everyone saw them anyway. Only Guardians had them, a product of the magics they were entrusted to wield when necessary.

A hoof, carefully placed, pushed the door open and he settled on his favorite cushion next to his purple friend to hear a story. He wasn't particular caring of what story, but a story was needed since he himself had no one to tell one to. His friend, one of the other Storytellers, nodded at him in greeting. From the chair before their cushions, the story began.



---

A short just because it hit me. Byron sometimes likes to sit by the Voice that narrates the Selkies' Skins books. Happy Easter, to those that celebrate it.
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 I thought it might be fun to write up a potion that Kirsty would use. This base is one that I have actually used for my daughter to help her sleep. I was reminded of it last night when she requested it and was telling her brother how good it was and how well it works.

Sleeping potion

1 tsp to 1 tbs honey
Cup of milk (goat, cow, coconut, almond, whatever you can have)
1 tsp vanilla flavor
1 pinch lavendar

We use the microwave usually because by the time this would usually get resorted to I was exhausted. Better is warming the milk like you would for hot coco and adding the lavander while heating, then adding the honey and vanilla in the cup, then stirring. Kirsty would take this further by heating the whole mixture in her cauldron, stirring deosil (clockwise) until well combined to increase the power of the potion, then widdershins (counterclockwise) to drive away what is preventing sleep. It would be important to concentrate on good sleep during the brewing, as a distracted potioneer makes for a poor potion. Priest-mages and priestess-witched in service to any of the gods that touch on the realm of sleep would also further have their own chants to augment further and fine tune efficacy from within their spheres of power.

Last night it only took half the cup to knock out my daughter, and my son sampled finally. For him he went out after a couple sips.

A tidbit

Apr. 13th, 2014 08:33 pm
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 I saw a very nice review on Amazon for Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well.

I would like to point out that the werewolves in my book aren't Twilight based (though there was a tongue in cheek reference...I don't think that Kirsty and her group would be among those that would closely follow the series by the time that would enter their timestream). David probably wouldn't be too pleased to be compared to those. David is actually a character created by my dear heart. That is why he's a werewolf. I don't think he's a fan of Twilight either.

However there is another reason that Kirsty is so drawn to David. This has to do with the divergence in hunters between the sea and the land. The book series is dealing with more than one theme and each deity has their own things that the two must navigate. I am looking forward to getting the books to the point where that is addressed more fully. I could have changed things to go with bears...but in my opinion wolves are sleeker and closer to the energies of Mara's children. Although Mara would want to reestablish closer ties with all land based hunters, wolves would be among her most favorite, especially with Herne having chosen them as his closest.

I still expect the full storyline to cover three or four books, each divided into sections of three (and there is a numerological reason for that)
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 The question of where Finnol's office actually is came up. In the first book the location is given as "London area," intentionally vague. However we will be getting a bit more information... this is a boil down of a bit on it that crops up in book two.

Finnol works at the Order of Fisheries and Water Conservation. The main offices are located in the "London" area as far as most are concerned, but are specifically found in Southend-on-the-Sea, which is located on Herne Bay (look it up, it's real). There is a reason it is located where it is and why only those that have a reason to be there are able to get to correct address for the building. This is not the original location, and the offices do sometimes get moved.
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 I uploaded three character spreads to the website today. They aren't complete as some of the things I want to unfold in the book first. There is a bit there for reference though.
  1. The Lady
  2. Mara
  3. The Moon God
I also put up the glossary (yes, I work with one...something I learned is handy with my writing). The glossary is also a work in progress as the story continues. I have all foreign words included in this up to my current point in the manuscript (just starting chapter 35). The manuscript without the glossary is currently sitting at 108,371 words for those that like to keep track of things.

How much of the webserial will get left out of the finished book itself? I don't know yet. Either way I will certainly be keeping the webserial archived.

Expect the next episode around September 8th, unless an extra episode funds, in which case you might see the next on September 1st. If you'd like to have another episode sooner, feel free to use the Paypal button below. A total of $5 earns everyone an extra episode. If the five dollars is not met, then the amount rolls over toward the next early episode. You can see how close we are to having an extra episode by checking the meter on the sticky post.

Please do consider making a donation, or buying the complete book once it's available. The donations accelerate postings, but also help put food on the table. Rather make an offline tip?
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Name: Byron

Other Names: If he had some, they're as lost as The Lady's name since the time of Merlin.

Age: Remembers when Kings were just Chieftains... and "Time? Age? Do you realize how incredibly RUDE that is to ask me???"

Gender: Male

Side: "Side? I do not go for that 'good/bad' 'deity/deity' nonsense. I have better fish to eat."

 

Race: Kelpie

Forms: Waterhorse, human, water

Hair Color: Green and seaweedy. Blond with seaweed "decorations" as a human.

Eye Color: Green.

Skin: Green. Slightly greenish as a human.

Nationality: "Excuse me? I came from the ocean, thank you. My Clan is long gone now."

Language(s): (see the language map on Marsali's page)

Element: Water

Likes: MEAT! Eating the occasional human that's so irritating that it is warranted going against an ancient and uncomfortable geas. Fireside tales and romantic walks along the beach (What? Kelpies like loves too...), pie, good curry jobs, raising sheep, painting.

Personality: Changes. Sarcasm tends to stick with him no matter where he goes, unless he's speaking to Mara.

Bio: When Byron was young he had a very large crush on Marsali Marainion. However, she was a Selkie, and with he being a Kelpie, the temples that Marsali's lineage traced from certainly would not have allowed him to even make any intimation of thinking of courting her. It's too bad, she rather liked him and if she had caught on she might have found a way to make it work since both species shape shift. At any rate, Byron had to content himself with being her best friend and travel companion... which was rather difficult to deal with around the full moon...

 

When he had actually had to leave her side to deal with family business, including siring some foals along particular coasts to help keep the human population down, Marsali ended up getting her skin stolen. After FINDING her again he rarely left her side – to the consternation of her new husband. Byron did all he could to help Marsali find her skin, but neither of them ever figured out what happened to it. He's never forgiven himself.

 

Mara bound him to protect Marsali's descendants as punishment until such time as Marsali's skin "came full circle." Although many of the descendents have gained skins, the requirements have not been fully met to release him back to a mortal life.

 

He also went temporarily mad after Marsali died. Luckily he had started painting long before that, and knew how to give her essence a tether. This prevented her from fully moving on, but also gives her the ability to continue trying to regain her skin and "return to herself" so that she can enter whatever is beyond in a full state. It also gives him the benefit of not being the only ageless thing around Seal Point (other than the deities) and having a contemporary to keep him from going mad again.

 

After a few bad incidents, an organization that called itself The Ministry (which occasionally tries to usurp various country's governments) began taking over various areas of Europe... and he ended up bound in his waterhorse form. It seems that The Ministry did not particularly appreciate being infiltrated by what they thought was a human for the express purpose of freeing captured Selkies and trying to figure out exactly who was behind the targeted attacks on the Makay Clan.

 

Parents: He does not remember their names, though he remembers faces.

Descendants: He has bred with waterhorses like himself over the years, but also with regular horses.

 

Quirks: Paints a lot. Loves making people think he'll eat them. Has participated in a few jokes over the centuries during visits to Castle Carrick. Has explored every nook and cranny of the original house and the ancient (extinct, but reforming) village of the point. Or he at least thinks so, since the Makay House is a living entity (like the boats) and harbors its own secrets.

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In case anyone asks why I decided that Kirsty would be Pagan...

Paganism is now the UK's 7th largest religious group

That would be why. My books aren't about why one religion is better than another. No religion is perfect. One of the many things I explore in my stories is how a character's spirituality influences their experiences. When I was growing up, such books were a hard thing to find. So I now write them. When writing through her experiences, and those of her parents, it stands to reason that her family just happens to be Pagan. This doesn't mean that members of her extended family hadn't converted to other religions in the past though.
rainstardragon: (selkies skins)

I've done a lot of work in the story today. I also did Ally's sheet though, as it's been something I've been meaning to do.

Ally McNamara

Name: Allison "Ally" McNamara

Other Names: Original last name was to be McAllister, but Allison McAllister sounded too repetitious

Age: a few months older than Kirsty

Gender: Female

Side: "Good"

  Race: Full Human

Hair Color: Red frizzy hair

Eye Color: Yellowish

Skin: Pale skin

Nationality: British (English to be precise)

Likes: Listening to Thomas play the lute, doodling, sports

Main Element: Fire

Religion: Gnostic Christian with an open mind

Personality: Outgoing, likes to tease. Very loyal to those that she counts friend.

Bio: Ally is the daughter of a Cowan (outsider and/or non-magical) couple. Her father is a well-liked butcher in London, and his friendly personality gets him good contacts for deals and information. Her mother is an elementary school teacher.

Ally found out about being a witch very abruptly, with the manifestation of her candles exploding on her birthday cake. For three years now she has refused to blow out the candles on her cakes for fear of it happening again, even with going to a special school to learn how "not to be a menace to myself." The rest of that year she had a problem with little fires starting in the public school she went to, and wound up almost being labeled as a possible arsonist, even though it was only an accident.

Her friendship with Kirsty (and David) began the first day of school together at Castle Carrick, when they met on the ride for their initiation and admittance. Ally was a little disappointed that the three of them did not wind up in the same house, but on the other hand it makes it much easier to tease Kirsty about the "crush that got way deeper" and she would definitely not get to enjoy Kirsty's table-top Irish jigs.

Well, when Kirsty's in a mood to dance on the table tops when her aunt's not where she can hear it...

Parents: Bob and Natalie McNamara

Descendants: None yet.

Crush: Thomas Harper

Quirks: Worries too much about whether her friends really do like her.

Future Plans: She's got no idea yet, but if she could just figure out some way to make use of that fire thing...
rainstardragon: (Default)
Another look at what goes on in my brain when thinking on story characters.
Original is at http://teresagarciaserials.weebly.com/marsali-makay.html

Marsali Marainion of the Ninth Wave Temple

Race: Deity-created/bred Selkie
Descendants: All the Makay line of Seal Point
Ancestry: Mara and the Lady of the Well, as well as attributed to the Lord of the Hunt. More recently in the ancestry line she is a child of one of the Priestesses of the Marainion line bound to the Temple of the Ninth Wave (off the coast of Scotland, which has branches off the coast of Ireland), and a Priest of the Waevetroder line of the Temple of Northern Lights in the North Sea (off Germany).
Status: Non-living, currently essence ensouling at least one painting (possibly several) that Byron created in order for her to provide guidance to her progeny... and assist those worthy of gaining the skin that she lost and died before reclaiming. She also had plucked several hairs through her lifetime to keep ready to enhance the abilities of her descendants.

Byron's belief is that the fall of her family from the trading fleet they had worked up to (still keeping the fishing fleet to sustain the village Seal Point grew to) was partially resultant from Makays turning more toward not keeping Marsali's hair around them, offending Mara and leaving an opening for enemy magic.

Former Range

Marsali and Byron used to travel the seas widely while she attended to her tasks and met with various eligible families along the various coasts when it was time for her to more seriously consider her pupping obligations to Mara and the less interacted with sister of the sea goddess. As a result of the breadth of her travels, Marsali learned (or was gifted with the knowledge of) various human groups (and the selkies and other sea folk).

Favored coasts were the Irish, Scottish, and German coasts, and she was seriously considering a young priest from her father's bound temple. A storm that Mara did not have control over (the Moon deity was seriously suspected, although Mara also believed her sister to be involved somehow) led to Marsali meeting a very off course Irish fisherman...
And ended up skinless at what became Seal Point, much to the consternation of Byron and the Selkie that had been courting Marsali. Marsali's story is properly told outside the current book.

Her descendents inherited a gift for language, all sea related talents, song, water magic, and soft hearts from her... and her human husband's gift for human magic, which was enhanced by the combination.
Locations are only roughly plotted and occasionally move slightly or otherwise cloak themselves (such as mists, storms, or weird electromagnetic phenomena) as protection.
Base map is from the Wikimedia Commons and used under Creative Commons.
rainstardragon: (Default)
Since the character list in Kirsty's world is growing, I felt it might be useful for readers to post the story's current character list. Each character will eventually have his/her/its own page with bio.

The master Characters page can be found at this link, and will be updated as new characters or information is generated.

I've put up an art page as well, which will gather several images for the story into one location. Fan art is welcome and encouraged, so if you do some, send me a copy and/or a link to where you post it. Just remember, if you do fan art for the story, credit me as the author of the story and include a link to the story if you post your art somewhere.

I personally like fan art because it allows me to see how well the characters are forming in the minds of readers.

~Teresa Garcia
rainstardragon: (Default)
Some of the background information of Kirsty's world I have no idea if it will ever be implicit in the story.  So, bits and bobs sometimes seem important enough for me to write down and have available as extras.  Here's a bit of a note about the Castle's background and those responsible for it's building.

Castle Carrick
Castle Carrick was founded as a magical school.  Aemilius Spiralis wanted magic confined to those that were purely human.  He was particularly suspicious of the Unseelies, and not all those who were Unseelie could be told by sight (unlike the Finmen, who were very easy to tell by their terrible finny visage).  Adalwulfa Bertramus and Delphine Leomaris both wanted the school to be more inclusive to all magical beings, for reasons of their own.

Bertramus
Bertramus' reasoning was that interbreeding with the Fey was a common thing in the past, and she suspected that her family had connections to Faerie.  Ravens had particular connection to her, and it was rumored during her lifetime that she was a Shifter, with the ability to take on the form of a white raven.  There are also rumors that she or her family in the past were connected to one of the Raven goddesses, the Morrigan (or more correctly and likely, one of the Morrigans, as she was a triparte goddess) or even perhaps to Odin due to that Germanic god's connection to ravens and hailing from somewhere in what became Germany.  She was particularly partial to those with quick minds or were willing to put in long hours of study and application to hone their skills.

Bertramus had twins with an unknown male, one child male and one female.  Inexplicably, the boy bore dark hair and green eyes while his sister was fair haired and light eyed.  She never revealed who the father was, and as the children also had pointed ears, sharp chins, and were highly skilled with music as magic, the whispers about her connections with the Fey only grew louder.

Leomaris
Delphine Leomaris likewise was suspected of consorting with nonhumans.  He changed his crest several years before the founding of Castle Carrick, to include a fishtailed lion (which he lovingly referred to as "my sealion") and favored being near water.  This proclivity to stay near water and to become absolutely intolerable if not within a short trip of something connected to the sea is the sole reason why the Castle was built where it was.  The others simply could not tolerate his short temper, listlessness, or his habit of spending hours looking into a wine glass for hours "checking on something."

Despite his oddities, Leomaris was a brave fellow, especially skilled with daring ocean exploits, dueling (magical and not), curse breaking, and animal care (magical and not).  Several of the students that were under his care credited him with saving their lives, but refused to elaborate how.  He did have a wife, who survived him, but oddly disappeared the day after his funeral.  There are reports that she jumped off a cliff, but whether one believes that depends on if they believe a couple of drunk men and their tale of a crying woman "hoisting herself o'er the cliff, but there was just a brown seal swimming to sea when we gots to the edge to look."

Spiralis
Aemilius Spiralis was less well-liked, though also a good teacher.  With the students that he was assured were perfectly human and from pure magic families he was kind and would go out of his way to ensure a point was understood or to find the answer to a question that was out of his experience.  Those that he picked to be his disciples became very skilled in earth magics.  He was far less kind to those he thought had even the slightest Fey blood, and his students sometimes whispered about him screaming about Finmen on particularly troubled nights.

Kickstarter Progress
Twenty days to go as of this moment, and twenty dollars left to reach the minimum.  Think we can find twenty more dollars in twenty days?  Perhaps I could sweeten the pot by offering up an extra info entry in response to a reader or supporter question?  What do you, the people that put up with my writer's oddness, think would be a good celebratory thing to do if we hit the magic number and the project funds?  Can I make it through this Kickstarter and still keep what I've got left of my hair?  Will Kirsty play a nasty prank on me and replace my coffee with a serving of tea?

The link to see for yourself

...

Egads, I'm in trouble if a fictional character reaches out of the story and switches my drink...  Don't anyone go getting any funny ideas of pranks to pull on me whilst I'm immersed in writing or classwork.  Yes kids, that means you.


rainstardragon: (Default)
Alright, time to unleash the... seals?  What does one unleash when sending selkies off on a running (swimming?) start to generate base funds?

The Kickstart lasts until 10:05 AM, December 1st, and no one is charged for their pledges until then.  The baseline I need is $170, and if the project doesn't get enough pledges, no one is charged and I get no money.  Minimum pledge is $1, so even if you've not got a lot you can still help out with getting money for manuscript printing and paying the editor to go over it.  And if you can't even spare a dollar, tell your friends about it, your family, your doctor... tell everyone.  The more people know, the better.

There are a lot of reward levels, including the ability to design a character for inclusion.

I'll be updating on the project regularly, so be sure to sign up at the page to get updates!  I'll send requests to the backers after project funding, and everyone that backs me gets mentioned on the story archive site, and in the print and ebook editions in a special section.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1351481599/selkies-skins-a-novel-of-finding-the-self

rainstardragon: (Default)
So chapter 17 in Selkies continues to expand as I get into the rewrite further, and poor Byron's entry to where Etain had just been gets pushed back farther and farther.  There's a rather unhappy waterhorse pouting in my head.  Ryu from Dragon Shaman has some pretty strange discussions with him during his odd attempts to comfort him.

It looks rather like this:

Byron lays and curls on the carpet, deliberately dripping more from his green mane and pelt than he would in the Makay House.  I feel him glaring at my back as he reads the screen, while my fingers tap keys.

"You're a bloody cruel writer, I hope you know Child."
"Am I? I'm sorry, how so?"

My fingers stop their clicking.  I notice a spot where my fingernail is beginning to rub a hole in the "S" key, and another in the "E."

"When are you going to use that chapter section from me arriving at Mara's city?"
"When I get to that part of the story.  Undersea Settlements developed differently than planned.  It split you know."
"Why can't you sit and write linearly?  You've got an outline, you know where it's going, what happens to Mara, how Kirsty gets her skin, what Mara does to her."
"Because I don't think that way.  My thoughts bounce.  Same reason I talk with characters in my head when I'm stuck."

"Damn right about that.  You wouldn't believe some of the stuff she's tried forcing my Kaze-chan to do when working on our story.  She works the same way with our series."

Looking over to the door of my mindspace, Ryu leans against the door frame.  Today he wears his red and yellow lava kimono, his family's crest emblazoned here and there in fiery thread.  The shoulder wings, his kataingu, make him look more imposing than currently suits his young and open face, and dark spiky hair waving in unseen and unfelt heat.

"Like what, dragon?"
"Talk to her mother before she was ready for one.  Not that I don't support her in it, she really should speak properly with Ms Mountainchild and let her know that she is safe and well.  If I do so, then it makes me look more like a kidnapper than a concerned person.  Did I ever tell you about what that poor woman was going through when I met her?"

Ryu sits down next to Byron, and his presence at least dries up the spreading water puddle that the Kelpie was so studiously making in my mind.  I return to writing while the two talk.  The next I look over, they've made a drinking game out of the "abuses" their writer does to them. Loudly.  With Scotch.  I didn't even know that Ryu drank the stuff.

I shake my head, glad that I'm the only one "seeing" this happening.
rainstardragon: (Default)

 

Voices

Singing is a big thing for the Makay family, and music in general.  Both of these figure in heavily with their magical practice and life.  Kirsty especially is good at soothing with her voice, and one of the "before the story" happenings involved Kirsty calming an attacking unicorn by singing a lullaby.  The song I'd always thought of her singing in that instance was the Manx Lullaby.

This particular rendition I share has two singers that sound to me very much like Finnol and Etain. Kirsty would have a similar, though slightly younger voice to her mother.  Many thanks to Sláinte for putting this up.  If you like this, you might like checking out other songs they have recorded.  Their music very much portrays the Makay's spirit... or perhaps vice verse, though I found it AFTER conception of this family.

In the Leomaris common room she can often be found singing to soothe everyone's worries before big tests.


On the story archive site I started a page to place and share extra bits of info that readers may find interesting.  That will get updated periodically with new additions, which I will also share here when added.

Selkies' Skins Extras Page

 

 

 

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