Monday, October 27, 2008

Chapter 26: Kvornan Is Disarmed

Tues, November 10, 2074 1:05 am: Ethelden Palace- Amhurst, Veronaville


Kvornan froze, listening to the feather-light approach of Tara's slippered feet. Lately, he was becoming more accustomed to that sound than he should have liked to be. He allowed her visits at first because she was the only creature in all of existence bold enough to make them. But as time progressed, he began to worry that their relationship was inviting catastrophe. He would need to push her away.


Tara opened the door without knocking. Ordinarily, their ritual would begin with him chastising her about walking in on him in that way but tonight, he kept silent. Such admonitions were worse than useless.

As she drew nearer, he was finding it increasingly difficult to focus on his work. She had a scent that was rich and warm and deep like the forest floor thawing in early spring. It had driven him to distraction on more than one occasion. Tara stood by and watched him paint for a moment before speaking.


"I honor the divinity within you, Kvornan Sheut of Proximus Deus." They never addressed one another so formally and he wondered what caprice had brought that on.

"And I yours but I regret to inform you that I have neither the time nor the desire to play games with children tonight." Tara snorted incredulously.

"I should have thought that you had nothing but time."

"Time and tedious company, it would seem. What do you want, Daughter of Oberon?"


Kvornan shot a glance at her over his shoulder and immediately wished that he hadn't. He was in an unusually stubborn mood and her cleverness wouldn't sway him. He had already fed that night and her scent would likewise do little. But her beauty was as formidable as ever. He fought back the urge to touch her.

"Sef says that you haven't eaten anything in six days. Or at least nothing that the rest of us would count as food," she said.


"What is Sef now? My nanny? I'm fasting this month."

"How very pious of you."

"It isn't piety. It's penance."

"May I ask what for?"

"No, you may not."

"Would you at least look at me when I'm speaking to you?"

"Don't you have anything better to do, Princess?"


Rampant waves of disappointment undulated from her body and washed over his. He tossed his brush and palette noisily to the floor, knowing that the under painting was now officially postponed. Tara laid her hands on his bare shoulders and spun him about.

"Have I done something wrong," she asked, wiping the blood from his lips with her sleeve. Her gentleness put him in an awkward position. Damn her. This would be the final straw in disarming him.


"No, it isn't you. Listen, Tara- You shouldn't be here. I am an abomination and not just by the grace of my unconventional appetite." Tara gave his shoulders a quick squeeze.

"Have I ever judged you?" It was true that she hadn't. Kvornan met her gaze. There was concern in her iridescent eyes that did not pity. She knew better than to pity. For months, he'd been telling himself that her innocence prevented her from truly understanding (and consequently reviling) him but now he wasn't quite so certain. Perhaps she was harboring an affection that was utterly devoid of conditions.

"That's even worse," he whispered. Tara placed her hands on his back. Kvornan wondered at what point had it become acceptable for the two of them to stand so close to one another, with her chest loosely pressed against his. It was a miracle that he had never lost control and sank his teeth into her. He ran his fingers down her spine, finding that her dress was adorned with some sort of ridged pattern. Kvornan pulled away from her before she noticed his immediate and unanticipated arousal.


Tara moved over to the windows and peered outward at the early morning. Kvornan took a seat on the bench behind her and stared at the floor, trying to will away his erection.

"You've been to see Elise, haven't you?" Kvornan was startled by her question.

"What makes you say that?"

"The fasting. I couldn't think of another sin that would warrant it." Kvornan leaned forward.


"If you must know, then yes. I spoke with her. I've been channeling her while she sleeps. But I probably won't do it again. She has a tendency to want to recreate the House in her dreams and it attracts certain entities that I'd rather not encounter."

"What you did is forbidden, Kvornan."

"And well I know it but I intend to be a part of her life." Tara folded her arms over her chest and shook her head. She was vaguely angry. He watched her shift her center of gravity from one foot to the next. Her long velvet gown floated away from her body, suggesting an enticingly round set of hips. Kvornan rose from his chair. Screw it.


"I know that you mean well by her," she said quietly.

"Ultimately, I'm going to have to disagree with you, Princess. I do not mean well. My motives are purely selfish. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to live without the person that I live for."


Kvornan inched closer to her, losing himself her in scent. God but she was intoxicating.

"Moreover," he said. "It is entirely unfair that any and every manner of wretch is free to encounter her while I am expected to keep a discreet distance." He wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his chin on her shoulder. "This won't be the end of the world," he promised.

"You can't really guarantee that," she countered. "You're a danger to her." Kvornan was stung.

"You don't really believe that, do you?" Tara shrugged.

"I believe you love her too much to let her go when the time comes."


Kvornan sighed. He no longer wished to discuss their vague and ominous future.

"Let's talk about something else," he suggested.

"Like what?" Kvornan grinned and took her hands. He delivered a strong jolt of energy through her body, mingling his light with hers. Tara's cheeks grew hot from bashfulness.

"You aren't terribly hungry at the moment, are you," he asked. "Because I imagine that the two of us will be heavily occupied through breakfast and sound asleep through lunch."


  1. Ooooh, that was interesting. So Kvornan is still an actual, physical person. The tattoo on his face must have some significance--I'm dying to know what it is.

    So Kvornan is now my new favorite character :)

  2. He's quickly becoming one of my fav's too, Van. :)

    And ach, he isn't actually tattooed- He's painted. I meant to draw attention to this at some point in the post but couldn't figure out where to squeeze it in. If you look closely, you'll see that Tara's face is painted also (but I wanted hers to seem as though it had faded since the time of this conversation was 1 am). Here, I'm taking my cues from Maxis. If you ever happen to check out the Summerdream family in Veronaville or the Tricou family downtown, you'll find that all of the faeries (or rather "Faes" in this story) wear face paint. Some of the other characters wear face paint too but for some reason, all of the faeries do. I've decided that it's a cultural thing.

    Kvornan is not a Fae but he lives with them. He was adopted by Faes as a toddler and this is very much his native culture. When Elise met him in her dream, she noted that his voice was slightly accented. His first language was Ashkay- the Fae language. BUT- We'll get into his whole life story as Blue Lake continues. All plots lead back to him in one way or another. Even the ones that seem completely unrelated.

  3. And here's the part where I link you to Kvornan's page on the family tree:

    The parents listed are actually his adopted parents.

  4. YAY, FAMILY TREE! Thank you! :D

  5. hehe You are most welcome!

    In fact, there's an entire behind-the-scenes blog:

    The only person who seems to know that it exists is Dayna. :p

  6. Behind the scenes blog... excellent...

  7. Hmmm I have been wondering why Elise kept having those visions of the Murder/Ho House. Interesting that even Kvornan doesn't know. Or won't say!

  8. Beverly's back! *does a happy dance*

    lol "Murder/Ho House". Elise has visions of the House because it holds such special significance for Kvornan. She doesn't consciously know anything about the history of the House nor does she have any inkling about its connection to Kvornan (keeping in mind that she still doesn't fully believe that he and the House exist in real life). But when he tries to make contact with her psychically, their bond is such that their subconscious thoughts become barely distinguishable. So she ends up projecting visions from his murky past.

    His suspicion is that Elise is not willfully recreating the House but that outside forces are prodding her along in the hopes that she learns some things about Kvornan that scare her away from him completely. But, well, his suspicion is wrong.

    I kinda wish that I had waited a little while to release this chapter so that I was sure to get in all of the details that I meant to include. *sigh* Oh well.

    I'm thinking that Chapter 27 will be up on Monday.

  9. I will join you in the happy dance. I hope I can stay home for a little while this time, but duty may call unexpectedly.


    Whoa! I was just wondering WHY Elise didn't know the house existed, so I checked to see if she was any kin to Isabella . . . I was quite surprised when I found out who Elise IS kin to! The plot thickens!

  10. So great, an emo Peter Pan VAMPIRE! Who is not gay, like that helps at this point.

    Poor Elise. She seems so intrigued by this -- these dreams are like a dream come true for the teen-aged girls I knew/once was -- but it seems like she's in over her head with something... not so nice.

  11. Hmmm... I'm going to hold off on commenting about the sorts of issues that Elise is going to come up against. But it isn't just Elise who might end up being deeply affected by this. It's everyone.

  12. So Kvornan actually exists outside the tombstone. And well... I have to say, he is rather phwoar isn't he. Ack... maybe I just have a thing for vampire types :). I am so liking all the supernatural tones that are creeping into your story Penelope. I love that kind of stuff and it is really drawing me in.

  13. After I found The House of Fallen Trees in Nightlife, there was NO WAY I could resist having a supernatural story. I think it's my favorite Maxis household because the plot is so wide-open for speculation.

    I know how you feel about those vampire types. On the other hand, there is another vampire in the story who is better looking than Kvornan but he's started to freak me out too badly for me to find him attractive anymore.

  14. And of course he is a vampire :-) which explains why he is still not only alive, but also young and beautiful.

    that's a twist - I've always accepted that it was the grandma who went insane and killed all the kids.. so is Kvornan the killer in your story or he was specifically turned to save him? Very intriguing...

  15. Kvornan was directly responsible for two deaths in the Tricou household- Jennicor Tricou (the grandmother) and Rainelle Neengia (who worked at the house in the story- it's unclear how Maxis intended her to be connected to the family).

    We know for certain that the children died in a fire in the laboratory (but the circumstances are questionable). Nylissit (Kvornan's sister-in-law) died of old age later on. Jennicor (Kvornan's wife) starved herself to death. Jon Smith-Tricou (Kvornan's father-in-law) was shot to death by a Townie woman. And Kieran's remains were never found but it is believed that he died in the fire, along with one of the household maids.