Character Bio: Nica

New Bio! Nica was MUCH easier to do than Dev. Maybe that’s because Nica’s more personable, or maybe that’s because Nica’s the most “normal” character I’ve done so far. That’s out the window, of course, because I’m planning on doing Kain next.

As always, you can find the rest of the bios here. If you have any questions for Nica, or suggestions for who to do next, let me know in the comments.


Chapter 6, part 3

In which Naj discovers many wondrous things.

Naj stopped in his tracks, openly staring as Nat and Marie danced. The contrast of night and day between them was even stronger than it had been the evening before. Clearly, the pair had great chemistry and knew how to build and play off of one another. Marie’s style was just as aggressive as ever, but it was soothed by Nat’s more subtle, more sultry compliment. Each of them was powerfully seductive in their own way, and Naj couldn’t help but stare.

Nica was brought to a halt when Naj stopped abruptly. She followed his gaze to the stage and she took a moment to appreciate the beauty she found there. It was clearly a dance of Nat’s design, and Nica felt a small swell of wistfulness that she didn’t recognize it. The steady movement of the taller woman was punctuated by Marie’s bursts of motion and color. The pair of them were undeniably beautiful together.

It was nearly impossible to look away. Spectral trails followed every sweep and bend and curve, filling the stage with ghostly images. He was no longer able to pick out any singular move, let alone style. He’d nearly lost the dancers in the spell they were weaving.

Ah, lost again. Seth had to admit, they were quite lovely, but if Naj couldn’t separate his normal vision from his serpentine senses, they may as well give up now. Yes, the Three Pillars style stage did much to accentuate the natural energies of the nest, but Naj had to pull it together. Perhaps, after a breath of fresh air, they could try again, but for now, Naj still needed a buffer.

But after his experience with the nest eijye, he was wary of tipping his hand. He’d have to tread carefully, while getting Naj out of here quickly.

He relaxed his careful hold on their aura, sending the barest of questing thoughts in their eija’s direction. Hopefully, with something this minor, she wouldn’t notice. Provided he wasn’t as rusty as the growing pile of evidence would suggest.

Seth reached out for the fox kit’s energy, calling on the ties they’d formed dancing together this morning. Nothing overt, simply reminding her ki’n of the steps performed before. Just enough to distract…

When Marie broke the moment by laughing loudly at her own misstep, Nica laughed with her. Her gaze returned to Naj, who was still staring at the stage intently. Nica took the opportunity to gently pull on Naj’s arm. “We can watch the show tonight as well if you like – it would give you an idea of the variety of dances you can expect in Asylum.”If you’re more interested in watching performances, we could simply sit here through practice if you like.”

Naj blinked and stammered as he finally managed to look away. “I’m sorry, what were we saying?”

Nica was a little concerned when he couldn’t finish a sentence, the dance had been beautiful, but surely not that distracting?

“I was saying if you’d rather sit and watch the practice performances, we could?”

Damn. That wouldn’t do at all. So far, concern for her newest dancer was distracting their eija, but if they sat and made a study of the pair before them, surely the raptor would notice Seth’s hand in the convenient dance break. No, he needed them to get upstairs, and quickly.

It was cheap to use the same trick twice, but Seth was confident Nica wouldn’t connect the stumbling fox with the stumbling serpent. He let their knees go weak, just enough that Naj staggered for balance, catching Nica’s arm. A little heavy handed, but he pushed the sensation of light-headedness through the connection their auras made on contact.

Naj managed a smile, but it was weak and watery. Clearly, all the magic outbursts were taking their toll. As much as he’d love to sit and drink in the ki’n of his new nest, he needed a moment to regain himself. The stillness of a garden would do just the thing, he hoped.

“I think it might be wiser if we continued upstairs. The fresh air would do me some good.”

Nica nodded at Naj’s explanation. It was sensible, for a serpent to find himself ungrounded if he was recovering from being feral. The serpent would shy away from so much motion and sound, she could see how the nest in its daily action would be distracting and overwhelming.

She steadied him with an arm against his back, guiding them towards the stairs again. “Then the gardens it is.”

parn’ei. Again.” He offered a small laugh, hooking his arm over her shoulders. As they moved forward, a stiffness melted away from his posture, as he became more certain that he wasn’t crossing some unspoken line. This level of familiarity with his eija would take some getting used to, but that suited him just fine.

She led him up both flights of stairs, until they were on the third balcony. “The door to the rooftop isn’t quite hidden, but it is out of the way so that customers don’t try to use it.”

She opened the door adding, “There’s also a ward on this door in case the Employees only sign isn’t deterrent enough.”

With a hand on his back, she urged him up the stairs first. When they reached the second door, she reached past him to open it as well.

The ripple of magic was becoming familiar, though Seth was still careful to keep himself tucked away. Naj was handling himself fairly well, and Seth was confident that the rooftop would be relatively uneventful.

Naj was speechless.

A near forest stretched out before them, the midmorning sunlight dazzling off the water- water? Up here? But he could hear it. Distinct from the sound of the river behind them, the ripple of a fountain sounded from across the roof. A breeze ruffled the trees- full sized trees!-bringing with it the scent of fresh fruits and herbs. And it was warm! Frost still lingered in the shadows of the warehouses below them, but the air surrounding them was fragrant and light as a gentle summer day. It was as if the very stones around them radiated warmth, enfolding them in a welcoming embrace.

Naj took one step, then another, hardly believing this space was real. If he moved too quickly, he was certain the dream around them would shatter.

Nica took a deep breath, losing herself a bit in the greenery around them. She hadn’t been able to immerse herself in it when she’d first arrived, but the absence of the demon and having received a welcome from her nest allowed her to fully enjoy it now.

She moved towards the blackberries, able to smell the ripeness on the air. She picked a choice handful, slipping one onto her tongue and savoring the burst of tart sweetness.

As she moved back to Naj, she touched a few plants, automatically checking the vegetables for pieces that needed to be picked. She knew Kain wouldn’t let anything get overripe, but it was an old habit she was happy to pick back up.

She held a few blackberries out to Naj with a smile. “This is my favorite place to relax, Kain’s really outdone himself up here.”

As he moved from one oasis to another, he couldn’t believe the vast array of plant life around them. One island held sweet corn, stalks just taller than his head. Another full of lilies, heady fragrance almost overwhelming. Tomatoes and peppers, roses and rhododendron, and the tress! They were ancient and stately- decades old if they were a day- and Naj had the boyish urge to climb one, to shift and crawl out into the furthest branches, feeling as if the wind might carry him away. But he was reluctant to touch any of it, for fear of bringing the magic of the garden tumbling down.

He hadn’t realized he’d lost Nica until she came back into his vision, blackberries in hand. Suddenly, he recalled his morning’s berries, and knew they must have come from here. This wonderland was a functioning garden, not some gossamer dream, but even as Naj took the plump berry delicately from Nica’s hand, he could hardly believe such a place could exist- and on a rooftop no less!

Once she’d said it, Kain’s energy was clear. The stones radiated the same warmth that the large man did, the same comfort, the same strength. The berry burst on his tongue with the same vibrant life from this morning, and now Naj understood why Kain was encouraged to do most of the cooking.

If the stage was an extension of Nica’s passion and dreams, then the garden was Kain’s. Surrounded by such power and love, Naj felt his anxieties melt away. He reached for Nica’s hand, to share the moment with her, to bring her into his joy.

He didn’t have to say anything for his happiness to move through her. She squeezed his hand with a smile, glad she could share it with him.

“One of Kain’s goals when we took over this warehouse was to have a good gardening area, he’s always preferred to cook with fresh ingredients…” She gestured to the obvious islands of vegetables and the counterpart flower beds. “Not to mention he grows most of the herbs he uses in his soaps.”

Naj’s smile blossomed as Nica continued to tell him about Kain. He had found the man immediately easy to get along with, and the more he learned, the more he wanted to know.

“He seems to be a man of many talents.”

“That he is.” She almost added that he also had a talent for being obnoxious, but she figured Naj could learn that for himself. Unless Kain saved that specialty for just her and Dev.

“Actually, the entire nest seemed to be full of surprise talents. From what I’ve seen of Marie’s sketches, Emily’s pottery- least of all the hawk who danced like a serpent. Naj wondered if his own hidden talents would ever be needed, though he certainly hoped not. Still, the thought was enough to put a damper on the joy he had felt a moment before. He gave a heavy sigh, eyes falling to the middle distance.

Nica nodded, wondering at the dip in his mood, but letting him settle it on his own. “That’s true. Some of those are things that they came to the nest with, some are talents that they discovered while staying here. I try to encourage it if someone finds something that makes them happy… The local college has actually been great for that. Emily uses their clay studio quite often for her art.”

She gestured towards the area of the college. From the roof, the sprawling campus was easy to see if you knew what you were looking at. “When you’re settled, if there’s something you’re interested in learning about, you might look into what classes they offer.”

Naj followed her arm, and suddenly, he felt as if he were flying. He could see the people down below, moving busily from building to building, chatting or reading, lives full of promise. And all of their dreams and ambition held him aloft, and he felt as if he could soar forever. He longed for wings of his own, to carry him on the winds wherever Fate saw fit.

D’anhk-khna…” He breathed the name of heaven and earth, the whispered prayer better suited to expressing his awe than anything else could.

She raised an eyebrow when it seemed he didn’t hear her at all. To be fair, it was a lot to take in at once. She let it go, knowing that there would be time again later if he was actually interested in expanding his interests. Some did, others were content to simply dance.

However, his use of pri’mn… That made her chuckle. When he glanced at her, she smiled. “My mother named me for the priestess Danica – she felt it appropriate that I share a name with the hawk from the Love that Broke the War. I rarely hear the full deity’s name invoked though.”

His brows furrowed at her words, not making the immediate connection. He knew it was a serpent tradition to name children for important figures, but he wasn’t familiar with the tale she told.

“Nica… Danica- Oh! Dankkna, I see.. The name has evolved over time, hasn’t it? Shortened, from the original?”

She laughed, mentally tucking his odd question away for later contemplation, right now she was enjoying their easy conversation. “It is, though in my case, the full name is Danica. I’ve simply gone by Nica since I was very young.”

Her laughter inspired him to as well. “I would have never made the connection from Nica to the spirits of earth and sky.” He gave her a warm smile, letting his happiness fill his face and his skin.

“I think it suits you.”

“That was the idea, I believe.” She looked to the sky with a small smile. “My mother especially loved the story of The Love that Broke the War… I think adopting a hawk simply gave her the excuse to draw names from it.”

There it was again. He stepped further into the garden, drawing Nica to a large rock. “I’m not familiar with the story you keep referencing. Is it a take on a classic rhei, or something more modern?”

She gave him a surprised look. “You’re not familiar with The Love that Broke the War?”

Nica tucked herself onto the rock as she let that sink in. “It’s an older story, set at the end of The Thousand Year war between the serpents and the raptors….

Naj remained silent throughout her tale. Not only out of respect for her telling, but out of a growing sense of familiarity, one that chilled him.

When she had finished, and was clearly awaiting some response, Naj couldn’t bring himself to meet her eyes. Finally, he spoke, voice barely above a whisper.

“I never would have imagined…”

Her hand sought his, the serpent need to give and receive comfort clear in her upbringing. He welcomed it, returning the gentle pressure and drawing strength to continue.

“The War…” No, that wasn’t the place to start. “No one can say how much truth is to be found in the old stories. Whether Li’Daea literally danced around the fire with our first kin, or ei’Ceres was more of a person or an idea- they all certainly came from somewhere.”

He drew a deep breath, trying to center himself before continuing. The memories that had surfaced at Nica’s arrival had been long, long buried, but now they seemed to be facing him at every turn.

“When I was a boy, relationships between the serpents and the avians were… tense. Honestly, the serpent kingdom had difficult relationships with most of their neighbors. But… to hear things progressed so poorly…”

His body shook, voice thick with emotions he couldn’t quite face. But with Nica’s arm around him, and the sun was rising higher in the sky, it was easier to turn his mind to brighter things. He patted her hand, giving her as bright a smile as he could.

“I’m glad to hear that peace was finally found.”

As he spoke of his childhood, she found it hard to focus on the pieces that were this new dancer. Instead she was only overwhelmed by the need to offer him comfort, to take away the trembling that passed from his hand to hers.

She kissed his cheek, leaning forward to give him a hug. “Indeed… It’s one of my favorite stories. I can’t count the number of times my family performed it growing up.”

Naj brightened. “It’s a rei’ramn? I’d love to learn it.”

“It is, I can teach it to you sometime if you like.” She would be pleased to share the songs and dances of her favorite story with him. It also reassured her that he didn’t think it would continue to bring such sad thoughts to his mind.

“Yes, please. I would like that very much.” He gave her hand a final squeeze before pushing off the rock, stretching high to the sky. “I’m quite looking forward to resuming a regular dancing routine. It’s been far too long.”

She joined him in the stretch, then extended a hand back towards the door. “Shall we go back downstairs? It should be about time to get the club ready for opening. I can walk you through what we usually do before the show.”

“By all means.”

He was proud of himself for not overblowing how much of her time he’d “wasted”. The moment they’d shared had been anything but a waste. He was learning how he fit in this nest, making connections that would tie him to this world.

But he wasn’t about to take her time for granted. He reached out and brushed her arm, giving her a warm smile.

“Thank you for sharing this time with me. I’m feeling much more grounded now.”

She returned his touch and smile, glad to see that his aura matched his words. “Good. I’ve enjoyed sharing the garden with you.”

Nica let her gaze slip past him to follow the height of an apple tree. “I’m glad it could bring you as much joy and peace as it gives me.”

Previous: Chapter 6 part 2                               Next: Chapter 7 part 1

Aside: OMG! A video!

So, I’ve been working on those videos I mentioned at the beginning of the month. I have literally ONE I’m happy with, and the content it goes with doesn’t go up til next month. :/

Buuuuut, in all the takes I’m not happy with, I at least got over the “OMG I’M GARBAGE AT VIDEOS” and decided to just make a garbage video. Yup. This video is pure nonsense. I am literally just babbling at you. But every one of these I pull the trigger on and actually upload makes me feel a little bit better about doing videos, so consider it a drop in the bucket.

FYI, the videos I’m working on nailing down are a reading of Li’Daea’s blessing, and the dancers’ call and response. I do fine on the little words, but once I start trying to string them together into a sentence, my tongue literally trips on itself and Seth starts laughing at me and I have to walk away and do something else before I try to strangle a fictional character. Or worse, retcon in a death scene. (That’s right, you scaly, smug bastard- I am still not above killing you off!) So anyways, have a silly video, keep pestering me about the  better videos until I finally cave and post them, and have a happy Spring.

Thanks for reading!


Character Bios: Dev

New Bio up, this time for everyone’s favorite demon, Dev! …If Az is your favorite demon, I’ve got nothing for ya (yet!). As always, you can find them under Miscellany, but I’ll also be sure to post them all as they go up.

Who should I do next? What sort of info would you like to see?

Chapter 6, part 2

In which Naj makes more new friends.

Kain didn’t bother opening his eyes at the sound of the door opening. He knew it was Nica when she paused in the doorway, no doubt assessing the improvement of the situation she’d left behind. A mixed swirl of emotion appeared and vanished before Kain could identify all of it, though relief was evident. Let her keep her complexities, he had a feeling she’d be full of them for a while given her extended absence from Asylum.

When he finally did open his eyes, he met her raised eyebrow with a smile. “I haven’t taught him any bad habits, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

Naj snickered, then quickly stifled it. Kain might shirk the honors of being eijye, but he hadn’t had a chance to test out his eija. Still, it had been a good joke, and Naj let his amusement color his aura before tucking it away into something more serious. He remained seated, when Kain made no effort to stand, but kept his words polite.

“I’m sorry if I worried you, eija. I am feeling much better now, thank you.”

Nica made a face at Kain’s teasing, tossing a thought at him in regards to his earlier concern. Of course, he deflected it readily and then the new dancer was speaking.

“I’m glad you’re feeling better.”

He didn’t know what to do with their gentle easiness. Things were clearly relaxed in this nest, but that left Naj at a loss as to how to proceed. If he were legitimately injured or unwell, even the Dai would insist he take time off to recover- what good was a broken tool– but Naj didn’t think he was unwell, exactly, just… off balance.

But, perhaps it would be best to take a day to get his bearings. He would learn more efficiently if he could focus, and so in the interest of not wasting anyone’s time, Naj finally came to a decision.

“I am no longer faint, but I do not believe I will be fit for duty at any point today. My status is too unpredictable, I feel. I apologize.”

Nica raised her eyebrows at his statement, wondering if Kain had said something to spark the apology. When she glanced over to Kain though, he merely shrugged one shoulder. She turned her attention back to the serpent, a little troubled that his first thought had been to his duty. Duty was not a word lightly used, especially by a serpent.

“No one thought you would work tonight – I never expect a dancer to dance until they’re comfortable in the nest. If that takes a week or a month or more, that’s fine. It shouldn’t be a duty to dance, but something you want to do, something you enjoy.”

Naj dipped his head low, unable to resist the years of habit the words carried with them.

a’parn’ei,eija. Thank you for your understanding.”

He faltered, feeling a wave of …not quite disapproval, but restraint? Was Kain trying to coach him? Naj raised his face, giving Kain a mix of apology and gratitude in his small smile.

“Kain tells me such formality has fallen out of practice. I appreciate your patience as I learn to dance to a more modern tune.”

He rose in a long, elegant line, giving Nica a proper dancer’s bow of beauty and art, not the timid cowering of before. His smile blossomed as the movement filled his soul, light shining in his eyes.

“I do look forward to gracing your stage, when I am ready. I hope I can add to the joy and the fire that fills your home. Thank you for your warm welcome.”

Nica smiled as he bowed, more than a bit relieved to see his aura taking a more natural serpent flow and warmth. She had to wonder at his words and actions though – just how old was he? It wasn’t a question politely asked among the longer lived races, especially since magic could extend natural lifetimes. The last war that had been waged against magic users was over by more than a century, but that was barely a moment passing to those who had survived it. Such events left marks in mannerisms and stigmas that were often the only subtle signs of a shifter’s age. Nica could easily recognize those born around her own century, and easier still identify those far younger, but once a person’s age was over a century, she had no head for the nuances. For instance, she knew from his hints that Kain held far more than just one or two centuries under his belt, but just how many was a mystery to her. Of course, that meant that he was invaluable when it came to learning such delicate details about her dancers.

“We’re glad to have you here, though Kain’s correct,” she glanced over at the big cat as she spoke, “we’re much less formal here. I want you to be able to relax, to consider this your home too.”

Marie’s voice chimed in from just behind Nica. “Yes! You should feel at home with us!”

Nica glanced back to find Marie being gently restrained by Nat, while Lena carefully peeked around the pair of them.

“Naj, you know Nat and Marie, this is Lena.”

Lena stepped out slightly from Nat and Marie, but stayed back a bit. She waved, one foot tucked behind the other as the tail from her snow leopard form swayed behind her. Her smile was uncertain, but happy. “Hey.”

Naj flinched at the sudden intrusion, despite Marie’s welcoming declaration. He was glad to see they were mostly familiar faces, though the new comer was definitely eye catching. Even with her shy demeanor, the boldness of her neon pink shirt – dress?– made her the loudest of the three. The bright color set off her starkly colored fur nicely, and warmed her creamy skin. Despite her obvious attempts to remain in the background, in neon pink she hard to look away from. Naj did his best not to stare, or bow, or anything else that might be considered off putting, in light of his recent advice. But even if good manners didn’t dictate it, he found himself needing to acknowledge her, to reach out in some way. She was too beautiful not to, and her shyness just made her that much more appealing to his own quiet nature. He settled for extending his hand, with a ripple of scales by way of the now familiar introduction.

“A pleasure to meet you, Lena. My name is Naj.”

Lena slipped forward to take the offered hand, smile growing as she did so. “It’s nice to meet you too, Naj.”

To his relief, as they touched, nothing more passed between them than warmth and friendship. He was grateful, too, that Natalia was keeping Marie at bay. He just wasn’t certain how much of the fiery little fox he could handle right now.

He stepped back into the room, giving the new dancers access to the space he had previously been blocking.

Lena immediately tucked herself back when he moved away, more out of habit than any current nervousness. While she loved to be with everyone, sometimes being the center of attention still made her uncomfortable.

Kain stood in a smooth movement, drawing all eyes to him. He nodded to Nica with a wide smile. “I’m going to catch a nap before it’s time to set up.”

Before Nica could protest, Nat caught the cue readily, pulling Marie with her towards the door. “And we have a dance that needs rehearsing.” Marie wrinkled her nose, but allowed herself to be pulled backward. She called to Naj, “I’ll see you later!” with a big wave.

Lena began to slip towards the door after giving Nica a kiss on the cheek. She waved to Naj, adding, “I should make sure my costumes are ready for tonight, but I’m sure I’ll see you later too.”

Nica shook her head as the room emptied as quickly as it had filled. She especially liked how Kain had smoothly made his exit before she could get a word alone with him. He had to know she wanted to speak with him and was avoiding her.

She glanced over at Naj, “Are you still alright?”

Well. That was certainly abrupt. But it seemed to be the norm, given all the comings and goings of this morning. Honestly, he was grateful the room had cleared out as quickly as it had. He was doing well so far, but he wouldn’t relax until a day or two had passed without magical incident.

But that was for him to worry about. Clearly, the nest was diving into what would be a busy day, and there was no need for him to keep their nest leader from them.

tz, eija. I am fine.. I don’t believe there’s any reason for me to keep you any longer.”

Nica nodded, glad that the brief introductions hadn’t overwhelmed the new dancer. “Actually, there isn’t anything pressing, unless that’s your polite way of asking to be left alone.” She gave him a smile that she hoped let him know she was only teasing.

“Oh no! No, no, no- not at all.”

He reached out, but hesitated, knowing he shouldn’t be as formal, but unsure how far to take it. He didn’t want to seem stiff, or ungrateful, but to think he might have somehow offended…

She moved forward to finish the movement he’d started, wanting to encourage him to be more familiar with his nestmates. His aura was more open and warmer, more like the serpents she was accustomed to. She didn’t think he would immediately fall back into the cool withdrawn state he’d been in earlier, but it was a worry not far from her mind. She settled for touching his shoulder, not wanting to risk overheating him with a hug. “It’s alright, Naj, I was just teasing.”

His hand sought out her own on his shoulder, drawing comfort from offering it. “I am sorry. I simply…” He shrugged, resting his head on her hand. “I feel like I’m being more trouble than I’m worth.” The words were neutral, almost empty. But that was truly how he felt about the matter. It bothered him to be a bother, but he wasn’t particularly distressed about it, personally. He simply didn’t feel he was worth disrupting the nest over. He would find his own way, in time.

At his indication that touch was welcome, she stepped closer, letting her other hand rub his arm gently. His comment had sobered her slightly, the implication of dismissal from his past clear. She kept her energy open and relaxed, not wanting to add to his distress by reacting to it. “You’d be surprised how often I hear similar things from new dancers… And I find that given time, they understand they’re worth it.”

Instinctively, she kissed the top of his head. “I hope you do too.”

“I hope you find me to be worth it, as well.”

He had meant for it to sound more hopeful, but somehow, like everything, it just came out… wrong. But he was determined to move past it, and so he stepped away so that he might offer Nica his arm.

“Come. I did mean what I said about not keeping you away from your nest. Let me learn what steps I can, and when I have had enough, I’ll be certain to let you know.”

It was hard not to smile at his words, though she doubted that he even realized where she was finding the humor.

“You’re not keeping me away from our nest, Naj.” She stressed the “our” gently as she slipped her arm through his. “You’re part of it now, and if you want to learn more about it, I’m more than happy to show you… I assume someone’s given you some sort of look around?”

Her words melted his heart, and he pulled her closer without thinking. Her energy was comfortable, like the energy of the nest she’d created, a natural extension of herself. It spread to envelope him, and in turn, he reached out to include himself in it.

He ducked shyly as she asked about his familiarity. “I’ll admit, it was a bit much to take in. But yes, I was shown around the downstairs last night.”

Her constant vigilance began to relax as it became clear he was doing the same. She chuckled, “Is there anywhere you’d still like to see or any questions I could answer?”

“I’m afraid it’s all still too new, I don’t know where to star- oh!” His uncertainty blossomed into excitement.

“Kain had mentioned a rooftop garden?”

“Oh, yes.” Nica grinned, her feathers fluffing and resettling as she caught his excitement. “The gardens are one of my favorite places.”

She began to move forward now that a destination was in mind. The door that opened to the front of house would be the quickest path to the balconies, rather than taking the door that opened to the backstage area. “It would be my pleasure to show you the rooftop.”

a’parn’ei, thank you very much!” He followed her eagerly out onto the floor, only to come to a complete stop again when he saw Marie and Nat dancing.

Previous: Chapter 6 part 1                                            Next: Chapter 6 part 3

Outtake: First Person Naj

Naj’s “voice” gives me fits. He is easily my hardest character to write, flowing easily one moment, running off on wild tangents the next. Sometimes, these tangents work, sometimes, he says something like “Dude!” and I have to seriously consider if it fits or doesn’t. Naj is magpie (not literally, he’s a serpent :P), collecting mannerisms and attitudes from those around him. It makes him extremely difficult to nail down, and this is before I throw in all the complications of his “otherness”.

So, I do a lot of writing exercises with Naj. One of those is the following, where I attempted to retell the first chapter of Asylum in First Person POV, through his eyes. It’s …a fun piece? Even now, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. FP is just not for me. But that’s from a writer perspective. Enjoy!

If I were to tell you the story of how I came to Asylum, I would start in its rafters. This is not the beginning of the story, as no story every truly has a beginning or an end, but it is the first memory I have of the place, so that is where I would start. It is the place I would have stayed, if my first memory had not also been an imperative: Midnight. Don’t be late.

I didn’t remember who I was. I didn’t remember why I was here. As I slipped from the rafters, the best I could remember was human hands. It is always my hands that bring me back to myself. Every time I am lost, I come to my hands first, trailing them over every surface I can, experiencing the world through my skin when I cannot explore it through scales. Slick lacquer chairs, polished table tops, smooth, buttery leather of overstuffed couches. The cold bite of the metal railing, never warming under my hand because I never stop moving, down, down, down the stairs, out of the clouds, into the din.

Perhaps it was my hunger to return to my own scales, to run back to the rafters and hide again in the hot dark. Perhaps, I really was hungry for my own kind, though I had no memory of sensing kin. Perhaps, I was more hungry for life, and passion, heartbeats—Devin’s skin glowed with it. Pearly, translucent skin stained in the delicate blue reds of blood, hot with lust and anger and fear. All of the strongest emotions, all singing just below those shimmering scales.

I should have known no mortal scales would shine so clearly with life. But my own scales were an equal anomaly, where they not? I can just rationalize now all I like, but in the moment, I was as purely serpent as one can be—utterly in the moment. Scales called to scales, and I rejoiced in hers and my own, though I knew she was frightened. The bitter bite of it was so common to me, I doubt it would have swayed my choice, had I actually made one. But no. I had acted on instinct, and on ingrained habit when she ushered me away. She was in command here, and was to be followed.

Even then, I think I knew something was not quite right, but what did I have to compare to? I followed, and the story you know as Asylum followed after.

Chapter 6 part 1

In which Naj makes a friend.

Seth lay Naj down on the cool, white sand, and immediately, the smaller man turned over in his sleep, reaching out. Seth shook his head, but moved close enough for Naj’s fingers to brush. Seth leaned back against the large rock behind him, eyes trailing upward, searching for guidance from the cold stars. Save for the heavy orb of the nearly full moon, the sky was as empty as the stark landscape around them. A whispered prayer drifted through the back of his mind, a plea to a goddess long forgotten… He and Naj could certainly use her balance, but Seth doubted Dareiya would hear him, after so many years of silence on his part. Seth scrubbed at his eyes, trying to chase away a weariness that had nothing to do with sleepless nights.

This was not good.

There was so much more magic in this nest than they had been anticipating. Naj was, quite frankly, falling apart. Maybe it was too late. Maybe they’d let him sleep too long, too long to be brought back…

There was, he supposed, only one way to find out.

Seth looked at the sleeping man beside him, form flickering from small to smaller, man to boy. Seth took it as a good sign that Naj had only regressed to his younger self, rather than retreating completely into cobra form but then, he’d not allowed things to progress that far. Maybe… Maybe just a little more help, a little more cushioning…

Seth stood, resolved. He danced a few simple steps, fire within warming the sand beneath. A final stamp of his foot, and a small fire erupted, globes of flame sitting in the cups of his footprints. He nudged them together into one campfire and pushed the little blaze across the sand, towards the sleeping child. Bathed in the fire’s warmer light, Naj didn’t seem quite so pale, quite so small. Seth knelt down, brushing a stray curl from Naj’s face. He watched the years flicker and play across Naj’s features, or perhaps that was just a trick of the light. Seth’s gaze lifted to the barren landscape beyond, washed silvery in the growing light of the rising moon. Abruptly, Seth shifted, glittering red scales winking in the firelight. He cut a crimson gash across the sand as he went, the only color in a moon-washed world.

The cobra didn’t care to emerge from his dark hiding space, indeed, if Seth had left it alone, it would have promptly gone to sleep. There was no immediate danger, his hiding space seemed sound, and he was not hungry, so why leave? But Seth urged it to taste the air, to move closer to the source of heat and heartbeat in the room with them.

Seth would have to be careful- everyone knew most feral shifters were little better than their animal counterparts. Unusually intelligent and curious, but still just a bundle of survival instincts, and in his case, venom. Seth didn’t know how Kain would react to what might be little better than a very frightened animal for all the other man knew. So when he emerged, he did so slowly and carefully, tongue flickering as he periscoped, taking in the scene. All of his senses were completely fixed on Kain, but he did his best to appear curious rather than alarmed or hostile.

Kain let his eyes scan the paragraph again, but took as little from it as he had the last ten times he’d done so. It’d been at least five minutes and he was still on the first page. He wasn’t really reading… Well, he was, but it wasn’t the paperback in his hands.

Shifters were notoriously difficult to read while they were in animal form. And by difficult, he meant nigh impossible. The animal instincts often masked whatever human thoughts or emotions might be within– especially in feral shifters, when the animal could be all that was left. All he was feeling from the serpent now was a jumbled mess of confusion and peace.

Then again, he was trying to refrain from completely diving in. But feeling the outside of a bag was hardly as useful as actually peeking in.

As he debated for the hundredth time whether he should simply risk the intrusion, a movement caught his eye.

A sleek red head appeared from between the jeweled cushions, deliberately poked its way over the exposed cushion and rose to meet him.

Kain tilted his head, considering the cobra. It was a handsome form, certainly eye catching. He could see why Dev was eager to make this new dancer a permanent fixture in the club. But the attitude and aura seemed off… No sparks, no agitation, wariness yes, but hardly alarmed… He resisted the urge to rub his temple of the effort even that bit of reading took.

How best to react? Nonchalance seemed the best resort, given the blatant curiosity of the serpent. And if it was prone to violent reaction, then all the better to minimize provocation.

“Well, hello there.”

Seth reeled as centuries of conditioning took over. He had been prepared to fight the serpent’s base instincts, but not the ones that had been trained into it. The cobra had immediately assessed this calm and commanding man to be Master, and had wanted to coil straightway to his neck or wrist, as was his place. A fine rage locked their muscles in place as Seth attempted to process this.

Was their serpent really that simple? That a large and powerful presence was all it took to win its allegiance? Surely not. The way he’d felt Aezir’s call, from the very first moments…

No, there had to be more to it than that.

But that conclusion did little to ease Seth’s misgivings. What power could their cobra be recognizing? Surely, not another Dai- if they wanted to leave Naj in the protection of the Ahn’ki, why not leave him with his Master? No, not Dai, but… Something of equal power, at least.

Seth wanted to know more, but doubted his ability to go head to head with anyone the serpent so readily bowed to. Perhaps… It wasn’t the best plan, but it would tell him a good deal rather quickly…

Seth relaxed his control on his aura, letting bolts of their fiery magic leak out. The tongues of flame that would lash across the other man’s aura would be hardly more than an inconvenience, but how he reacted to them would speak volumes.

Kain had considered a few possible outcomes with the cobra’s reappearance – most of them revolving around returning to his reading as the serpent explored.

Fire had not been among his more serious thoughts.

There had been no warning, no irritation in his aura, let alone any sign of magic… There was just a sudden crackle of flame over Kain’s arm where it had been resting on his lap.

Fortunately, his own aura kept him from being seriously injured by the heat, but it was annoying to realize the fabric of his pants had not been similarly spared. It was just a dark streak across the fabric, but it did ruin the satiny feel in that spot. He hid his slight agitation by checking the cover of his paperback, glad to see that it was unmarked. Clearly he needed to invest in fire warding his clothing again.

He raised his eyebrows, then gave the serpent a patient look. “Fortunately, most of our surroundings are flame proof, thanks to Marie’s own fiery personality. No wonder the pair of you got on so well.”

a’ztkm! Damn it all!

He hadn’t meant to call any actual fire. The unexpected visions he had been willing to let go – even the most skilled ahve’reta knew that ls’ERA’ramn were unpredictable at best- but he’d never thought his fire magic would abandon him. It was as unthinkable as losing his rhythm mid-drumbeat. And yet the evidence of his novice mistake still decorated their eijye’s pants. Unbelievable.

But Kain himself had remained unharmed.

The room was fire-warded– were the dancers as well? Or was it something more? Seth himself was naturally immune to flames, so this really told him nothing, save that Kain was hard to ruffle.

So what, then? Try another type of magic?

No. The fire magic might be expected, with his red serpent nature, but anything else he did would be tipping his hand. And, despite the nest being run by a raptor, he had no way of knowing how griffic magic would be taken.

Well, if magic was out, he could always see how the second in command handled a nestmate in distress on his own. As long as he stayed close, kept an eye on Naj…

He would have to find out sooner or later, if he wanted Naj to make this place his home. And here, in the peaceful isolation of the il’soum, one on one… It was about as close to ideal as he was going to get. Seth simply hoped Naj would react better than their traitorous serpent had.

Seth nudged Naj to wakefulness, blending the illusion of sleeping on the sands of their mindscape with the reality of fainting onto the couch. Naj curled into a ball much like he had on the sand, and Seth retreated, taking the serpent form and mind with him.

Naj blinked awake, head full of fog. All he knew was that he had been warm, and now he wasn’t. Wait… he had been too warm. Had he fainted?

He didn’t know where he was, he didn’t know who he was with, but he felt safe in the current company. He reminded Naj of the warm rock in the white desert. Wait, desert? No, this was a city …right? He frowned, memory of sleeping in the sand clear, but not fitting with what he thought to be true. …Not knowing where he was… this was bad, yes? He turned questioning eyes to his companion, but didn’t even know where to begin.

Kain was surprised yet again when the serpent shifted into a groggy dancer.

Though, it wasn’t the shift physically that caught him off guard half so much as the mental dance that preceded it. He couldn’t see the details without staring too directly and tipping his hand, but there was definitely something going on beneath the surface. Something much stranger than simply a feral shifter trying to regain himself.

A cloud of confusion rose around him and Kain sighed inwardly. That made two of them. He marked his place and laid his book aside. “How are you feeling?”

“I am … well?”

Naj just wasn’t sure, of anything. He sat up, cradling a cushion to his chest and curling into the arm of the couch. He felt small and adrift, but unharmed.

“What happened?”

Kain debated how much to say. If the serpent didn’t remember it… But how much didn’t he remember? The better question was why he didn’t remember, but small steps would begin a longer journey.

“What do you remember?”

Seth could throttle him. This man was nearly as unflappable as Aezir- and just as unreadable.. No reaction to the magic, nothing to be gleaned from his answers to Naj–already, Seth could feel his temper simmering. Which was ridiculous—he had been trained better than this. And ultimately, this was about Naj. Cobra temper be damned.

He decided that less was more. He fed Naj a tangle of heat and dancing, meeting their new eija, and a swarm of emotions too rapid to be easily read. Hopefully it would be enough for the both of them. Because Seth had no doubt their eijye was reading every flicker in their aura, every thought that flew across their face. Let him—a good leader should, and maybe, just maybe, Seth would finally learn something from Kain’s reaction.

Naj was hardly surprised that he couldn’t remember much. Such excitement, in such a short time, after so long in the dark– it would be enough to overwhelm anyone. Still, he did his best.

“I was dancing… and then Nica came, and … I grew too warm?” His gaze had been in the middle distance, but then he dropped his eyes to his lap. “I’m sorry, I can’t recall anymore.”

Something was definitely off. The waves shifting through the new dancer’s aura sent an answering ripple of unease through Kain’s mind, though he kept it hidden beneath a calm projection.

There was something familiar about the changes he was sensing, but he couldn’t place where he might recognize it from. It wasn’t unusual for him to have these little moments of familiarity, where something resonated with his long past, but he was finding this one particularly frustrating.

“That’s about right.” Kain laid an arm out on the back of the couch cushions, opening his posture to the other dancer. It also helped to soothe his own mental landscape. “She was worried since you seemed to get dizzy on the stage, but when you shifted here, we thought you might need some time to relax.”

“I’m sorry.”

Naj curled further in on himself, both physically and mentally. To have lost control like that… He had thought he was in command of his serpent– it was hard to resist the temptation to hide in his serpent form, but he never thought he would actually fail. If he had harmed one of his nestmates…

Seth hated doing this to Naj, but he couldn’t interfere now. He was becoming aware of a distant pressure, a subtle push coming from without, and Seth didn’t dare make any more sudden mental shifts that might draw attention to himself. Their eijye was definitely watching them, and Seth simply wasn’t ready to make himself known. He’d rather not reveal himself at all, if Naj could handle this on his own, but he was ready to do whatever it took to find them a place to finally rest.

Even if it meant telling the truth.

“It’s quite alright.” Inwardly, Kain sighed. As much as he might be doubtful of whatever hidden machinations were going on, he did hate to see someone suffer needlessly.

He drew his arm down, making it clear to the serpent that he could lean into Kain if he desired to, though not pressing. Serpents often did best with physical touch and reassurance. They just also needed it to not come from a source of high heat.

“Recovering from hiding in one’s other form isn’t uncommon or shameful. It’s just one of the ways your other form protects you. Many here will understand that and they won’t hold such struggles against you. If you let them know how, your nestmates will certainly help when they can.”

Naj moved without a thought into the comfort of the other man’s side. He radiated warmth and security, and it was all Naj could do not to burrow his face into it and hide.

But the time for hiding was over. It was reassuring to know he was not the only one in this Asylum to fight this particular battle, but they could not fight it for him.

He sat up straighter, though kept himself tucked against the other man’s side. He was more than large enough for Naj to fit. It was sorely tempting to let himself stay hidden beneath such an imposing presence, but something within Naj urged him not to give in.

Not Naj too.

First their cobra, now Naj himself- what was with those two? Or, more likely, what was with the man commanding their attention? Seth wanted to do some probing himself, but didn’t dare. The best he could do was keep whispering at Naj, keep moving him forward, and hope that eventually, they’d build some momentum.

“Thank you. I will be certain to ask for help in the future, if there is any assistance anyone can provide me.”

He doubted there was anything anyone could do, but kept that thought to himself.

Kain soothed a hand along the smaller man’s arm, nodding mostly to himself. Physical touch usually made mental reading easier, but whatever had been bubbling under the surface had ceased. It was exasperating, but there was the chance that whatever he’d been feeling had simply been the fluctuation of magic unreined. Unlikely, but possible.

“Nica will certainly remain nearby for the next few days – she prefers to make herself available to new dancers and has quite a bit of experience recovering from being feral herself. But if you find her heat overwhelming again, you’re welcome to seek me out if you prefer. There are places for calm and quiet in the nest if you know where to look– like this room or the rooftop gardens.”

Oh yes. The hawk, and his visions.

He had forgotten, in the fog of coming to, but the reminder of the hawk came with the clear flash of red feathers, and just as surely, he knew the wings were his own. Or rather, had been hers. It was unusual for the gifts of his black cobra ancestors to present themselves, but when they did, he was always a detached viewer of the scene. Perhaps the magic had been affected by the physical connection to the subject? He had no idea which was cause and which was effect, falling bodily into the hawk or his vision?

Naj blinked away the image, not wanting to lose himself again. Perhaps being so engrossed in Nica’s memories of her own feral past had prompted his own shift. If so, perhaps it would be better if he avoided their nest leader, at least when he was feeling overwhelmed.

He nodded along with the suggestion of calm and quiet– until he got his bearings, it would serve him well. Naj had not anticipated dealing with so much magic, but he was not completely defenseless against it. Simply unprepared. Now that he knew was he was up against, he could return to a habit of meditation and grounding to help him face his day.

It was a start. He had hoped to divorce himself from his militant lifestyle, but as with all things imposed upon him by the Dai, this too served its purpose. All things in their time. He would be happy here, the steps were simply more complex than originally thought.

“Thank you. If you would just show me how to access the gardens, I will look after myself. There’s no need to put anyone out on my account.”

“It’s simple enough to find, it’s the only door on the top balcony.” He relaxed into the cushions, leaning his head back and letting his eyes close. Speaking of the sun-warmed gardens reminded him that he could certainly use a nap. He’d hardly slept last night, and while he could pull energy from his magic, it wasn’t always the best idea… Especially if there was already loose magic about.

Yes, a nap sounded better and better. There was little more he could do here and he certainly wouldn’t be missed in the ample hours before the show tonight. “If you have trouble finding it, someone can point it out.” He laughed softly at the thought, knowing already how helpful the nest would be. “I suspect that you’ll have more help than you’ll know what to do with in the coming days.”

The man’s drowsiness was catching, and Naj fought back a yawn. It turned into a chuckle at the mention of overly helpful help.

“So I’ve noticed. Marie was …very enthusiastic, this morning.”

Another laugh resonated low in Kain’s chest. “Indeed. She’s known for such antics, as is Chris. The other dancers are a bit… Quieter than those two, though no less hospitable.”

This was blossoming into an actual conversation. For some reason, Naj found himself anxious. He longed for a simple way to excuse himself and retreat the gardens, but it seemed rude to leave in the middle of introductions-

Only, Naj hadn’t introduced himself. Nor could he recall this dancer’s name. Had he been told, before his black out? Naj had a feeling scenarios like this were going to become quite common. He sighed, then caught himself. Rude again.

“I’m sorry, I only just realized– well, it seems I can’t recall if we’ve actually met. Forgive me if I’ve already said, but I’m called Naj.”

Kain raised an eyebrow at the change of topic, but didn’t bother to open his eyes. “I’m not sure that we have been formally introduced. I’m Kain.”

Naj froze.


The complete stillness of the serpent did garner his full attention. He glanced down, frowning slightly.

“Is there a problem?”

“Oh! No, no, I…”

Naj sprang to life, wildly shaking his head and hands, only to fall almost immediately back on himself. He was really quite bad at this. He’d been so much better at schooling his reactions before…

But there was no help for it. Best to simply recover, rather than sit here making things worse.

“I simply didn’t realize who I was speaking with, is all. I didn’t mean to be so informal, eijye. Forgive me.”

He kept himself from climbing down to the floor to kneel- this was clearly not that sort of nest- but pulled back to his side of the couch, and kept his gaze firmly downcast, as was proper.

Kain blinked, then gave into the exhaustion that came with such a title, letting his head fall back again. Of course a Dai operative would cling so much to hierarchy.

“I’d rather you not do that – what I like about this nest is the informality. No need for honorifics or decorum, we are all dancers. If you desire such things though, I’m sure we can accommodate that, but you’ll find no one else really adheres to that sort of infrastructure here.”

He stopped himself, not wanting his disapproval to come across as hostile. He’d mostly kept it out of his voice, but nuances were a cobra’s specialty. Sloppy on his part, really. At this point he deserved that nap.

“Nica enjoys taking on the role of nest leader and she is well suited to the situations that call for one. How I came to be her… eijye, is a mystery to me. I certainly never wanted such a position. I suppose that’s what happens when I’ve been here as long as she has. Seniority does have its disadvantages.” The last was said with a touch of dry humor. It would be best if he could keep the conversation at least somewhat light hearted.

“Again, I apologize.”

The apology was reflexive, and he felt the other man’s aura wince away from it. Kain was radiating as much easy openness as he could. Naj was unsure of himself, but he’d do his best..“Though I suppose that’s exactly the sort of thing you’re asking me not to do, isn’t it?”

He masked his uncertainties with humor, keeping the words from sounding too much like yet another apology. His grin was weak, and a little lopsided, but it was there. He was trying.

The amused tone was an abrupt change from the previous submissiveness and Kain cracked one eye to glance down. “I think I can stand the occasional apology, so long as they don’t linger.”

A smile pulled at the corner of his mouth as his eye closed again.

“Understood, eijye.”

He hissed a breath at the immediate lapse, but turned it into a soft sigh.. “I’ll do my best to break myself of the habit.” Feeling bolstered by Kain’s own good humor, Naj ventured a small joke. “I’d hate to poison the little ones with old ideas.”

“They’d take to the corruption quite readily, I imagine.” He kept his tone dry, but his amusement bled through.

“Young dogs are always keen to learn old tricks.”

The good humor in the air settled over Naj like a blanket, and he relaxed back into Kain’s loose embrace. After spending the morning over-explaining to Marie, it was nice to simply speak and be understood.Once he’d started to get over his expectations, Naj was finding he quite liked his new eijye. The sense of humor was certainly unexpected, but it was comfortable, as was the stability of his aura and the warmth he radiated. Not quite so intense as Nica or Marie, more like a sun warmed stone. And his general attitude simply put Naj at ease. He had a feeling they were going to become fast friends.

Naj smiled.

Previous: Chapter 5 part 4               Next: Chapter 6 part 2

Introducing: Character Bios

Hey, check it out! I’ve been playing with my tablet (yes, I just NOW realized I could draw on it, shut up), and present to you: Character Bios! You can find them under Miscellany, but I’ll also be sure to post them all as they go up.

Who should I do next? What sort of info would you like to see?

Serpent Bedtime stories: In the Beginning

I think it’s fitting to start the Outtakes with the serpents’ “In the beginning” story. This expounds on the video I did way back when. I’ve always loved world building, so when I found a character trained in the oral traditions of his people, I pounced. Many of these stories will be true across all shapeshifter cultures, but these will be told through the serpent lens, because it’s the group I know best. This little bit is his people’s In the Beginning story, though not quite the origin of serpent-kin. That will come later, I’m sure.

Before the Beginning, there was Nothing. There was Everything. There was Balance. This is the ARE. Everything that ever would be, even BEING, or NOT BEING, tomorrow and yesterday, all was held in perfect Balance. And ARE was still.

In perfect Balance, there is harmony, but there is no growth. There is no change. There would never be bad, because there was no good. The ARE saw all these things in itself, and longed to set them free, so that there might be Dance.

Within itself, the ARE sent a stirring. It found Darkness, and the ARE cast it wide and far, and saw that it was good. Now there was Nothing, and Nothing seeks to be filled.

Without its companion, Light began to know Cold, for without its other half, Light suddenly knew who it was, and what it needed to be whole. But there is no Darkness in Light, there is no Cold, so all Light could find within itself for company was Heat. Just a small spark, but Light fed it until it grew and grew and grew, but still, it could not complete the hole that Darkness had left behind.

Just as Light had, Darkness too became aware of its lack. It recalled Light and and Fullness and it too took a piece of itself, just a spark, and tried to find Heat and comfort. Each fed their sparks, each in their own way, and as they grew, they drew the attention of the other. Light sough out Dark’s sphere, and Dark sough the Light, and thus the dance of Night and Day did come to grace the sky.

And still, the Orbs grew. Light and Dark fed their spheres, and thus began the waxing and waning of the Sun and the Moon. Together, began to dance, each growing or flowing, taking turns ruling the sky and learning how one glorified the other, and slowly they recalled what it was to be complete.

And the ARE saw all this, and smiled. Here was Balance, here was Harmony, but here also was Growth, and Change, and LIFE, and it was good. The ARE touched the Light, and touched the Dark, and from them sprung Fire and Ice, Wind and Water, Earth and Spirit, and suddenly the Universe was bursting with life and all was good.

Look to your parents, the ARE told the world. Look to that from which you came for the secrets of Balance and Harmony. And so the Fire, and Wind and Spirit turned to the Light, and the Ice and Water and Earth looked to the Darkness, and together the Light and the Dark taught the dance of balancing, indeed, the same dance with which we greet the Dawn, in honor of the first dance of Day and Night.

Introducing: The Adoption List

When I first set up the website for Asylum, I had big ideas in mind for the future. I wasn’t ready for all of them just yet (and a lot is still in the works), but I wanted to get the ball rolling on a favorite of mine, The Adoption List.

What is the Adoption List?

The dancers of Asylum love a challenge, and enjoy tackling suggestions from their patrons. Dev, being the entrepreneur that she is, has capitalized on this, and thus Adoption List was born. For a nominal fee, patrons can request any dancer, any song, anything else their little hearts may desire. How much of that is taken seriously is up to the dancers’ whims. (Think endless requests for Gwen to do Eye of the Tiger. Yeah, like she’s never heard that one before.)

Enter the authors of Asylum. We, too, are performance artists, and we too have our own Adoption List. Scenes we skipped, hypothetical situations, character interviews, go wild! As with the dancers, we may or may not adopt your ideas. Suggestions are free, and if we find one we like, we’ll put it up on the list, with a donation meter. Once the meter is filled, the scene goes up for all to enjoy.

That’s right. The Adoption List menu item now actually leads somewhere, to a feature we hope you’ll all enjoy. No promises every suggestion will spark a scene (characters being the big prima donnas that they are– I’m looking at you, Seth), but every suggestion will be considered. Once we produce a piece, we’ll judge its price based on length, difficulty to produce, and so on. Some of these may be canon, some may be utter silliness, we’ll see where this goes. Interaction with the readership is the biggest reason I took the weblit route with Asylum, so I’m really looking forward to this project taking off.

If you have any questions, drop a comment, or if you have any suggestions for the Adoption List, head on over and make your requests!