Phalar Aluve

A new story in my Baldur’s Gate 3 series!

“Let me see,” Astarion says.

Still hazy, Tav reluctantly offers the grip of the magical sword.

“No, not that. Your hand, my dear. And the absolute butchery you made of it with that butter-knife of yours.”

Or, Tav makes a blood sacrifice to the goddess of the dancing lights, and Astarion refuses to let it go to waste.

Read the story here, or on AO3. Hope you’ll enjoy!

On Books and Reading

The fourth in my series of Baldur’s Gate 3 stories about Astarion and my golden boy, Talven Vrinn, On Books and Reading uses the discovery of the Necromancy of Thay to touch on questions of authority, manipulation and disability.

“I’m sorry,” Astarion says, wiping his eyes. “It must be terrible—” he bursts in laughter again, but it’s tinged with hysteria and sounds on the edge of turning to sobs. He covers his face, drawing a deep breath. “Ugh. I need a moment.”

Having given him the most truthful account of himself so far, Tav feels both giddy and exposed. Astarion’s laughter doesn’t bother him. It seems born of surprise and the absurdity of the situation, not mockery. But Tav is altogether too deeply invested in the hope that Astarion will agree to his ridiculous, haphazard proposal, to join in the cheer. Because, of course it was an excuse, even if he’d had no inkling that he’d use it, or that he needed one. The truth is, if he could, he’d spend every moment of his time trailing Astarion like a shadow.

Read the whole story here, or on AO3.

On Books and Reading

Chapter 3

The fires in Waukeen’s Rest have burnt their course over the night. It’s hard to tell how much might eventually be salvaged from the smoking rubble, but the stone foundations are intact, at least. There isn’t a soul to be seen anywhere near. The outbuildings were stripped bare, the bodies removed, and the livestock taken away in at least three different directions, judging by the tracks.

They know the surviving Fists have moved on in search of Wyll’s father. Tav doesn’t understand why Wyll hasn’t chosen to join them. With the resources of a dukedom, perhaps to fall in his hands sooner than he expected, surely he stands a better chance of finding the cure than with them?

And now Tav watches Lae’zel run ahead of the group again and again, then turn to glare at them and tap her foot as they travel towards the Mountain Pass. Somehow he doubts she’ll make the same choice Wyll did, once they find her people.

Continue reading On Books and Reading

On Books and Reading

Chapter 2

Again, Tav can’t sleep. Anxious thoughts assail him from every corner of his mind like hounds on a bloodtrail. In his growingly desperate attempts to find something nice to focus on, or at least something boring, he goes all the way back to the mage hand exercises the withered old bitch, his grandmother, forced him to do day in and day out while all the other boys were out smacking straw-man targets with practice swords and learning to string a bow. She would spill a cup of rice on a thick carpet and then doze off, work on her writings, or go do her errands while Tav painstakingly collected it, grain by fucking grain, with the fucking mage hand. He couldn’t cheat and use his actual fingers even when she wasn’t around, because she tied him to the chair. He remembers, once she left him for what must’ve been half a day or more. His legs went to a sleep so deep he was unable to wriggle his toes. But that was hardly the worst of it. He held his water till the urge to pee turned to stabbing pains and then he could hold it no longer.

Continue reading On Books and Reading

On Books and Reading

Chapter 1

When neither Shadowheart’s magic nor three cups of coffee and an extra portion of gruel render Tav capable of gripping his staff convincingly, he’s summarily voted out of the away party. He watches them prepare to head out west towards the abandoned village, absently feeling the fresh puncture wounds on his neck. As he and Astarion are the only ones with the skills to pry open locks, disarm traps, and spot hidden things, Astarion is obliged to go, and he’s none too happy about it, although the others accepted the revelation of his… affliction… with far more grace than Tav had dared hope. With his expressive brow flattened in resignation and his chin held high, Astarion allows none of his anxiety to show. But Tav senses it nonetheless. Perhaps the others do too, thanks to the worms. Or perhaps he’s projecting his own worry. If things turn south, and he’s not there to make sure no undue harm comes to Astarion… will the others play fair? Or will they push him to take risks in their stead, seeing him as less important because he’s less… alive?

Continue reading On Books and Reading