Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Midnight rites


click to see a large size

I was in a Boris mood ... at least as far as wanting to do something as color-saturated, exotic and passionate as Boris, though of course I wanted to depict a beautiful young man rather than a female type ... not that I have any single thing against female types,  but the www is filled to overflowing with images of fantastic fantasy women. Have you tried to find images of fantastic fantasy men? Dang, it's hard to find any. So here I am, trying to fill the niche with pieces like this!

These are the same characters you saw in the "knighthood" piece. Remember this:


In fact, there's a kind of story weaving itself around these images -- especially when you remember back to this one, too:


Raven: a guardian of the city's nights ... so far so good. You find in in the hours between midnight and dawn with his wings spread in the starlight, the wind in his hair, and the sword stashed not far away. Now the imagination begins to weave stories ...

It's an old city with a thousand year heritage, and the winged ones were its guardians in times so long ago, only legends survive now. Raven's people are rare these days -- there are too few of them for them to be risked in times of danger, save as a dire last resort. However, they still hold the commissions of guardians; the regiment protecting the city is under their command, although in these latter days it's manned by ordinary mortals who feel the call to the vocation. Like Corrin. Let's give him a name; I like Corrin.

So Corrin has come to the regiment, just as his father did; and the same immortal is there to witness his graduation from student to Knight of the Citadel. It begins with a ceremony in the great hall, where generations of royalty and heroes of old bear witness to the vows in the  light of scores of blazing candles. But later, when midnight has unfurled across the summer hills, the immortal and the new knight climb to the temple under the open sky for the deeper rite, where the young man's vows are made not to the kings of men but before gods so ancient, even the immortals have forgotten their names. What passes in the temple is known only to those who take part in the secret rite; they never tell...

But this time it's is different, because Corrin has fallen under the spell of this particular immortal. Against every word of advice to the contrary, he's lost his heart -- and might as well have lost his wits, because Raven has to be five centuries old, and he's not likely to even notice when a mortal lad not yet 25 years old is smitten. Corrin is just grateful to be in the Citadel, part of the regiment, close enough to him to dream and hope, in the old, old story of unrequited love, until -- well, in these kind of stories all hell invariably busts loose, and in about 125 pages' time you'll reach the Happy Ending just before the list of new books in the back!

It's a lovely fantasy, isn't it? Call it Yaoi, if you like.

And all this, because I was in a Boris mood! Cool.

Jade, August 21

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