Chapter 283: In Hot Water

on February 12, 2015 in Volume 2 Book 8: Elven Holiday, Volume 2: Sophomore Effort

In Which Mackenzie Fumbles For Initiative In An Encounter

I don’t know if Glory heard me talking to Nicki from outside the bathroom, or if our intentions were just written all over our faces when we came out, hand in hand, but she intercepted us on the way back to the group with a wink and a whisper directed to my ear, telling me it was okay to use her room.

“You don’t have to check in with Glory first?” Nicki said when I suddenly changed course.

“I have a feeling that now that the gang’s back together, she wants to get me out of her hair for a little while,” I said.

“Is everything okay?”

“As far as I can tell, it’s great,” I said. “I don’t really think she’s sick of me or anything like that, but we have spent the whole day together, and she hasn’t seen anyone else.”

“…if I thought someone felt that way about me, I’d be worried they were sick of me.”

“I can be as insecure as the next person, but I guess I have a lot of practice with not being the only one in someone’s life,” I said.

Insecure or not, Nicki was far from shy. She was pulling her shirt up before I even had the door open, and had it halfway off before she was inside. She hadn’t bothered with a bra today. She kicked off her sandals, leaving with at most two garments to remove. I was still fully dressed.

A flock of butterflies in rainbow colors chased each other across her bare chest, rippling oddly as their forms stretched across the contours of her body.

“You got a tattoo?” I said.

“Temporary,” she said. “They’re an illusion.”

I reach out to touch one of them as it flutters around into sight from around her back, but I’m not fast enough and then I hold back. Touching the fluttering insect would have been one thing. Touching Nicki’s bare flesh… well, that wouldn’t be so bad, I was sure, but it wasn’t what I’d had in mind.

“They’re pretty,” I said. “You ever think about having something like that done permanent?”

“I think permanent would be a bit too… permanent… for my tastes,” she said, and I realized that as she was saying this, her hair was fading from a purple into a deep indigo… almost black, almost matching mine.

“Well, if you ever changed your mind, you could get it undone,” I said. “I knew a guy who had a living tattoo he got tired of. I guess I should say animated rather than living, when I’m talking about getting rid of it.”

“I knew what you meant,” Nicki said. “It’s not so much that I’d get tired of having something on me, so much as I’d get tired of having the same thing all the time. I wouldn’t mind being able to do it for myself. Who wants to be butterflies all the time?”

She unsnapped her pants and wriggled her hips out of them as she spoke. Either her pants were so tight that they took her underwear down with them, or she’d gone ranger today.

“I had an elven wax today,” she said, turning around. “Well, I say wax but it was alchemical… oil of smoothness. It was Grace’s idea, along with the lack of… oh, you probably don’t want to hear about Grace right now, do you?”

“You’d be surprised how little I care about that stuff,” I said.


“I mean, how about who else you’re with or what you do with them,” I said. “You can tell me about your day all that you want to, Nicki… as much or as little as you want. That includes the parts of your day that involve you being someone else’s girlfriend. It seriously doesn’t bother me.”

“Okay,” she said. She looked down at her feet. I followed her gaze and watched as she adjusted her toenail polish to match her hair, but she kept staring down for longer than the scant seconds that took. “Um…”

“Is everything okay?” I asked.

“I was kind of wondering that,” she said. “I mean, I’m standing here… and you’re still dressed, and you haven’t touched me… I mean, I’m telling myself you would have stopped me when I started taking my shirt off if you didn’t want me to, but I can’t help thinking… I didn’t, like, completely misread you back in the restroom, did I?”

“Oh, sorry,” I said. “No, you didn’t… it’s just… I’m not sure how to do this?”

Nicki laughed, a short, squeaky laugh that went up her nose and came out as a snort as she tried to stifle it.

“I’m serious, Nicki,” I said.

“I know!” she said. “I didn’t think you were joking, exactly. It’s just.. it’s funny because I know you’ve done it before with lots of people.”

“I’d say multiple people, rather than lots of them,” I said. “Nothing against anyone who does lots, but I know enough of them to know that I’m not in the same territory.”

“Well, you’re not some blushing vir… well, you’re not a virgin, anyway,” she said. “And it’s not like it’s your first time fooling around with me, either. I mean, you did okay before, you know?”

“That’s… kind of reassuring to know,” I said. “But… and I say this knowing full well it was my idea, but… I’m not a great initiator. Usually, I have someone telling me to take my clothes off. Glory and Amaranth both tend to like stripping me themselves a lot of the time. The idea of undressing in front of someone is still the kind of thing that can make me a little uncomfortable, if I’m not like super worked up to begin with.”

“So you’re not… super worked up?”

“No,” I said. “I mean, not yet.”

“…I moved too fast.”

“You moved at your speed,” I said. I took her hands in mine, figuring that some contact would be reassuring for her, and a good start for me. I kissed her cheek. “I’m turned on by a lot of different things, Nicki, including things that I never would have guessed could be turn-ons, much less ones that I would have. Having someone that excited about being with me is probably one of the more normal ones, but it’s not one I’m used to.”

“So… to ignore my clanging anxiety and put a positive spin on this… I guess what I need to do is turn you on more?” she said.

“I guess that wouldn’t hurt.”

“Should I… call you a cunt?” she asked, almost whispering the last word.

It was my turn to fail to stifle a laugh.

“Fuck, no… sorry,” I said. “That’s not you, Nicki, and it’s definitely not us. Maybe I should be taking my clothes off.”

“Or maybe I should,” she said, reaching for the hem of my shirt.

What followed was not quite what I’d expected after having been through the same routine with Glory and Amaranth. Having a mundane human with short arms, slightly stubby fingers, and at least no better than average dexterity disrobe me was a markedly different experience than doing it with someone who had elven grace or handy access to a pocket dimension or something. Nicki couldn’t get my clothes off without me moving with her, and… well… I was no more graceful than she was.

That’s not to say it didn’t have the desired effect. Well, both effects. I mean, I was more naked at the conclusion of each step than I’d begun. And I was getting pretty hot and bothered, because of how ungainly it was. We both got flustered by turns. Her hand brushed my skin, not in a deft and knowing way, but in an incidental one. The key-shaped piercing in my right nipple got caught on the edge of my bra. Also incidental, but the sharp shock of pain that lanced through me like lightning led to a thunderclap of… fuck, I don’t even know how to end that metaphor. It worked for me, though.

By the time we managed to get my panties most of the way off, my hands were on Nicki’s body as well, and then our mouths were on each other’s, and then they were everywhere. Well, mostly places around the shoulders and necks.

“Where?” Nicki said, after pausing for breath. She was looking around the small room. The table was the only obvious choice to me, but I saw her eyes lock onto the bubble window.

I blurted out the first thing that came into my head.

“Bathtub,” I said. “Like before, only… private.”

“Is it big enough?” she asked.

“More than.”

The air inside the cabin was already a bit on the chilly side. The stone-clad bathroom was downright cold. I didn’t know how to change the climate settings. How had I managed to stand it in there before? Oh, right… the shower. Well, the bathtub water would be plenty hot, too. The tub itself felt icy cold, so I turned on the hot water to let it fill up a bit before climbing in.

“That looks hot,” Nicki said, and it did. There were curls of steam coming from around the edge of the faucet, though that probably had as much to do with how chilly the air was as it did with how hot the water was.

“Yeah, maybe you should test it,” I said. “If there is such a thing as too hot for me, I don’t think the ship’s plumbing can hit it.”

She gingerly touched the water coming out of the faucet, then added a little cold water to the mix before stepping near where it was splashing into the bottom of the tub.

“I think this will be fine,” she said. “I’ll get used to it, and it’ll cool down anyway. Your bathroom’s bigger than I expected, from the front room. Especially since there isn’t really much to the bedroom, either.”

“I kind of suspect a deluxe bathroom is the main difference between this and whatever the next level down is,” I said. “Given how much Glory knows about me, I guess I should feel special. I’m sure she would rather have a nicer bed or more space to entertain than a steam shower or a two-person jet tub.”

“You don’t think she’d enjoy them?”

“She already has,” I said.

“I kind of wonder if she didn’t want a bigger room,” Nicki said.

“I’m sure she did,” I said. “She said there are whole tiers of luxury above what she could actually afford… but she’s not so spoiled as to let that stop her from enjoying what she can get.”

“No, I mean… nevermind.”

“What?” I said. The tub was about a quarter full, and I stepped in. The hot water felt glorious around my legs, and the stone was… well, it was more tolerable.

“Now that I’ve seen where you two are staying, I’m worried that there’s been a mistake,” Nicki said. “Did Glory seem disappointed when she saw the place?”

I thought about that. Glory could be hard to read.

“Well, she wasn’t thrilled about the size, but it didn’t seem like anything other than she’d expected based on the brochure,” I said. “I’d say if anything, she was apologetic, in her own way… like, she was bracing herself for me to be disappointed.”

“She didn’t say anything that sounded like she expected more?”

“No, seriously, she didn’t.”

“Okay,” Nicki said. She bent her knees and then carefully lowered herself down, then settled back against the contoured side of the tub. “Oh, that’s a little cold.”

“I’ll just stand a little bit longer,” I said. “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah,” Nicki said. “It’s kind of a relief to hear that, though I’m still confused.”

“What about?”

It was kind of an interesting experience, to be the one who was standing while Nicki sat naked in front of me, looking up at me as I looked down at her. With my usual partners, it was the other way around. I felt more than a little awkward.

“Well, when I saw our room, I was worried that there had been a mistake… that maybe somehow because Glory and Grace look so alike and have similar names, someone along the line had assigned Glory’s room to Grace.”

“If Glory was getting anything less than she paid for, I think she would have let someone know before we settled in,” I said.

I was starting to feel so weird standing in the tub, looming over Nicki like that, so I very gingerly lowered myself and then sat down, though I leaned forward instead of back against the tub. Her legs were spread wide, so mine found the space between them, though my feet wound up on top of her thighs.

“I know that!” Nicki said. “Intellectually, I mean. And at first I was expecting that to happen, so I didn’t, you know, relax and settle in that much yesterday. Then I thought maybe she was just too tired to deal with anything, so we’d probably get switched tomorrow. Today. You know.”

“Well, now you’ve seen Glory’s room,” I said. “Maybe not as big as you imagined, but however nice the room she put her sister up in is, I’m sure it’s laid your doubts to rest.”

“Kind of?” Nicki said. “I mean, you sounded pretty sure she picked out this bathroom with you in mind, which really does sound like she meant to have it for herself… but it’s just so much smaller than the one she rented for Grace and me.”

“Wait, what?”

“I’m serious,” she said. “You should see it, Mackenzie… it’s like she put us up in a freaking honeymoon suite.”

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47 Responses to “Chapter 283: In Hot Water”

  1. tomclark says:

    *snerk* Oops…

    Current score: 4
  2. zeel says:

    So did Mackenzie slip into present tense or is this a mistake:

    I reach out to touch one of them as it flutters around into sight from around her back, but I’m not fast enough and then I hold. . .

    I can see why this could have been intentional (Like how Kegan uses present tense). Which would be kinda interesting.

    Current score: 0
    • Hollowgolem says:

      It’s another hint to the time-loop subplot that we’ve been getting snippets of.

      Something’s messing with time streams, and the characters can’t tell whether they’re then or now or will be.

      Current score: 5
      • zeel says:

        Clearly this is a conspiracy by the ROTT and the cruise line to force Glories court to help get Mackenzie to work for Mercy – who plans to disrupt the timeline by sending her demon army to the founding of Magisteria and setting her up as supreme overlord. That way she never has to be part of Hydra squad – and she can kill Callahan.

        Then The Man will fall in love with her, and they will conquer the world together.

        But, later when the time line catches back up to the present, Magical Princess Sooni and her gang of Neko’s will foil their plot and restore the timeline – and in doing so kill Mercy, The Man, and every other major or minor antagonist ever mentioned.

        Mackenzie will live happily ever after with all of her lovers in a giant mansion in Paradise Valley.

        Wait, were we being serious?

        Current score: 8
  3. Glenn says:

    So is this a secret act of generosity on Glory’s part, a blunder by the ship’s room assigners, or something more sinister? I suppose it’s barely possible that this is part of an assassination plot paid for by the Treehome elves. Suppose there were a bomb in the apartment Glory and Mack are using? Maybe you couldn’t plant a bomb in the suite Glory originally booked for herself without endangering the whole aircraft. So what if the conspirators needed to shift Glory into a room which could be safely destroyed, and did so by switching Glory and Grace’s rooms?

    Current score: 2
    • zeel says:

      Either it’s Glory being generous, or some unexpected background character wants to create an army of half-elves. . .

      Wait. We did that plotline already.

      Current score: 4
    • Nocker says:


      Thinking about it a bit, the structure of the room seems a bit odd at first glance. You have this big hemisphere of glass that could break and a decent chance they’d both fall through, then a locked and sealed door that’d stop the disturbance from affecting the rest of the ship overmuch. All a hypothetical assassin would need to do is get the glass to shatter and force them through it to hit the ground. Elves can be fast and demons can be tough, but a magical explosion can do them both in. Dan survived a similar brush with death but he got immediate attention from a non-targeted blast. Once you have them in the air with a sense of security, an explosion in corners that tight will do both jobs for you. As a bonus, I believe the room is soundproofed, so nobody else would realize the issue until they’re long done with, or at least hamper rescue.

      Though the obvious question is WHY. Disguising yourself as room service and attacking them in any room would be easier. As would catching them with a poisoned meal or picking them off in transit. Anything relying on switching rooms for malice means making a paper trail and something new to trace back to. Heck, any hypothetical bomb plot would mean bringing explosives onto a place like this through airport security and private security undetected and setting them up ahead of time. You don’t get that messy unless you’re desperate.

      On the OTHER hand, messy and desperate doesn’t mean impossible. The Man’s resorted to even messier things in the past with his riots and spiked bathrooms. Acantha’s issue with the mockboxes means she’d need to act NOW to stop both callahan and the enchanter with most hands on experience, before they catch on. Mercy is running out of demon dogs fast and new sources are hard to come by as a matter of course, and she’s paid enough money that even messier and more desperate people are probably paying attention. Then there’s Ursula, who relies on fear and the idea that victims can’t just leave whenever to keep control.

      Most likely it’s an error or something largely benign. But it’s important to remember that both of that rooms occupants have made a LOT of enemies. Some brands of crazy are worse than others, but there’s an overstock on EVERY brand in this particular scenario.

      Current score: 1
      • zeel says:

        Assassinating a couple of college students would be way easier than all that. Terrorists use bombs, assassins – even shitty ones – would not.

        I think Glory did it on purpose.

        Current score: 4
        • Nocker says:

          There are many historical examples of either using both. Assassins tend to use either what works best or what they can get ahold of, and so do Terrorists.

          When you’re dealing with a creature that can dodge raindrops and another that can take an ogres fist and not bruise, indiscriminate and overwhelming force is probably the smart way to go about it, if it’s a situation like this where snipers aren’t an option due to tight hallways and rooms.

          Though I doubt it was an either, truth be told. If there was a bomb there’s been ample chance for it to blow already. Unless you wanted them to land in an arbitrary or specific zone there’s no real reason to wait and too much chance of being discovered.

          Current score: 1
          • zeel says:

            They may both be superhuman, but in a world where such creatures (especially Elves!) are commonplace, I don’t believe for a second that they would be considered difficult targets. They might be more difficult to kill than a human, but neither are especially strong fighters, are neither possess any ability that a minimal amount of research wouldn’t prepare you for.

            Unless the Assassin is really genre savvy and realized that Mackenzie is wearing plot armor – though anyone that savvy wouldn’t bother attacking at all.

            Current score: 0
            • Nocker says:

              Difficulty is relative. Elves have no problem dodging melee attacks speed wise and half demons who can land a counter blow will end the fight right there. Strong fighters or no it’s not something you just wander into.

              You’d need a REALLY good assassin to be willing to handle a target like this. Of course the first and second best assassins in the world are both retired from the lifestyle currently, and both have a vested interest in keeping Mackenzie alive currently. The Man has done some backstabbing in his day but I doubt he’d risk getting into close quarters with Mackenzie for a bunch of reasons, or send some other progeny for the same reasons. LAW has it’s share of assassinations and assassins, but this isn’t really the kind of case they deal with by any means.

              Of all the Assassins we’ve seen, anyone who’d be able to pull this off wouldn’t take it because it’s either outside their interests or counter to them. It could be some other party but this is reason enough to presume it’s either a mistake or something on Glory’s part.

              Current score: 0
            • zeel says:

              You can take your pick of elvin assassins to deal with Glory – any trained fighter of equal racial advantage should have no difficulty with her. As for Mackenzie, she would be hard pressed to best a trained elf, especially if this elf is prepared with wards against fire (Mackenzies only real offensive magic).

              The easiest thing would probably be to slip some poison into their food – the assassin could easily find out about their dinner reservations and pose as part of the staff. Failing that a knife in the dark, an arrow from afar (especially if they leave the ship at port). Don’t forget magic, and don’t forget that neither elves nor demons are anything new in this world, there are probably whole books written on how to kill them most efficiently. I doubt that a bomb is the recommended method.

              Current score: 0
            • Nocker says:

              Mackenzie doesn’t really use fire in combat though, that’s not her style. Her style is more based around using air walls to batter and misdirect as well as defend.

              As for a bomb being the recommended method, yeah, it kinda is. Remember that when Dee told Mackenzie that if Glory tries something, fill the room with fire? An indiscriminate explosive is rather verifiable both a recommended and effective way to handle both. Bombs have always been effective in the sense that if you need an enemy dealt with and don’t want to close things to melee or get in firing range, it’s usually what you want.

              As for alternate methods, those are just as circumstantial. For all we know the restaurants have cure poison wands or something similar. Knives in the dark are really hard to get an instant guaranteed kill on, and arrows rely on circumstances that may not come up in this scenario. Magic might be a good option depending on spells, but the most efficient spell would probably be explosive anyway.

              Current score: 0
            • zeel says:

              Mackenzie isn’t constantly using those defensive spells (is she even armed? I don’t think so). She can hold her own in a fight against other students fairly well when she is prepared and in the right mindset. But against a well trained assassin while she is on vacation? Not a chance.

              And again with the bombs. . . The collateral damage is pretty bad. Plus, explosives aren’t as deadly as you might think they are. Most explosions maim people, and those who die generally take a while (long enough to get a potion of healing). A blast big enough to kill them both for sure would be far too big to justify, when there are much easier and better guaranteed methods.

              They aren’t action heros, they aren’t well guarded and warded politicians. There a pair of fairly normal college students. A bomb is not the way to handle it.

              Current score: 0
            • Nocker says:

              She’s been using that spell and it’s variants in literally every noteworthy fight she’s had since freshman year, and making up variants on the fly seems easy at this point since she can knock people around with it and spin it into a drill. They aren’t constant but if she has a split second they come up.

              While they’re also college students lets not forget what else they are and what that MEANS. Mackenzie alone probably has a least a full page in half a dozen people’s dossiers. She’s the latest in a long line of little understood half demons stretching back a thousand years, in a conflict that’s claimed hundreds to thousands of lives, across multiple provinces. She’s also the most notable descendant of a paladin who’s wrecked a lot of peoples shit and no doubt made a whole lot of enemies. Then there’s being connected, however loosely, to the two most deadly assassins in the world, one as a pupil and the other as a would-be ward. The latter of whom has a frankly ridiculous bounty on her head. Then comes the whole LAW angle and they’re waiting for her to mature before recruitment.

              None of them want her dead, right now at least, but they’re keeping close watch. Mackenzie is by no means a “fairly normal college student”. She’s the heir to a thousand year old fiend and one of the most powerful human psychics we’ve seen.

              That’s JUST Mackenzie. Glory has been around way longer and seen way more and you generally don’t get authority in treehome without doing some serious shit.

              Current score: 1
            • zeel says:

              I don’t even know what this discussion is about anymore.

              Current score: 3
          • Nocker says:

            Quibbling over details mostly. We can agree this most likely isn’t an assassin or terrorist. But as to how likely there’s a difference.

            Current score: 0
      • Seth says:

        It’s either huge conspiracy or just someone feeling guilty about this whole passive-aggressive “break-up” between Glory/Grace that is going on.

        Current score: 0
  4. Zathras IX says:

    The bathtub is a
    Good place to come clean about
    Getting down and dirty

    Current score: 4
  5. readaholic says:

    Anybody else think the person who had their living tattoo removed was Ian?

    Current score: 0
    • zeel says:

      It was Jamie – this is the first we’re hearing of the removal, but we know he had one that Iason bought him, a big dragon. So I would put money on it being him.

      Current score: 6
      • Readaholic says:

        Ah, yes. Wrong name. I couldn’t remember Jamie’s name, but remembered Jason’s, and that the “elvish” version of it was Iason, and that their names started with the same sound, and lo and behold, Ian suddenly becomes a part-elf 🙂

        Current score: 2
  6. Cadnawes says:

    Sigh. Hearing about the living tattoo being removed makes me sad. They clearly have personalities, and it wouldn’t have been its (or, likely, her) fault the owner of said tat didn’t think things through. (Like ever, at all. about much.)

    It was poor Vera, wasn’t it? 🙁

    Current score: 5
    • zeel says:

      That’s my bet. It’s unfortunate too, since that’s really the only thing Iason ever did for him that I thought was actually cool.

      Current score: 5
      • Nocker says:

        Sad, but them’s the breaks in MU world: You’re owned, your owner does as they please.

        Current score: 1
      • Cadnawes says:

        I liked a lot of Iason’s actions and gifts for themselves; but I didn’t like the coercive manner in which he did them; or his sense of timing. If a lover of mine bought me even a third of all that within the first YEAR of dating I would run like hell.

        I feel like Vera got caught in the crossfire. Good writing on AE’s part- I am morning the death of a TATTOO.

        (Why I don’t think Glory is creepy for this lavish cruise, btw- she gave it to everyone and let Mack say no if she wanted.)

        Current score: 5
        • Nocker says:

          No kidding. If you’re fucking a dude for a month and he suddenly busts out platinum bling studded with like, five kinds of gems, questions need to be asked.

          As for the cruise, I find it creepy just because it isn’t as much as it should be. One of the things that was obvious right out of the gate about Glory is that she’s always been really good about putting up fronts and making things look the way she wants them to. I mean she watched Mackenzie for like a YEAR and found out about her being involved with all kinds of scary shit, but when she actually met her she made it seem casual and cool, then it turned out later she’d been stalking her and always wanted to fuck her but it was presented in a way that made it seem acceptable.

          I mean lets get real, if nothing else Glory knew about mermaids and their connection to the murders through observation, but said jack shit to anybody who could do something about it and still does nothing. Anybody who’s comfortable with shrugging off MURDER like that deserves some raised eyebrows.

          Current score: 1
          • Caddan says:

            Maybe, for Iason, that was petty change. We don’t know how rich he really is.

            Current score: 0
            • Cadnawes says:

              Oh, it was. He made that pretty clear. But that doesn’t make it appropriate, especially not if it made Jamie uncomfortable, which it did.

              Current score: 4
          • Mist42nz says:

            Jason was “somewhat overbearingly possessive” as part of his “charm”

            Current score: 0
          • Anvildude says:

            Now, to be fair, it sounds like shrugging off murder is part and parcel for life in Treehome- a difference in mores that Glory is maybe not cognizant of. To a Treehome elf, it seems like killing and eating someone is perfectly fine if you get away with it- even better if rumours go around about it while you get away with it.

            Maybe it’s just elves. I mean, I’m liking that AE’s seemingly using the Tolkien-esque ‘Elves are Humans+1’ while also acknowledging the inherent creepiness that causes in human-norm people. Looking at the insular, everlasting society and blending in popular assumptions of elven culture, while making it seems natural and an organic part of the world.

            Personally, I’m liking the relationship between Glory and Mack a lot more than I like any of her other relationships- not to dis Amaranth or Steff or poor, underused Ian, but Glory and Mack are having a more classical relationship, learning a lot about each other through various means, while most of the others were maybe over-sexualized from the start due to Amaranth’s natural focus on that aspect of relationships. I’m super looking forward to the LARP they’re planning (if they do finally go through with it) because I think it’ll be a situation where we get to see everyone interact that isn’t ‘breakfast chat’ or ‘hot’n’sweaty funtimes’.

            Current score: 0
            • Mist42nz says:

              I much preferred Macks relationship with Calahan

              Current score: 0
        • zeel says:

          Vera waking up was something I had been waiting for forever too – and when she finally did it was at the end of the story and never got properly addressed. It is rather sad.

          Current score: 1
          • Mo says:

            Maybe it was offensive to dragons. That would be a good reason to remove it. A picture might be fine while an animated one was offensive? Probably not actually – dragons don’t seem to mind mock dragons or other creatures derived from them.

            Current score: 1
            • Nocker says:

              “This is offensive, I want you to murder it for me.”

              Current score: 4
            • zeel says:

              If it was offensive to anyone it would be the Empress. . .

              Current score: 2
  7. Larry says:

    Wasn’t the tattoo soul-binded so as to prevent removal?

    Current score: 0
    • zeel says:

      They mentioned that it was possible to break the soul binding if you wanted to. I think it involved necromancy, but I can’t remember.

      Current score: 1
      • Nocker says:

        That’s a very serious procedure though. Remember that soul tampering can have long term effects on both the subject and necromancer. Jimmy’s hair turned black permanently and I’m guessing that something that obvious means other effects elsewhere. A soul binding removal is probably a costly and risky procedure.

        Current score: 2
        • zeel says:

          I doubt it’s any more risky than the soul binding was to start with. And I’m sure Iason paid for it.

          Current score: 0
  8. Scureuil says:

    The only visible difference between Glory and Grace, even for elves, is the haircut.
    So, is Glory really Glory and Grace really Grace ? They could switch places and girlfriends every other day and nobody would notice…

    Current score: 0
  9. Arancaytar says:

    “Well, you’re not some blushing vir… well, you’re not a virgin, anyway,” she said.

    That’s cute.

    Current score: 2
  10. John Neisser says:

    OK everyone has not seen the simple answer to this the temp breakdown of the royal court. The best room was given to the lowest member of the court. The worst room the highest. leveling off the playing field.Second with someone liking heat while heaters would be possible in the rooms a bath /shower it is easier and more cost effective.There was also the possibility she would have had the room alone.

    Current score: 4