The Storm-Dance

Magic storms plague the country of Asebei. Every child knows to hide from the silken brush of those winds against their skin. Every child knows of the monsters that magic creates.

And every child hides so they do not become one, too.

A small country, and the only one on a large continent, Asebei was formed from the people who refused to give up. They are the colonists other countries on other continents abandoned because of the storms, and later, they are those colonists’ descendants. They are the people who survived.

This is their story.

Niobe (working title)

Born outside of Asebei, but now sworn to protect it, Niobe defends her country from soticheijo—once-human monsters created by the eseteijo, the magical storms that plague the continent. As a member of the Royal Militia, she answers only to the king, who does not know her history.

But that history has not forgotten her.

Outside of Asebei’s borders, an old enemy is stirring: the cult the previous king destroyed not two decades ago. The cult that turned members to soticheij on purpose to wage war. The cult that both Niobe and her alter, Sered, had escaped as children.

As Niobe’s past closes in on her throat and the federal government begins to turn on a king they think is incompetent, Niobe and Sered face the question they fear the most:

How do you survive the revealing of all that was hidden?

Vjaited (working title)

Chosen over his sister, Laior, to work for the king researching ways to defend against the eseteijo, Vjaited corresponds with her over the course of his research as the two apply themselves to the problem:

How do you protect an entire city from the ravages of storm magic?

But the capital is far from home and full of unexpected danger—tensions are rising as the king slowly loses support for his position, and Vjaited, a loyal supporter of the crown, begins to find enemies mounting on either side both for his loyalty and his unorthodox methods. As he and his sister write to each other, it becomes clear that they are facing more than a research question. They are facing the future of their country.

Long after his death, Vjaited is remembered for two things: defending Asebei’s cities and walking straight into an eseteij. History has never been able to make sense of both truths in the same person.

History didn’t have the full story.

Thegar (title not final)

One of the rare few born without the ability to use magic, Thegar leaves their home as a colonist to a new continent, eager to start a new life unfettered by the limitations placed on them by those who knew them.

They arrive to discover the reason the continent is otherwise uninhabited: magic storms rage through, altering all living things they touch, and the colonists are hard-pressed to find ways to survive. Not eager to return home yet, Thegar decides to stay, but before they can get fully settled, the colonies are abandoned by the countries that started them, and there is no way home.

The colonies—communities from a variety of backgrounds and countries—must learn to work together to survive, and Thegar finds themself in the middle of it when, one day, they are approached by beings more strange and wonderful than anything humans had ever dreamed.

This is the story of how Asebei was born.

Setej (title not final)

Born with a face disfigured by inherited eseteij-taint from her father, Setej grew up with only her mother for a guardian, and only her younger sister as someone she could trust. In unending bitterness towards the father of her children, Setej’s mother goes through a series of relationships, leaving Setej to grow up too fast for the sake of her half-sister.

When the secret letters between Laior and Vjaited are unearthed, revealing the truth of Vjaited’s disappearance, Setej decides to take on a research project where her father used to work. Bringing her sister with her without telling her mother, Setej swears the two of them will finally have the stability they need.

But Setej’s now-soticheij father is there, too, along with the long-hidden secrets of the magic storms. And another secret, too: beings totally alien to anything anyone has ever known, beings that might be the same as the spirits of old.

And they want to talk to Setej.

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